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MEET
Delaney Edwards
Northwest Georgia, • USA
Sport Administration and Coaching, MA
WHERE I STARTED

As a junior, I was excited to transfer to Bob Jones University to play basketball for the women’s team. Growing up in a Christian home, it was important for me to be mentored and discipled and I desired that on and off the court. My assistant coach, Maggi Wooster, became the life-changing influence I needed as a future coach.

WHY I NEEDED SCOPE

I was in the Health Science, Pre-Physician Assistant program and was planning to go to graduate school for a PA master’s degree. Because of my additional years of eligibility for basketball, I decided to stay at BJU. I started my master’s degree in Sport Administration and Coaching to satisfy academic requirements, but little did I know how God would use this degree to give me my calling.

WHAT I WANTED TO ACHIEVE

I am now the assistant women’s basketball coach at a NCAA Division III college. Through SCOPE, my master’s degree provided me with the biblical framework that I use as a coach every day. I am learning how to intentionally form relationships with my girls to reach their hearts for Christ and am excited to influence my team in a way my coaches influenced me.

Sport Administration and Coaching, MA
Credits
30
Next Start
Mar. 1
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Coaching is Now My Calling


I grew up in a Christian home. We went to church. My parents were very involved and very active in the church, so we were too. I was also very active in basketball, and my earliest memory of playing was with my dad, a basketball coach at our Christian high school. As a toddler, he would take me to many of his practices and each team of players became like a second family to me. His example not only taught me the game of basketball but also put a desire in me to eventually become a coach like he was. He pushed me to do whatever I set my mind to (which is nice to have in my corner). It's always helped me to know someone is there cheering me along but also knowing and challenging me that I can do more. What has been special is that my parents have always been there to support me.

My dad made it to probably every basketball game - even the ones far away. He has been such a consistent source of strength. I can remember a moment during one of my games in middle school when I tore my ACL and my dad was there. I remember he scooped me up in his arms, carried me off the court, and told me it was going to be ok. I'll never forget that moment. 

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Choosing a Christian University 
As a junior, I decided to transfer from another college to Bob Jones University to play basketball for the women’s team. Growing up in a Christian home, it was important for me to be mentored and discipled by people who shared the Christian worldview that I desired to have on and off the court.

Meeting Other Mentors
Shortly after I arrived, my assistant women's basketball coach, Maggi Wooster, became the life-changing influence I needed at that time in my life (and still is today). 

"Delaney was one of my players at Bob Jones University. I got to create a relationship with my players where I can be the person that they can come to because they can't always go home and talk to mom and dad. And so they come to me and we are able to build this relationship and bond."
-
Maggi Wooster, Assistant Women's Basketball Coach

I was very competitive and was driven to be the best I could be on the court. I remember Maggi working with me to help me understand that missing a shot or not winning a particular game wasn't the end. I didn't need to beat myself up over those things. In fact, they were moments I could really learn from. Maggi would always point me to the Lord and to scripture to help me see truth. Like my dad, she became a trusted counselor and a friend, even being there for me during a pretty serious injury. On a road trip, far away from home, I dislocated my shoulder after colliding with an opponent while going up for a rebound. I wanted to keep playing through the pain and win the game. I didn't realize how much my adrenaline was masking the pain. Maggi witnessed the injury first-hand, helped me up, and encouraged me through the experience.

Deciding to Pursue a Master's Through SCOPE
I knew I loved the game and wanted to keep playing collegiate basketball. The easiest path to do that was to stay on at BJU for my master's to extend my time on the court. I got to play basketball for another couple of years, but what surprised me while going through the Master's in Sport Administration and Coaching program was that I truly loved coaching. It wasn't just my dad's dream; it became mine. I realized I could have a huge influence on my players for Christ. I also came to understand that being a good player was different than being a good coach. I learned many practical skills I now see as valuable and that I use every day in my coaching.

I chose to do my master's through SCOPE because it was online and it was an affordable way to get my degree and still take on a job or internship opportunity (which I was able to do at Covenant College while I finished my last semester). Being able to have that flexibility became very important to me. My professors and coaches also shared my Christian values, and they helped me realize that what I was doing was for an eternal value, more than just the wins and losses of games.

Getting My First Coaching Role
Before I stepped foot on campus, I didn't know much about the college or its longstanding basketball legacy (a NCAA Division III school with over 100 years of basketball history). I chose to take the job of Assistant Women's Basketball Coach because it was a great opportunity to get my start in coaching, to meet new people, and to be in a new atmosphere.

"When I first heard that she had gotten the job there, I was extremely impressed, because not many people get an opportunity like that at such a young age with as little coaching experience as she had. I think that she can be extremely successful at the college level. She has an understanding both as a player and now as a coach."
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 Dr. Tony Miller, Sport Management and Coaching Master's Program Coordinator

Carrying On the Legacy of Mentorship
The head coach I serve under has been coaching for twenty-five years and has helped me learn and grow from his knowledge and experience. While I left behind face-to-face connection with close friends and mentors in South Carolina, I feel like I've found a new mentor here - and that has challenged me to start becoming a mentor myself to my team of players.

One experience that I've already had in discipling others is simply being able to be out on the court with my players, listening to their concerns about how they're playing or what they're not doing, and working through that with them. But then that relationship also rolls over to off the court, being able to see them for who they are as a person and how I can help them grow in their faith and walk with the Lord. 

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Lifelong Discipleship, Lifelong Friendships
I believe that discipleship is important because of the lasting impacts it has. In college, those are really formative years. Being able to disciple through sports is just an amazing platform that I've been given. I am able to use sports to glorify God and help others along their journey. That's really what inspired me to go into coaching. Past coaches discipled and mentored me and that is what I want to emulate. You get to have such an impact on each student's experience if you see them for who they are as a person and not as just a basketball player.

The friendships you form with your mentors are lifelong. Maggi and I continue to text weekly (well, sometimes daily) little bits of encouragement, verses, songs, and things we learn from our Bible reading. Her influence on my life continues but in a different way. She has helped me grow and has inspired me to carry that influence forward.

“I knew she would be a great fit in her new role. It made me sad that she was moving away but I was so proud of her!”

Maggi Wooster, Assistant Women's Basketball Coach
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