Home Coyote Spotlight ‘Globetrotters of Faith, Family and Football’ – Coyotes Set to ‘Defend the Shield’

‘Globetrotters of Faith, Family and Football’ – Coyotes Set to ‘Defend the Shield’


(PALM SPRINGS) – When the three-time champion SoCal Coyotes return to the field again this fall for their seventh season, they carry the sovereign ‘weight of the shield’ on their shoulders as proclaimed ‘Globetrotters’ of faith, family and football.’

Nearly 12,000 Facebook ‘likes’ indicate how a growing public supports this faith-based pro football ministry. The Coyotes viciously ‘Defend the Shield’ of Faith, Family and Football, and rely on sustaining support from sponsors and private donors. More than 300 young men have matured in the Coyote program, with many advancing to camps in the National Football League, Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League. With priority on faith, fatherhood and family values, the Coyote organization has been recognized by the Desert Christian News for “building champions by building men.”

The Coyotes are respected for their strict Player Code of Conduct; Head of Household Work Leadership program (HOWL); and widespread community service. Their players are frequent speakers, teachers, coaches and volunteers in regional schools, businesses, churches and charities, including Boys & Girls Clubs; Rotary International; YMCA; Boy Scouts of America and Desert Strength Academy.

Everywhere the Coyotes play, they spread a message of hope. The Coyotes exhort players to fulfill their human potential, encouraging them to practice daily ethical skills and competencies associated with effective leadership. Veteran wideout Rashad ‘The Franchise’ Roberts, who holds every club receiving record, describes the Coyotes ‘footprint’ as “more than ‘just football’ … we’re working hard every day to become better fathers, better leaders, better friends, better men.”

In the past year alone, Coyote players have administered their published leadership curriculum to more than 30,000 students, while offering motivational coaching clinics, and teaching intramural football.

“True leaders are brokers of their gifts,” says head coach J David Miller, a unanimous 2013 selection to the AAA Football Hall of Fame. Coach Miller is the 2015 APFL Coach of the Year; the 2014 Southern California Football Alliance Offensive Coach of the Year; and the 2012 AAA National Coach of the Year. In six seasons, his Coyote teams are 49-10. Their vaunted Run ‘n’​ Shoot attack has led six different leagues in total offense, with five consecutive bowl appearances, two amateur league titles, one professional championship and a national champion runner-up.

“Our players are developed  to discover and nurture their gifts – then distribute them by the way they play, act, believe and behave, on and off the field. Among football teams, we are determined to lead the nation in prayer, mentor young men, instill faith-based initiatives in their lives and homes, and challenge them as men.”

Says NFL prospect, decorated Marine and war veteran Jake Sheffield, who is working on his master’s degree at Arizona State University, “Every day, you’re either getting better or worse, and someone’s following you. You have no idea who is watching you, but you will be held accountable.”

The Coyotes’ published leadership curriculum is embraced by public schools, and players and coaches annually send thousands of inspired students home with refreshed leadership qualities they didn’t realize they possessed.  “Don’t let one second of stupid bring a lifetime of regrets,” cornerback Ridge Turner recently told an auditorium of at-risk youth. As a benchmark program that raises the competence, conscience, and compassion of its players, the Coyotes are also “advocates and protectors for those less fortunate, challenged or struggling, and passionate about serving as community role models.”

For the Coyote organization this means attention to every detail, “right down to pulling up game socks and tucking in jerseys,” says Shane Helms, assistant head coach and Senior VP of community development. “It’s a message that now resonates from player to player.” Stewards of their faith, the Coyotes have donated thousands of dollars to the Palm Springs Unified School District, and financially supported the football programs in the stadiums where they have played.

The perspective of quarterback Michael Karls, who was honored this spring as the APFL’s Most Valuable Player, personifies the Coyote program.

“If God can’t trust you with the little things, how can He trust you with the big things?” asks Karls, who graduated with a business degree from Midland University.  “Every detail counts. For me, something as simple as tucking in my game jersey is sending a message, especially to God. “I’m saying, ‘Yes, Lord, I get it. I’m listening. I want to be an example. I’m willing to do even the smallest things to give thanks, to be that leader you called me to be, and to get better every day.’”

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