Football, Faith, and Getting Back to the Fundamentals

At the PAC Football Media Day in Latrobe last week, Coach DiDonato painted a nostalgic picture of what it’s like to be a Grover – to be immersed in a community of people who are dedicated to pursuing excellence not for their own benefit but because of their responsibility and commitment to one another.

DiDonato says, “Most of the greatest moments in my life happened at Grove City.” He reminisced about seeing his parents in the stands, cheering on his brother who played Wide Receiver and getting married in Harbison Chapel with five former GCC football players by his side. Needless to say, Grove City football has played an integral role in his life.


“To come back to Grove City College is to come back home.”



It’s the legacy of character and integrity modeled by leaders such as President McNulty, Athletic Director, Todd Gibson and former head coach, Chris Smith that shaped DiDonato and motivate him to instill similar values in his players. Of Coach Smith, he said it was an honor to “follow in the shoes of someone who was a father and brother.”

In shaping his vision for the team, DiDonato studied the Navy Seals and admired their attention to detail. The philosophy is: if you can’t trust your guys with the little things, how can you trust them with the big things?

Quarterback Brett Pinson sat to the coach’s right, nodding in agreement with DiDonato’s vision. The Coach said, “Brett is going to be successful because he’s faithful to the little things”

This is the largest class of incoming freshmen in the program’s history, so Pinson has a lot on his shoulders. He expressed excitement and passion to lead his teammates, choosing to focus on demonstrating and encouraging accountability among his peers.

DiDonato and Pinson both hope that the team’s faithfulness to the fundamentals and to one another will usher the Wolverines into a winning season. The dream, of course, is to experience the glory of a PFAC championship, but the ultimate goal is to direct the glory to the God who demonstrated the ultimate faithfulness to his “team.”

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