Washington D.C., May 6, 2021 / 03:01 am
College football is an intense competition that challenges young men to push their abilities to the limits. Catholic University of America Head Football Coach Mike Gutelius takes this challenge to a whole new level by training his players in philosophy.
“There’s glory to be had if you’re willing to sacrifice. That resonates deeply with young men,” Gutelius said.
Now in his 30th year of coaching, Gutelius has instituted a program in which he teaches the Catholic University Cardinals the cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude
“As I’ve done this as an assistant and now a head coach, I’ve been going through all these leadership books and it seems like a new one comes out every ten minutes,” Gutelius said. “There is a certain wisdom that’s about 2000 years old that’s available to me. And I’m finally at a place, coaching as the head coach of Catholic U, where I can coach these virtues as a model of how to operate your day to day life and also be a good team member.”
Gutelius, a 1992 graduate of CUA, returned to his alma mater in 2016 in order to revamp the program. After his arrival, he began including presentations on the cardinal virtues in his team meetings.
“I looked around and saw that there is a tremendous wisdom in the Church and all virtuousness hinges on these four cardinal virtues. So, I thought, I’m crazy if I don’t access this incredible fountain of wisdom that’s out there in the Church.”
Gutelius said he centers his team on the cardinal virtues, with the goal of graduating his players with a degree, winning championships, and creating virtuous leaders.
Gutelius told CNA that focusing on the spiritual life has helped to change the culture of the team. He said that thinking about these virtues adds weight to his team’s decision making.