What does 52 years of purpose fueled by faith as a husband, coach and disciple-maker look like? It looks much like Coach Dwight Lundeen, head football coach at Becker High School in Minnesota.
Since 1970, Lundeen has taken on the role of teacher, athletic director and coach at Becker High School, with 2022 marking his 53rd season as the head football coach and only one to ever run the program.
As a young man fresh out of college at St. Cloud State University with just one year of being on staff at Becker as a teacher, Coach Lundeen was given the opportunity to build the football program from the ground up.
“My goal in life is to try and impact young people in a positive way through the coaching doors the Lord has opened up for me.” - Coach Dwight Lundeen
Never did he imagine that this “yes” to start the football program would offer him so many years to use his influence as a coach to encourage, equip and pour into his athletes.
His influence doesn’t stop there. As a collegiate track athlete, Coach Lundeen was first introduced to FCA at St. Cloud State and got involved in the campus Huddle. Upon graduating, he and his wife began building relationships with local FCA staff in the Minnesota area, which eventually led to them starting the first FCA Huddle at Becker High School.
Forty years later (and counting), Lundeen still faithfully leads the Huddle at the high school.
Coach Lundeen deeply values modeling his faith to those he gets to influence and has grown to love what FCA brings to the world of sport.
“I think FCA and coaching is a great combination,” Lundeen said. “I can model the things I need to—loving my wife and my family, my language, as well as my role as a community member and being active in church.”
He continued, “FCA gives me the opportunity to share Christ. In our society right now, the word coach carries a lot of weight — ‘Coach said’ seem to be very impactful words. We’ll continue to do that.”
However one chooses to define “success” as a coach, Lundeen is one who is familiar with winning. He’s been named “Coach of the Year,” has been inducted into the Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA) & Minnesota Interscholastic Activities Administrators Association (MNIAAA) Halls of Fame and has helped his teams achieve 19 conference titles and 14 section titles.
With this type of career and recognition, he’s been given ample opportunities to speak at a variety of different camps and clinics where he often shares about his faith-centered approach and experiences as a coach.
“I’ve been all over many different camps and clinics, and I always say that I think we win because of the culture we’ve created,” Lundeen said. “I share that my filter is ‘Christ-centered’ and faith is the most important thing in my life.”
While winning games is something every coach hopes to achieve as they train and lead their athletes, this has not been Lundeen’s ultimate coaching vision.
“My purpose is to use football as a life-lesson setting so that we can draw kids to Christ by modeling the things we should model… and by inviting them to FCA.”
In Lundeen’s experience, if you invite a young person to an FCA Huddle, they will be given the opportunity to hear the Gospel and put their faith and belief in Jesus for the first time.
With athletes from all different types of churches and backgrounds, Lundeen still strongly encourages them to not just attend FCA, but to be a part of their local church.
The influence of Coach Lundeen through the football program and FCA Huddle at Becker will bear stories of incredible impact for years to come. When asked if he had any advice or encouragement to share with other young coaches or athletes, he shared:
“If you’re going to stand at all in any activity, you have to have a clear vision of what your goal is and what your purpose is. The scoreboard can’t define who you are and what you stand for. It’s still a game… just a game.”
Coach Lundeen’s purpose, identity
, and calling have remained laser-focused on leading in faith and showing Christ’s love to every person he has the chance to influence.
We love hearing stories of how God has used FCA to minister to coaches and help them reach and influence athletes with the Gospel. Please pray that the Lord would continue to use Coach Lundeen and others like him to be disciples that make disciples. This is the heartbeat of FCA!
You can learn more about Minnesota FCA here.