Coach Gill Walked by Faith

His chance had come, and passed, and come again, and then passed again. Now Turner Gill was 42 years old, a once-great athlete, a demoted coach, a comfortable legend in Nebraska who suddenly wanted to be more. In the way men of faith often will, he looked to heaven for help. Where was his future? Where, God, did a man who had invested 17 years of his life turn when it was time to trek out alone? And if God was listening, and things such as the future of a football coach weigh on His mind, who could have known that the answer would be here, in wind-swept Buffalo, wedged between Niagara Falls and the scruffy downtown still hoping to catch up to the urban boom?

The worst football program in America, hands down. That’s what they called the Buffalo job because that’s what it was. Only 3,000 fans battling the brutal cold to watch brutal teams finish with records that read like the career obituaries of obscure coaches: 1-11, 2-9, 0-11.

When he left Nebraska, what was really interesting was he left without a job,” said Ron Brown, an assistant coach at Nebraska and one of Gill’s close friends. “He left out of a faith stance. It was a step of faith in God because Turner, as a Christian, believed God was calling him to leave Nebraska. A lot of people were like, ‘You’ve got to have a place to go, to have security.’ He felt God would provide that.”

(Coach Gill had to trust God  to allow him to be a head football coach. Read more of the above story on how Gill trusted God along  what the outcome was, Football: Walking by faith, to Buffalo and Lawrence.)

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