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Training for Sport, Training for Life

Athletics at Crown College

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The Athletic Department at Crown College sponsors 16 varsity sports and is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III, providing competitive opportunities for more than 250 student-athletes each year. Operating with the mission statement “Training for Sport, Training for Life,” the department’s coaches seek to influence the lives of their players for Christ, using their chosen sport as a platform.

A member of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC), Crown athletics has the opportunity to compete on a regional and national scale. The Crown men’s golf team recently competed in the Division III National Championships for the second consecutive year after winning back-to-back UMAC titles.

Training for Sport, Training for LifeSince 2008, when Crown officially became a Division III institution, 330 student-athletes have been honored with academic all-conference awards. Crown has also had four coaches voted UMAC Coach of the Year, three players earn Player of the Year recognition, and one, Brady Griffith, named an Academic All-American and UMAC Scholar Athlete of the Year. Alongside these notable honors, countless other players have earned all-conference awards.

Prepared Players

For all their accomplishments, it is the work done off the fields, courses, and courts that really set apart the student-athletes of Crown. From the soccer team preparing meals at Ronald McDonald House, to the football team packing meals for Feed My Starving Children, to the basketball teams hosting free camps for a local Make-A-Wish Foundation organization, the teams at Crown typically exceed 200 hours of community service throughout the year.

Training for Sport, Training for LifeIt is these experiences, coupled with a student’s academic and athletic experience, that allow coaches to speak more deeply into their players’ lives.

My goal as a coach is to prepare my players for a life with Christ at its center. We strive to give our players an excellent experience in every aspect of their college experience, but our primary goal is to help our players explore, understand, and deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ.

Director of Athletics Jamie Ross echoes those sentiments: “All our coaches have a passion for their sport but more importantly, a passion for the ministry of Crown College. We have a dedicated team [of individuals] who are experts in their sport but care even more about the academic and spiritual development of the players they recruit and coach.”

The Right Fit

Drew Zoromski, a former football student-athlete, stayed on at Crown after graduation and currently works in the school’s Admissions Department. “If given the chance, there is still nowhere else that I would want to play because this is where I know I belonged,” he says. “That’s the thing about being an athlete at Crown. From the first visit day to the last game of my senior year, I knew that this team was the right fit for me. There was an authenticity to the players I played with, and the coaches were focused on more than just the game itself. They wanted to challenge me; they wanted to shape and mold me. The players and coaches were constantly encouraging me to become a better man on and off of the field—mentally, physically, and spiritually. It’s this holistic growth that I strive to continue today.”

Training for Sport, Training for LifeFor all of the competitive success and growth that Crown athletics has experienced, stories like these are still the barometer for success. Crown College is a transformational experience for students, and athletics provides an added, real-world dimension to the learning and growth that make the college such a special place. That experience is best summed up by recent graduate Billy Beglund.

Billy, who is now attending Denver Seminary in Littleton, Colorado, was a basketball student-athlete who helped the Crown men’s team to a UMAC championship game during the 2013–2014 season. Billy sums up his experience at Crown: “I am very thankful for my time at Crown College as I was challenged in my faith and equipped to serve Christ in full-time pastoral ministry.

“I learned the values of discipline, integrity, and accountability as my coaches, teachers, mentors, teammates, and friends held me to a high standard in the classroom, on the basketball court, and in daily life. Due to the encouragement and investment I received at Crown, I feel rooted in Christ and prepared to go wherever God leads.”


Watch Crown College baseball coach, Mike Gmetro, tell the story of how God healed him from Crohn’s disease.

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