20 Comments

  1. Michael Shalosky

    Marsha..Great piece of writing..Being a coaches son and in athletics,your writing is awesome..Pls know that Susan and i are praying for you and John as well as your family..God has a plan for you both..Keep the faith as I know you will..God is the greatest of coaches and provides for all of us..MGS

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Mike. I know you understand. We appreciate your prayers and we know God’s hand will be in whatever comes next.

      Reply
  2. cindy cheatham pietkiewicz

    John is doing god’s work and unfortunately that work does involve taking up a cross against a hostile world that does not share our values. Thanks for sharing the deeper meaning behind john’s passion for coaching. God has done and will do great things through you two and all those you touch

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Cindy, for your comment and for your perspective on things. The Christian walk is full of these kinds of challenges in all aspects of life. We are thankful for how God sustains us through it all.

      Reply
  3. michael pickett

    Beautifully written and well said. I had the pleasure of meeting your husband last summer at a camp. His passion and knowledge were second to none in my book and I instantly became a huge fan. His influece and encouragement for my son meant a lot. Please know that we will keep your family in our prayers and hope for the best for you.

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you for your comments, Michael. I hope your son keeps working and gets where he hopes to get with not just football but his life. Thank you, too, for your prayers. I hope you will keep reading!

      Reply
  4. Matt Schramm

    Marcia, Great post! I really liked John when we had a chance to visit last year, and even more now. A great testament to the value of sport for character formation in today’s world, particularly (if I might, even in the changing landscape in Pennsylvania in particular) with young men who too often lack positive male role models. Well done.

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Matt. There are many, many possibilities for a positive and lasting impact in people’s lives through sports. I know you have experienced that yourself. May we all find ways to focus on and support those valuable effects more and more.

      Reply
  5. Kevin Bullard

    Dear Marcia — thank you for the insightful post.

    I am a UNC grad (’97), and have heard John’s name for a number of years. Your post made me realize how little I know about him (e.g., I’ve never seen a picture of him, nor did I know he was a Christ-follower). I just knew him as our offensive coordinator.

    For your family’s sake, I am happy to hear that you two are in Christ, and have him as your foundation. It will be interesting to see what happens at UNC over the next few months regarding the football program. My prayer is that the Lord will honor John’s integrity (Psalm 26:1), and that He will bring your family into a good, wide space (Psalm 18:19, 31:8).

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Dear Kevin,
      Your comments are a blessing to us–especially your invitation to us to remember the inspiring words of the Psalmist. May you and your family find the same honor and good, wide space.

      Reply
      1. Kevin Bullard

        You’re very welcome. Blessings. 😉

        Reply
  6. a. wayne harrison

    dear ms. shoop; thank you for the remarkable insight you have provided into the life of a family deeply engaged in two very demanding undertakings.

    you must find profound solace in the knowledge that you and coach shoop have long ago found a methodology that will carry you safe through the most difficult days that this old world has to offer.

    i don’t know your husband, and i am a mere amateur football fan; but i can say that his style is nearly unique–his offense has a signature that i have found very interesting over the years you have been at unc.

    thanks to him for many pleasant times as i have followed my university on the football field, and the best of luck to you and your family throughout your time together.

    a. wayne harrison

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Wayne. We have had some wonderful times here at UNC. Lots of exciting and happy game day memories. We love the atmosphere here at UNC and have loved the players that John has had the opportunity to coach here. It’s been exciting to see a new tradition of offense take shape here with well over 60 school records being set during the last 5 seasons (it may be closer to 100 now, haven’t heard lately). We’re excited that just last night Dwight Jones went over 1000 yards receiving–which marks the first time UNC has had a 1000 yard rusher (in Gio) and a 1000 yard receiver in the same season. I can’t tell you how much John enjoys coaching these guys. So many blessings to celebrate. Best to your family, Wayne, and I do hope you will keep reading.

      Reply
  7. Lanier

    Rev. Shoop,
    First of all thank you for sharing your unique insights into the world of college football. It’s refreshing to hear about it from someone on the inside who also views it through a biblical worldview. This series has been a must read for me and I look forward to following your writings wherever you and Mr. Shoop end up next.

    On a personal note, I worked in the UNC football offices for two years as a student recruiting intern which is probably about the lowest position on the totem pole. I worked for a guy named Sam Petitto and ultimately Joe Haydon. I spent little time around the coaches just to bring them tape on a recruit or pick up tape they had already watched. Most of the coaches were friendly guys, but your husband was totally different. He was the only coach that remembered my name and would actually stop what he was doing to ask me how I was when we were in the same room. I was shocked because I knew how busy he was and how many people more important than me he already had to remember. I am sure he does not remember me but please pass on to your husband that his kindness and warmth meant a lot to me.

    Thank you,
    Lanier Ward

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Lanier, for sharing your story and your comment. John certainly remembers you and we hope all is well with you. Your comments mean a great deal to both of us. I do hope you will keep reading and adding your insights to the conversation.

      Reply
  8. TD Fon

    In my fifth decade of following UNC sports, I can easily remember why I became a lifelong UNC fan. Soon after I started watching UNC Basketball, I learned that Dean Smith lived and expounded the exact qualities that you just so eloquently stated. Since then I have seen numerous other coaches and players at UNC follow suit. Wins on the playing field are enjoyable, but for me the way many of our Tar Heels conduct themselves on and off the field has brought me even greatly pride.

    During more recent times these things have become known as The Carolina Way and The Carolina Family. I sincerely appreciate the contributions both you and John have made to the Tar Heel community and will always be proud to consider you members of The Family. Best Wishes.

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Dear Mr. Fon, thank you for your comments. I agree with you that Dean Smith is a shining example of the best of the Carolina Way. I have deep respect for all that he did with his position here at UNC to be a person of influence on important issues of the day. He is a model for us all to be sure. We cherish our connection here at UNC and have many, many treasured memories from the last five seasons. I have never seen John happier in his work than he has been here. We are thankful for that and always will be. Thank you for reading and for adding your insights to the conversation. I hope you will keep reading.

      Reply

  9. What a great blog. I was really pleased to read it and look forward to more. keep up the great writing. Tell your family hello.

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Hi Coach Garner. Great to hear from you. Thanks for reading. I hope you will keep reading and commenting and that all is well with you and yours!

      Reply

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