FCA is honored to announce Syracuse University’s head football coach Dino Babers as the recipient of the 2023 Grant Teaff Coach of the Year Award.
Named after Grant Teaff, former Baylor University coach, AFCA executive director and Trustee Emeritus of the FCA Board of Trustees, the Coach of the Year Award presented by FCA recognizes a football coach who exemplifies Christian principles and who is involved in FCA. The award is also based on the success and performance of the coach’s team that season.
“Fellowship of Christian Athletes has honored an outstanding coach who has impacted countless players over his successful career,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “We congratulate Dino Babers for not only his accomplishments but for the way he has touched the lives of countless players for God’s Kingdom.”
Babers has had a stunning coaching career: Babers earned two Ohio Valley Conference championships (2012-2013), two Mid-American Conference East Division championships (2014-2015) and one general Mid-American Conference championship (2015).
Personally, Babers is a two-time recipient of the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year award (2012-2013), the Atlantic Coach Conference Coach of the Year Award (2018), Eastern College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Award (2018), and won the Camping World Bowl in 2018.
A proud advocate of the Gospel, Coach Babers constantly talks about his faith to players and staff. He is faithful in his church attendance and speaks about it often, inviting other coaches and player to attend. Babers even rearranged the Sunday meeting schedule so players and staff can attend church. A model both on and off the field, Babers makes sure to keep his Christian witness and not lose his temper or use harsh language with his players or staff.
When it comes to FCA, Coach Babers has welcomed FCA involvement since 2018. He and his wife have supported the ministry both financially as well as hosting a regular FCA Bible study for coaches’ wives. Babers even allowed an FCA staff member to come and serve as a chaplain and lead team chapel before home football games.
“Coach Babers should receive this award because he demonstrates faith in action,” said FCA staff person William Payne. “One of his favorite Bible chapters is Hebrews 11 and he talks openly with his players about what faith is. He has consistently had players who are struggling with issues in their lives contact me for spiritual help and guidance. He truly cares for his players, not based on how they perform, but for who they are. He is a supporter and believer in FCA and a great example of a godly football coach.”
Visit the Awards Page for a list of previous Grant Teaff Award recipients.
Photos courtesy of Syracuse University Athletics and AP News/Karl B DeBlaker