My Story: Jake

How a linebacker at Arizona got right with God.

Jake Fischer with Amber Wiley

My family used to go to church but stopped going after a close family friend was killed in an accident.

When I came to college, I knew I needed to get back into church. I started going to a few Bible studies and they didn’t feel right. But then I went to Coach Ed’s Bible study.

Coach’s Bible study was different. I felt like I could relate to my teammates. I felt comfortable and he explained what he was teaching from the Bible and how it’s affected his life.

I began attending our team Bible study regularly in spring 2011, around the same time I tore my ACL. One day after Easter everything just changed for me in one day. I went to church with an old roommate, Tyrone, and the pastor was saying to open up your arms and let God take you.

So I did. From then on, there has been a big difference.

I said yes to God that day. I knew He was up there, but because of past situations with my family and friends’ deaths, I wasn’t living for the Lord. I was living for myself, being selfish.

I needed a relationship with God. My life wasn’t going anywhere without Him.

Tyrone would come and sit on my bed and read scripture to me after my ACL surgery. He got me going back to church, then I started going to Coach Ed’s study and then I would take Tyrone with me to Coach Ed’s Bible study.

Coach will put us on the spot and say, “Hey, what do you think of this?” but I feel comfortable. The Bible study is a safe place but I’m not going to hear fluff. I’m with my brothers in Christ.

I look up to Coach Ed because he’s real. He gives everything to you straight. I can talk to him about everything. I’ve even gone to him for certain personal things and he gives his honest opinion. I like that he doesn’t sugar coat.

After I injured my knee, I went to Coach Ed for a bunch of things. He had a knee issue before, so I trust him. He told me what to work so I can get back in the game faster.

I believe true leaders need to have faith. Coach Ed has unshakable faith. I want to model myself after him because of how real he is. I can go to him with questions because he studies the Bible and it’s cool because it makes me want to do the same thing.

I’ve learned a lot from him that you can’t learn at church. In our team Bible study he really takes time to explain things. Sometimes we read the Bible and don’t catch things, but Coach Ed reads it so much that he finds the meaning, studies it and unpacks it for us.

That’s really cool.

What if you asked God for forgiveness and purpose and He said, “No?” Well, he didn’t. And He doesn’t. The dynamic on the team and with coach is good. I know I need encouragement and challenge from people in my life like Coach Ed.


Jake Fischer plays football for the University of Arizona Wildcats. He is applying for business school in fall of 2012 in hopes of acquiring his MBA. He will continue playing football as long as he is able.

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