WINONA LAKE – Chad Briscoe’s eyes light up and a huge smile crosses his face when he talks about returning as the Director of Athletics at Grace College.
There’s no hiding the fact that he’s pleased as punch to once again be the man in charge of the direction of the Lancer athletic programs.
“I’m just very thankful, very humble and very excited to be back at Grace,” said Briscoe during a recent interview in his office. “Many of the coaches here are ones who I hired previously and people who have a heart and a strong passion for what they do.”
Briscoe, an energetic and passionate man with an impressive resume, served a very successful stint at Grace from 2007-11. He spent the last two years as the Athletic Director at Mooresville High School just outside of Indianapolis before returning to Grace in mid-summer.
“Our teams here have progressed and moved forward since I left and continued positive growth,” said Briscoe, who replaced Bailey Weathers. “That’s good to see.”
Briscoe, who was a standout basketball player at Anderson University and then played in Sweden, also feels very good about the support of the administration.
“Dr. Katip (the president of Grace) is passionate about athletics and he understands what athletics is about,” Briscoe said. “That within itself is such a blessing for our school.”
Briscoe, who was named the Mid-Central Conference AD of the Year in 2010, feels so strongly about the role sports play in the lives of Grace College student athletes.
“Every life lesson is taught in the arena or on the field,” said Briscoe. “It’s all about character building and having our athletes grow spiritually and graduate. Those go hand-in-hand.
“We want to provide experiences for our athletes that will shape them for the rest of their lives. Grace is not just for four years. It is part of the rest of their lives. We want our athletes to grow spiritually, academically and socially. If athletics can play a small part in that, we’ve been successful.”
Briscoe, who coached at Ball State and also spent time working in the minor league system for the Texas Rangers, expects great success from Grace athletics.
“The most important thing for us is character and to do everything above reproach,” said Briscoe. “There is no place at all for compromise when it comes to Christian excellence.
“We can achieve greatness here and we want to achieve greatness with our athletic teams. If character is in place, then winning takes care of itself. It’s about everyone being accountable to the expectations we have as a faith-based, Christian college.”
Briscoe was instrumental in some great things during his first tenure on the Grace campus. He arranged for the tradition-rich men’s basketball program to play its first-ever game versus a Big Ten foe at Indiana University in 2009. Briscoe also was instrumental in getting Grace to serve as host for the the NCCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball championships from 2012-14, the first time ever that both tournaments had been held at the same site.
Briscoe also wants to make sure that Grace is a part of the community.
“A focal point for me is that we’re all on the same page and there is not a separation,” said Briscoe. “I want there to be a bridge to the community that we are part of.”
Briscoe and his wife Jamie have two daughters in Kate and Kinley.
“When I left here, I felt it was the Lord’s calling and I had a great two years at Mooresville,” related Briscoe. “There are many reasons why I came back to Grace. This is my niche. I feel this is where I fit. I love Christian college athletics, where I can incorporate my faith every day into what I do.”