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Franciscan University of Steubenville Athletic Director Enshrined in Sports Faith Hall of Fame

May 29, 2015 - 1:53 PDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY

Chris Ledyard, 11 Other Catholic Athletes, Coaches, and Teams Honored

STEUBENVILLE, OH (May 29, 2015) - Chris Ledyard, Franciscan University of Steubenville's director of Athletics, was enshrined in the Sports Faith Hall of Fame in Chicago, Illinois, on Sunday, May 24, 2015. Ledyard was named College Athletic Director of the Year and selected for the Hall of Fame for his "remarkable dedication to sports and his faith."

Angela Tomlinson, co-founder of Sports Faith International, said of Ledyard, "We have found him to be an exemplary role model of living out his Catholic faith through sports. We see someone who gives 100 percent to spreading the faith and the formation of virtues in his players."

Ledyard secured his place in the Sports Faith Hall of Fame along with 11 other outstanding Catholic athletes, coaches, and teams. Among this year's inductees were Bob Cousy, point guard for the Boston Celtics from 1950-1963, John Lattner, the Notre Dame halfback who won the Heisman Trophy in 1953, and Bonnie Blair, one of the most decorated athletes in Olympic history.

Ledyard was hired as Franciscan University's coordinator of Recreation and Wellness in 1995. At the time, the University offered only intramural and club sports. Impressed by the faith dynamic in those teams, in 2007, Ledyard oversaw the implementation of a Christ-centered, virtue-driven intercollegiate athletic program that today includes 15 NCAA Division III teams for men and women and a nationally ranked men's rugby team. In the last school year alone, seven teams won conference championships or qualified for post-season play.

Franciscan's athletic teams are known for their spiritual practices, which include praying with members of the opposing team before or after a game, annual retreats, and developing spiritual traditions unique to each team. In 2013, the Athletic Department partnered with SportsLeader and developed a virtue program for players and coaches that draws on 72 virtues, such as humility, constancy, integrity, and magnanimity, and includes the teachings of St. John Bosco.

During his acceptance speech, Ledyard said, "[Student-athletes] are coming from all over the country, saying, 'You know what? I want to come here. I want to be with like-minded, faith-filled people as I live out my sports career.'"

Ledyard said that sports can be a noble vocation. "It's not just a game," he said. "It is what God has called you to at that time for that purpose. It's never just a game. Every time you step on the field or a mat or a court, it's an opportunity to grow in virtue."

More than 150 people attended the ceremony, which took place at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnshire and included Mass at the Church of St. Mary in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Afterward, Ledyard said being inducted into the Sports Faith Hall of Fame "is a confirmation of the work that's gone into the sports programs at Franciscan and the impact our athletes have on each other and on the sports culture in America. It's good to know that someone else recognizes the uniqueness of Franciscan's athletic mission."

For more information on Franciscan University's athletics programs, visit franciscanathletics.com.

Photo of Ledyard receiving the award: https://flic.kr/p/tsc6bL
Photo of Ledyard speaking at ceremony: https://flic.kr/p/tJA9oP
Photo of 2015 Sports Faith Hall of Fame Inductees: https://flic.kr/p/tJNpZt

Contact

Franciscan University of Steubenville
http://www.franciscan.edu
OH, 43952 US
Tom Sofio - Associate Director of Public Relations,

Keywords

Chris Ledyard, sports, award, Franciscan University Athletics, Sports Faith Hall of Fame

Category

OTHER

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