Cory Troyna, a former AP player for Ed

I wanted to take a minute of your time to let you know what Coach meant to my life. I think it’s well documented how much Coach did for the guys in the NFL, the guys who have went on to coach or have come into the A-P program, but I just wanted to let you know that even though I wasn’t close to your dad, he also had a tremendous impact on my life. I don’t know if he knew how far his impact on lives reached?

I’d always wanted to thank him for everything he did for me, but I won’t be able to do that now. I regret that I didn’t reach out to him, but I always worried what he’d think about it. I hope you don’t mind, but I felt I needed to get it off my chest, and thought you’d appreciate hearing this.

My parents divorced when I was four, so I didn’t have a positive male influence in my life until I started playing football for your dad. He taught me how to work, how to be a better man, and I feel I owe a lot of who I’ve become to him. I love the quote when he said “if all he did was teach X’s & O’s, blocking & tackling, that he has failed”. He really did teach me so much more than football. He instilled in me life lessons that I can pass on to my children that were taught on the practice and game fields.

The memory I will take from Coach is during the middle of my Sr year of football, I accepted Christ. Somehow the next day he had heard about it and pulled me into the training room to congratulate me and I remember he said it was the greatest decision I could have ever made. I didn’t fully understand it at the time, but he was right and I’m forever grateful he took the time out of his day for me. The football field was his mission field, and I’m living proof of that because his daily teachings were a part of my road to Christ.

I want to thank you for being such an inspiration to the thousands who have watched you since the events of late June. I can honestly say I was at a stage of being weak in my walk with the Lord, but through your challenge at the funeral, I’m pleased to say I’ve been in my Bible every day since, I have committed to help with the Awana program again this year, and I’m looking for more ways to spread the word to the children of A-P and grow in my personal walk.