Dr. Ed Gomes, Liberty's football director of spiritual development
For Dr. Ed Gomes, sports and faith have always been connected.
Before Gomes found his place on the Liberty Athletics staff as the football director of spiritual development, he was a 1976 graduate of Liberty (then Lynchburg Baptist College). He was also a three-year starting point guard on the Flames Basketball team.
"I came to Liberty University on a basketball scholarship. Coach Manley called me, and I came to Liberty on an official visit — and just saw trees," Gomes recalled. "The only buildings on campus were the mansion and a white barn, and we played at Jefferson Forest High school."
Gomes still holds numerous records at the university. He set a single-season record with 256 assists and 137 steals during his senior season, and he's the school's all-time leader with 300 career steals, ranking fifth on the school's all-time list with 476 assists.
"Some of my favorite memories at Liberty were hearing and seeing Dr. Falwell's faith firsthand. At Liberty, I experienced consistent encouragement from my coaches, teachers, Dr. Falwell, and my teammates," said Gomes.
Many lessons Gomes learned during his time as a student-athlete helped prepare him for life outside of college.
"Teamwork, no matter where you are in life, is always important. Being a student-athlete helped me build relationships and learn how to relate to people from different backgrounds, and understand each other better," said Gomes. "You also learn self-discipline, because to be a good athlete, worker, husband, father, or grandfather, you have to be disciplined. Much of what I learned from athletics applies to everyday life."
Today, Gomes' day-to-day duties include overseeing the spiritual development of the football players by encouraging them to understand who they are in Christ and to use their God-given talents to impact others through whole-person development.
"What I enjoy most about my job working with student-athletes is helping them to relate their faith to everyday experiences," said Gomes. "To me, the greatest joy is seeing a student-athlete apply the Word of God to everyday life experiences," said Gomes.
He is responsible for setting up team chapels and discipleship programs as well as developing one-on-one relationships with coaches, support staff, players, and others outside the football program. Gomes also serves as the liaison between the university's Office of Student Affairs and the football program.
"The great, overwhelming lesson that Liberty University teaches is what faith and faithfulness can do. I'm so blessed to have been able to see things that Dr. Falwell saw in the early days become reality — the law school, medical school, and athletic facilities. When Dr. Falwell talked about these things in the early days, people thought he was nuts. But to see with my own eyes things that didn't exist when I was a student-athlete — it's a constant reminder of what faith can do!"
Dr. Gomes will soon add another accomplishment to his résumé: published author. Dr. Gomes book, "Leaving a Legacy," is a discipleship manual and guide for coaches, parents, and leaders to cultivate and shape relationships with the next generation. "Building a Legacy" is the companion student guide, which helps student-athletes learn to develop their relationship with Christ and with others.
The book will be released June 23, and you can purchase a copy at the Liberty University Barnes & Noble Bookstore, or online at www.Amazon.com or www.TatePublishing.com.
Story provided by the Liberty University News Office
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