Dietzel Elected to FCA Hall of Champions
Oct. 20, 2014
Paul Dietzel, former LSU, Army, and South Carolina football coach and a pioneer of the ministry, has been elected to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Hall of Champions, FCA president and CEO Les Steckel announced today.
Coach Dietzel used his influence as one of the most recognized names in college sports to help guide FCA in its infancy as a board member, national speaker, donor, volunteer and coach. He played football at Duke University until enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a B-29 Bomber Pilot for WWII. After the war, he continued to play at Miami of Ohio until 1947. He attended his first summer camp in Estes Park in 1958 and returned as a speaker for the next five years, inspiring athletes for decades.
Dietzel’s head coaching career includes LSU, Army and South Carolina. He was the recipient of numerous football coaching awards, such as SEC Coach of the Year and AFCA National Coach of the Year with LSU’s national championship in 1958, and the inaugural FCA Christian Coach of the Year in 1971. He is responsible for penning the LSU and South Carolina Fight Songs and lent anchored credibility to his partnership with FCA.
Coach Dietzel spoke with passion and conviction at hundreds of FCA events throughout his lifetime and served as FCA Board of Trustees Chairman from 1963-1967, and Vice President from 1961-1962. He commanded respect. Though he passed away in 2013, Dietzel’s influence lives on in service to the ministry he dedicated himself to.
“This is an outstanding class entering the Hall of Champions,” Steckel said. “These four individuals have spent decades making a tremendous impact on the world for Jesus Christ through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. They’ve given selflessly to ensure the word of God continues to stand at the forefront of FCA’s mission to present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships in the fellowship of the church.”
With the addition of Dietzel, Chalmers, Hatchell and Thomas, the Hall of Champions now includes 86 members. The honorees are determined by an FCA selection committee following a nomination process that includes staff, volunteers, athletes and members of the organization’s Board of Trustees. This year’s inductees join many sports legends like Tom Landry, Bobby Bowden, Tom Osborne, Archie Griffin, Branch Rickey, Tony Dungy, Mike Singletary, and Roger Staubach. The full list of Hall of Champions members is available at FCA.org.
Each inductee will be honored with a plaque bearing a sculpture of their likeness that will remain in the Hall of Champions in FCA’s National Support Center in Kansas City. A replica will be presented to the honoree at an appropriate special event sometime this year.
The Hall of Champions was established in 1991 to honor individuals who have demonstrated a consistent commitment to Jesus Christ through the ministry of FCA. They are considered volunteer “All Stars” who have given above and beyond the call of duty and have upheld the Four Core Values of FCA – Integrity, Serving, Teamwork and Excellence.