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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Sep. 9, 2020 1 month ago

Influencer of the Week: Brad Lord, Foundation Academy

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Brad Lord is the head football coach at Foundation Academy in Winter Garden.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

At Foundation Academy, head football coach Brad Lord has reached hundreds of students and helped them move on to the next level both academically and athletically. Lord has been the school’s head football coach since 2008 and helped built the football program into a success. Lord’s dedication to the school is evident through his heart for having a positive impact on the lives of his players and the student body. 

 

What brought you to your school?

I was drawn to the school, because my daughters went there. When they started football, I knew they needed a lot of help, and I’d coached in the public school system and played college football. I also really enjoyed Pastor Keith Yarborough. I knew him from the community. He was the youth pastor, so I did a lot of work with him with youth group. 

What do you love most about your school?

It’s a family, it’s a tight community. There’s a lot to do to run a school. The one thing I know since I’ve been there in my 15 years, there was no doubt for how much they love and care for the kids. All kids, every kid. They’re a very loving faculty and administration, and it’s all about the kids. It’s about helping our kids develop to be better Christian citizens in the community.

What is your motivation?

Watching our kids develop in their skill level, watching our kids develop in their character and preparing our kids for college or whatever they have to do after high school. The world’s not the easiest place to live in, and like that old Rocky Balboa movie says, “Life’s going to knock you down. But it’s not how many times you get hit, it’s how many times you can get hit and keep moving (forward).” That’s been in my mind. It’s about preparing all our kids — not just our football players, but all our students — and (doing) whatever I can do to help them be successful at the next level or their next journey in life.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

When they come back four or five years later and still care about our school and still care about our football program. I get kids sometimes on Father’s Day (who) are telling me ‘Happy Father’s Day’ (who) have graduated five or six — or even eight or 10 — years ago. That’s special. That’s worth more. That’s why I do what I do. The kids are the influencers on me. They help me as much as I help them.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Golf and spend time with my family. And I’m not that good at golf. I’ve played for a long time — if we could call it playing. I have a lot of good friends who played pro golf … and I have a group of guys that are my best friends in the world who I play with.

Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school and why?

His name was Mr. Leavitt, and he taught Latin. He didn’t put up with any garbage from me — and I wasn’t the nicest kid growing up. He taught me a lot of lessons, and I wish I had listened to him more.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

Baseball player — no doubt about it. I wanted to play for the Boston Red Sox. I loved baseball all the way until high school, and then I started excelling at football. I played three sports in high school. I ran track, as well.

 

Danielle Hendrix is the Associate Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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