April 26, 2006 — Hobbs, NM. Jeff McCool, men’s head basketball coach at New Mexico Junior College, will be named to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Wall of Champions in the New Mexico Activities Association’s Hall of Honor in Albuquerque on April 30.
According to Monty Gavin, Director of the New Mexico FCA, McCool will be presented with a Wall of Champions plaque along with an FCA gold medallion. In a recent letter, Gavin expressed his appreciation to McCool. “This is a very special honor bestowed by FCA on those who are bright lights for Christ on campuses and in communities across our state. Ultimately, we honor God and how He works through people like you to accomplish His ends. We praise God and thank Him for you,” wrote Gavin.
McCool has been affiliated with the college’s FCA chapter since 1994. According to McCool, this is “one of the greatest honors” he has ever received and is “extremely humbled” by its significance. “In sponsoring the FCA chapter at NMJC, I’ve been given a wonderful opportunity—as well as a tremendous responsibility—in working with the many outstanding young Christian athletes here. You hear a lot about college kids getting in trouble nowadays, but these kids are the cream of the crop. They’re good, responsible students who live for more than the moment, and they’re undeniably the leaders of tomorrow. It’s humbling to be part of something so significant.”
McCool, who is stepping down at the end of the spring semester as head coach to devote full time to teaching economics at the college, also serves as director of the Del Norte Center and oversees the college’s Wellness Program. He has been employed at NMJC for twelve years and has served as head coach since the 1999-2000 season. To Richard Morris, NMJC’s Athletic Director, the FCA honor came as no surprise. “As a coach, he’s always had the very best interests of his student-athletes at heart. As the FCA sponsor, he’s helped successfully shape the character of many a student through the years. This award is definitely well deserved.”
Lance Caviness, Director of Student Life, insists that McCool’s talent for teaching and listening has been at the heart of campus organization’s success. “I sincerely appreciate Jeff for understanding and believing that our students can learn outside of the classroom as well.
His leadership has meant a great deal to a number of students.” Eric Garcia, a sophomore sociology major from Hobbs, agrees. “The student members of FCA are proud of Jeff for winning this award, but mostly we thank him for all his educational and spiritual guidance.”
For President Steve McCleery, all of McCool’s contributions have been significant, but this one is exceptional. “Jeff has been an invaluable part of this college for a long time. He’s done a fantastic job every step of the way, whether it was in serving as assistant coach, teaching, directing Del Norte, heading our men’s basketball program, or serving as sponsor for the FCA. I’m incredibly appreciative of everything he’s accomplished professionally, but this award is an outstanding testimony to his personal integrity and dedication. I couldn’t be prouder of Jeff McCool or more appreciative for his service to FCA and those students who have looked to him as a Christian leader, friend, and mentor over the years. Perhaps that makes them the real winners.”
Mexico Junior College, 5317 Lovington Hwy, Hobbs, NM 88240
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