When Chris Svarczkopf announced he was going to be stepping down as the football coach at Bishop Dwenger (Ind.) after 40 years, the school knew it would need both a leader with vision and someone who could provide at least a modicum of stability. Plenty of candidates stepped forward who could provide for the first requirement. Very few could accomplish the second.
One man could, he just happened to serve in a particularly unique role in campus: He’s the campus minister.
As reported by the Journal Gazette, Bishop Dwenger’s new football coach is Jason Garrett (no, not that one), the man who has previously served as the program’s offensive coordinator. In a more official and important role on campus at the Catholic school, he is also the campus minister, where he is charged with ensuring that Catholic spirituality and doctrine remains seamlessly interwoven in the school’s educational plans.
In a fascinating twist, rather than limit his opportunity to chase the position, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend actually supported his candidacy of the job, even comparing the two positions and their drive.
“(Bishop Rhoades) actually had shared that he thought the position would very closely match the pastoral ministry job,” Garrett told the Journal Gazette. “It was the piece, beyond the blessing of my wife, that propelled me into the position initially.”
Now that he has the job, Garrett is focused on filling out his staff and getting through the baseball season, where the father of 11 is also the head coach.
“I would just hope that under my leadership, we could continue to play the style that’s known as Bishop Dwenger football,” Garrett said. “I think the game serves itself to physical play, and I think that’s something that was instilled in me as a player. We want to play the game to be aggressive, to be competitive every play.”