Living in New Zealand as a young child like I did, I’ve always had a fascination with rugby even though we didn’t play it in my neighborhood growing up. One of my favorite movies of all time is Invictus, about the South African rugby team (and Nelson Mandela), going up against the world famous usually-dominant New Zealand All Blacks. Rugby is a sport that seems to me incredibly intense—both mental and physical, strategic and barbaric. One of my favorite “I’m a Mormon” testimonies is from of one of the most winningest coaches of all time, the world-renowned Highland High School (Salt Lake City, Utah) rugby coach, Larry Gelwix.
Over his 30 year career, Coach Gelwix’s teams posted an incredible 419 and only 10 losses. They won 19 USA Rugby national championships in the 26 years USA Rugby has sponsored a national championship. In 1998, Highland represented the United States at the World Schools Rugby Championship in Zimbabwe, Africa, which brought together the individual country high school national champions and top teams from around the world. Highland came home with a bronze medal and a third-place world finish.
The movie Forever Strong is based on Coach Gelwix’s experience. Larry and his wife, Cathy, have also served in numerous callings in the Mormon church including serving as mission presidents of the California Fresno Mission (2011 to 2014). They live in the Salt Lake City, Utah, USA area and are the parents of 5 children.
If you do nothing else, please Click Below to view Coach Gelwix’s “I’m a Mormon” testimony:
Click Below to view a really cool interview/overview about Coach Gelwix that asks an important question, “What Team Do You Play For?”
And, if you want to hear more, Click Below to hear Coach Gelwix speak on what he calls, “Five Winning Strategies for Life.” It’s excellent if you have the time to check it out.
Want even more info. about Coach Gelwix?
Click Here to read an article about Larry Gelwix and his wife, Cathy, as the mission presidents in Fresno, California (USA)
Click Here to view Coach Gelwix’s overview on Wikipedia.
If you read this, Coach, we appreciate your example, your leadership, and the service you’ve given to all the boys on your team, the community, and the world of high school rugby as a whole. You’ve changed a lot of lives … and touched even more than you know. Thank you from the bottom of all of our hearts.
Patrick Laing – The Daily Mormon – Portland, Oregon USA