Many baseball fans know the legacy of Branch Rickey, the man who signed Jackie Robinson to a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers and changed history. However, Rickey also had an eternal impact on millions of coaches and athletes — he was a driving force behind the creation of FCA.
To honor Rickey’s legacy, FCA is proud to award the Branch Rickey Service Award to recognize local FCA servants for their dedication and commitment to the community and to FCA. This year, the 2023 Branch Rickey Service Award is being given to Dwight Lundeen, a longtime FCA supporter and ally.
“Coach Lundeen has lived out his faith in an inspiring and gracious way, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to acknowledge His service to the Lord and his athletes with the Branch Rickey Service Award,” said Shane Williamson, FCA President and CEO.
Lundeen has been the head coach for the Becker High School football team in Minnesota for 53 years and has made an amazing impact on the athletes and families in the community. In his 53 years as head coach, Lundeen has amassed an overall record of 390-166-3 with three state championships, 19 section titles and 24 conference championships. He has also been the head track coach, head golf coach, assistant varsity basketball coach and assistant girls’ lacrosse coach while at Becker. Lundeen is the third winningest coach in Minnesota high school football history. Lundeen was named “Coach of the Year” and was inducted into the Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA) & Minnesota Interscholastic Activities Administrators Association (MNIAAA) Halls of Fame.
Lundeen has been a constant model for his family, community, school and athletic teams, including both athletes and coaches. His legacy of influence includes the thousands of players he has coached over the last 50 years and through the ministry of FCA. He has shown each one what it means to live for Christ in everything and to love and serve others with integrity.
Lundeen and his wife, Pam, modeled how to sincerely love the kids of Becker. They wanted nothing more than for every youth in Becker to come to a personal relationship with Jesus. Lundeen has led the local school FCA Huddle for over 40 years and assisted with organizing and leading the FCA Golf Camp for over 20 years.
Lundeen said, “I think FCA and coaching is a great combination. 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. 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.”
Randy Jensen, FCA Northland Region Director of Ministry Advancement, attests that Coach Lundeen’s impact on FCA has been incredible: “It has been my joy and privilege to know and work with Coach Dwight Lundeen for almost 40 years. I can honestly say that Dwight’s participation and involvement with FCA has put him in an elite class with only a select few others. Dwight’s involvement has included not only his leadership with the Becker FCA Huddle, but also with summer sports and golf camps, area rallies, state FCA coaches’ events and athletic director’s breakfasts, and more.”
Read a few stories honoring the legacy of Coach Lundeen and his dedication to high school athletics:
A Purpose Fueled By Faith
The Lundeen Legacy