(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) – Former FCA president and United States Air Force Brigadier General Richard “Dick” Abel, San Diego-area wrestling coach Jose Campo, former Texas A&M and Sam Houston State baseball coach Mark Johnson and Maryland FCA and FCA Lacrosse board member and volunteer Frank Kelly III have been named to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hall of Champions, Les Steckel, FCA’s president and CEO announced today.
“This is a tremendous class entering the Hall of Champions ,” Steckel said. “These four men have spent decades making a tremendous impact on the world for Jesus Christ through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. They epitomize FCA’s core values of integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence.”
Abel served as FCA’s national president from 1988-92, developing the C.H.A.D. principle, based on camps, huddles, adult chapters and development, a precursor to today’s Four Cs (Campus, Camps, Community and Coaches) of ministry employed by FCA. He advocated an increase in leadership and coaches Camps, and developed the inner city outreach and ministry to women athletes.
Abel’s connection to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes dates back to his days as an assistant football coach at the United States Air Force Academy in the 1960s, when he accepted Christ at an FCA huddle meeting. He would go on to serve as one of the adult huddle leaders at the Academy for the next three years, before assignments in Vietnam and Hawaii. Abel would initiate FCA huddles in Hawaii, while his wife, Ann, started a huddle for girls at a local high school. He and his family split time between Colorado and Hawaii until 1978, before being assigned to the Pentagon, where he established FCA at nearby Annandale High School, and soon joined FCA’s Virginia state board and later the national board.
Abel retired from the United States Air Force in 1985 and joined the senior staff of the US Olympic Committee. He was named FCA’s president three years later. Following his tenure with FCA, Abel was selected to establish a military ministry with Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru). Since retiring from CCC, Abel has established a new ministry, “Leadership is All About People,” directed toward military, government and athletics leaders. He is the author of the book The DNA of Leadership.
Campo has served as an FCA Huddle Coach at Mt. Carmel High School in San Diego for nearly two decades. The 1994 National High School Wrestling Coach of the Year and a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Campo has served 18 consecutive years as the head wrestling clinician for FCA’s Western region, and before that, at the Southern California regional camp. He also assists FCA in planning a county-wide coaches clinic.
Campo is a popular speaker, having been featured at FCA’s President’s Weekend and regularly appearing at FCA Huddles across Southern California. The author of the book Wisdom from the Corner, Campo uses the book’s sales proceeds to send children to FCA Camp. His coaching technique includes sharing stories learned on his own and from others to help teach life lessons aimed at helping wrestlers mature into adults.
Johnson spent 42 years as a college baseball coach, including 21 years as the head coach at Texas A&M and five years leading the program at Sam Houston State. He also spent 16 years as an assistant at New Mexico, Arizona, Mississippi State and Texas A&M.
In 2007, Johnson was the recipient of FCA’s Jerry Kindall Character in Coaching Award, presented annually to the college or high school baseball coach who best exemplifies the Christian principles of character, integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence on and off the baseball field. During his career, he participated faithfully in FCA Huddles across the country, and often served as speaker at FCA events and as the head baseball clinician at FCA Camps.
Johnson has served on local FCA Boards of Directors in two locations and is an faithful donor to the organization. His family has also been active in FCA. Johnson’s wife, Linda, has led coaches’ wives Bible studies, and his sons became Christians at FCA Camps and continue to be heavily involved in FCA activities.
Frank Kelly III
Kelly was a member of FCA’s first lacrosse team that played in the prestigious Vail, Colo., tournament 25 years ago, and has played an integral role in the success of both FCA Lacrosse and FCA in the state of Maryland ever since. He has been the chairman of the FCA Maryland board of directors in 19 of the board’s 20 years of existence, coming on as the chairman before FCA even had a full-time staff member in Maryland (there are now a total of 48 staff members in Maryland).
Kelly, a former professional lacrosse player who also played football at Cornell and now serves as the chief executive officer of Kelly & Associates Insurance Group Inc., Kelly & Associates Financial Services Inc., KTBSPayroll/KTBSWorkComp, and Kelly Integral Solutions LLC, has also chaired the FCA Lacrosse board of directors dating back to the 1990s, and served on FCA’s National Board of Trustees from 1997-2003.
Called “the ultimate volunteer” by FCA Maryland staff members, Kelly coaches an under-11 FCA lacrosse team in Baltimore and is the development director for an FCA football team in the area. He also volunteers at FCA Lacrosse camps and is a faithful donor.
With the addition of Abel, Campo, Johnson and Kelly, the Hall of Champions now includes 82 members. The honorees are determined by an FCA selection committee following a nomination process that includes staff, volunteers, athletes and members of the organization’s Board of Trustees. The full list of Hall of Champions members is available at FCA.org.
Each inductee will be honored with a plaque bearing a sculpture of their likeness that will remain in the Hall of Champions in FCA’s National Support Center in Kansas City. A replica will be presented to the honoree at an appropriate special event sometime this year.
The Hall of Champions was established in 1991 to honor individuals who have demonstrated a consistent commitment to Jesus Christ through the ministry of FCA. They are considered volunteer “All Stars” who have given above and beyond the call of duty and have upheld the Four Core Values of FCA – Integrity, Serving, Teamwork and Excellence.
– FCA.org –
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the heart and soul in sports, is touching millions of lives… one heart at a time. Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering, and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ.