This story appears in FCA Magazine’s November/December 2017 issue. Subscribe today!
• Arizona, Assistant (2013-Present)
• Grace Christian High, Athletic Director and Head Coach (2010-13)
• N.C. State, Head Coach (2006-09)
• Arizona, Associate Head Coach (2000-05)
• Arizona, Assistant (1997-99)
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” – Psalm 46:10
After an illustrious collegiate career at Arizona, Charita Stubbs had no desire to be a coach. However, she trusted God’s calling into the profession and has spent much of her 20-year career as an assistant at her alma mater. Stubbs is active with FCA, and she has transformed from an aggressive competitor into a coach who desires to help her student-athletes fully develop in all areas of life.
FCA: What faith lessons have you learned as a coach?
CS: One of the keys to longevity in this is to be vulnerable—to say things like, “I can’t do this by myself,” and, “I don’t know everything.” I believe it’s one of the key components I’ve learned about being a Christian—I have to say I can’t do this. I need God, I need Jesus, I need His direction, I need His hand telling me what I need to do.
FCA: How do you relate to this generation of student-athletes?
CS: I spend time before and after practice trying to get to know them as people. When you get to know them as people, you can get more out of them as a coach. But if I come at them just from a coaching perspective, then they don’t know my story, they don’t know the path I’ve walked, they don’t know where my heart is. And then they’re always going to push back. I tell them all the time that you’re always on stage. Someone’s always looking. When you walk away, I want someone to say, “Hey, there’s something about her.” They may not know Christianity, but hey, there’s something about her.
FCA: How do you incorporate your faith into interactions with your student-athletes?
CS: There’s a Bible sitting on my desk, and everyone knows I go to FCA Camp. Last year, we had a player who was struggling with her confidence. I told her, “This is happening for a reason. I won’t profess to know what that reason is, but it’s happening for a reason, and you’re going to have a great testimony to tell when this is all over with. There’s someone watching you, seeing how you’re handling it, and you’ve just ministered to another person.” That’s the part we miss, that ministry doesn’t (just) mean I walk up to you and say, “Well, Jesus loves you.”
FCA: How have you been involved in FCA, and how has it impacted your faith?
CS: I love the environment (at FCA Camp). I love being in a place where I am with other believers because I can’t do it here in college as much, where I coach in the gym, and I get to equate it all back to the Bible. You can just see the kids’ eyes open up. It makes my walk and my resolve become stronger.
I started a women’s group last year. We got together on Mondays at 7 a.m. for an hour. It was very enlightening getting to know other coaches and what they’re going through. The reality was I needed to be filled; oftentimes we just give, give, give, and after awhile I’m giving from an empty tank. So I needed that to fill me up and to learn and get ideas.
FCA: What have you learned from God through this season of life?
CS: That she stood for truth and honesty. She was hard. She was honest. But she cared. She pulled more out of me than anyone ever could have.
I want them to say that I understood my purpose. And if they understand their purpose, I’m walking on Cloud Nine.
FCA Staff Quote:
“If we had coaches who love Jesus like Coach Charita, the culture of sport would be transformed overnight. Coach has been involved with our weekly Bible studies the last few years, and her influence inside Arizona athletics goes far beyond her coaching ability. I look forward to seeing what God will continue to do through her influence on and off the court.”
- Richard Lopez, Arizona FCA Campus Director & Athletic Chaplain
Photos courtesy of Arizona Athletic Communications