I met Jason Golden while Coaching Varsity Football at Booker High School, back in the early 2000s. I instantly found him to be VERY sincere, caring, and PATIENT, in his desire to come alongside us both individually, and as a staff, as we endeavored to win Football games and teach young men how to work hard and develop discipline (or at least that’s what I thought I/we were supposed to be doing). At the time, little did I know, that Jason, with such subtlety, would have such a tremendous impact on my life, and the life of the kids I would Coach, over the next 20 years.
Jason introduced me to, by modeling, what it meant to be a SERVANT…what walking in HUMILITY looked like, and what it meant to SACRIFICE. He helped me to see that Coaching was my Ministry…a gift from God…an opportunity or platform for me to display the Kingdom of God…the love of God…to both my student-athletes and my Coaching Colleagues. As a gift, and to use as a tool, Jason provided me with The Coach’s Bible…designed to help me develop and to overcome when challenges arise. This Season will be my 24th Season Coaching Varsity Football…having been blessed to also Coach, Basketball (boys and girls), Baseball, Weightlifting, and Track and Field, for various lengths of time, along the way. Not only do I still have it, but I carry that Bible with me, to this day…in and out of Church, and wherever else I choose. Even when I changed locations/schools, Jason continued to walk with me.
In 2010 I moved to and began Coaching Varsity Football in Athens, GA, at Clarke Central High School. Just before my departure, Jason led me through a Coaches Bible Study, entitled R12…which unbeknownst to me at the time, would surely become VERY significant, in a VERY short amount of time. Soon after arriving in Athens, I learned that Jason had established contact with a young man named Jack Murphy…Jack served in the same role as Jason…and according to their conversation, Jack was to make my acquaintance right away (and that he did). You see, despite being approximately 8 hours apart (by car), Jason’s service unto me and demonstration of love for me continued on.
Within two weeks, and despite being the newly hired, Jack challenged me to lead staff through the R12 Bible Study…and of course, Jason was behind the whole thing! Reluctantly, yet by faith, I accepted the challenge, and over the next 12 weeks, watched God transform our staff…our individual and collective relationships, as well as our relationships with our players. One year later I returned to the Sarasota area, after accepting a Varsity Football Coaching job at Sarasota High School. And within days of my arrival (yes, you guessed it), Jason stopped by.
That was about 9 years ago, and I have yet transitioned again, to Venice High School, as a Varsity Football Coach…and through all the changes, one thing has remained the same…Jason Golden. He’s the consummate Servant Leader…lover of God…lover of men…builder of Christ-like character…driven to discipleship.