!Please Note!

You are using an outdated browser that may impact your experience on FCA.org.
Please upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer here or download another browser like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
Once you upgrade, this notice will no longer appear.

From Athlete to Coach

Published on March 07, 2023

This article appears in the Fall 2022 issue of the FCA Donor Publication. The FCA publication is a gift from our FCA staff to all donors giving $50 or more annually. For more information about giving, visit here.

As a walk-on football player at the University of Central Florida (UCF), Tristan Reeves overheard some people talking about the FCA Huddle and decided to join them. It was good timing, as he’d considered HbjLrrtMreturning home to care for his mom and joining a drug-involved gang. John Evans, then-Director of FCA at UCF, stuck out his hand and immediately greeted him by name. “I was a freshman on the team, and some of my own coaches and teammates didn’t know my name, but here was this stranger who knew exactly who I was and he was happy to see me.”

The Lord made it clear that Reeves was to stay at UCF and get plugged in with FCA. He began attending FCA Huddles religiously. He became close with Evans and his wife Kathryn, and eventually became an FCA student leader who recruited his teammates and friends to attend FCAtiyHybwQ with him. Reeves says FCA taught him how to be vulnerable in front of his peers—before that he didn’t know it was allowed. He formed a deep relationship with Jesus and began to connect with him each day. FCA also taught him how to look at his platform as a student-athlete. “It was bigger than me playing football at UCF,” he said. “Thousands of people were watching me and saw what I was doing, and I saw it as an opportunity to show them Jesus.”

Reeves played football at UCF for five years. Following graduation, he began training athletes and last spring, he was offered a position at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, as a strength and conditioning coach. Doors keep opening for him, and now he’s also coordinating student-athlete success programs.

6sUfEm2Y(1)“His story is absolutely AMAZING, and he has gone on to be a ministry-minded husband, business owner and more,” said Antonio Hughes III, now-Director of FCA at UCF. “He attributes the majority of that to the influence that FCA has had on him.”

The college athlete impacted by FCA has now become the coach who is offering student-athletes the same encouragement he once received. “I love helping them develop to not just be stronger athletically, but to have character,” he said. “I help them get through mental blocks and physical barriers; I help them learn to handle adversity. It’s very special to be a part of that and watch the transformation.”


Photos courtesy of UCF Athletics and Emory University Athletics