COACHES CORNER

Thankful for Charleston Southern, A Program Based on Faith in God

Dick Cox

November 21, 2022 at 5:45 pm.

CSU basketball coach Barclay Radebaugh (left) and Lindy’s columnist Dick Cox (right) sit down for an interview.

We celebrate Thanksgiving this week.

Of course, we should be thankful every day, but especially during this holiday season. One of the things about which to give thanks is for having men like Barclay Radebaugh, the head basketball coach at Charleston Southern.

Charleston Southern is a Baptist University located in Charleston, SC. Barclay Radebaugh is the dean of coaches in the Big South Conference. He has started his 18th season as the Buccaneers’ coach and during those years, he has seen many ups and downs. But one thing that has remained consistent has been Radebaugh’s strong faith in God, and putting God first in all things.

“Every day is a blessing!” he said. “It has been a long journey. Coaching is a fast-paced, intense profession, but Jesus is my rock! He has been there every step of the way. There is never a win that He will love me more or a loss that He will love me less.”

“My faith is in Jesus and my love and passion is in coaching, It’s why I have stayed here so long. I have enjoyed every minute here at CSU and I cannot imagine spending 18 years anywhere else.”

During his coaching tenure at Charleston Southern, he ranks seventh all-time in Big South history in overall victories (165) and ninth for league wins (84). He is a two-time Big South Coach of the Year. In 2012, he led CSU to its most overall wins (19) and Big South victories (11) since 1994-95.

Barclay accepted Jesus as his Lord and personal savior at the age of 13 years old at an Albert Long crusade. Albert Long was the last four-sport letterman at the University of North Carolina and a world renowned Christian speaker.

Charleston Southern is a faith-based University that allows Radebaugh leeway to share his personal faith.

“CSU has been a perfect fit for me,” Radebaugh said. “It has allowed me to coach the great game that I am beyond passionate about. During those two hours of practice each day, I feel God’s presence. Charleston Southern has given me the chance to combine both things.”

Radebaugh shared that his wife, Hope, and her faith have had a big impact on his life.

“I trust God in all things,” he said. “God will use all things for His glory. As a believer, He will use the highs and lows. He will use the positives and negatives to draw you into a deeper relationship to Himself.”

Having been a college and high school coach for 37 years, I can relate to the pressures and parts in society that are not consistent with faith. When asked how he incorporates faith into his program Radebaugh said, “as a coaching staff when we work with our young men, we don’t worry about the mistakes. We just want their hearts to grow in their faith in God. We focus on praying that God will change their hearts.”

His message to young Christian coaches is to “let your actions match your words.” He said that he wasted his first three years coaching because his words did not match his actions.

With the world the way it is today, I asked Radebaugh if players today are receptive to his program built on faith.

“That’s a great question!,” he acknowledged. “Players are receptive to forgiveness, honesty, integrity, to good types of discipline, hard work and consistency. If they see that, their hearts will open to the other things you want to teach them. Not all are receptive, but they are receptive to the good things of coaching.”

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we can be thankful that there are still coaches out there like Barclay Radebaugh who are not afraid to put God first and build their basketball programs on strong Christian faith.

The Coaches Corner: Faith in Sports with Barclay Radebaugh