Edmond North’s Andy Schneider: FCA All-State Coach Spotlight – Presented by Mercy Clinic Orthopedics

By John Tranchina

Andy Schneider had a peripheral connection to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) before, but it took the tragic death of his son Colton several years ago that led to him becoming fully immersed in it as the FCA coach/sponsor at Edmond North. And now he’s been recognized as the All-State FCA Coach of the Year.

Colton was a freshman at Edmond North and an FCA member at the time of his fatal ATV accident, so months later, the group invited Schneider, Edmond North wrestling coach, to address the group.

“They asked me to come speak, so I got to go talk about Colton, which I enjoy talking about him, and then they asked me to be sponsor,” Schneider recalls. “So now I’ve been the sponsor for the last couple of years now.”

It may seem like it would be a difficult ordeal for Schneider to bring up painful thoughts of his son’s death, but he enjoys keeping Colton’s memory alive by speaking about him.

“I’m proud of who Colton was, I enjoy getting to talk about him, so I think of it more as an opportunity and an honor to get to share with other people about Colton,” said Schneider, whose younger son Layton is in seventh grade, and is a wrestler/football player as well as a future Edmond North FCA member.

As the sponsor at Edmond North, Schneider tries to empower his students to be the ones in charge of what direction the FCA activities take.

“I think it’s a great organization for the kids to get involved,” Schneider said. “Really, all I do is kind of unlock the door. I’ll be the speaker once in a while, but we get guest speakers that come in, and basically, I’m just the go-to person for them, but I try to, as much as I can, have the students run and lead it, just so they can develop leadership skills and all those things.”

That is a big reason why Schneider has become such a huge proponent of FCA and the benefits that it offers to today’s student athletes.

“At Edmond North – I spoke on this last month in my speech (at the FCA All-State banquet) – it seems like we have a lot of students involved in FCA that aren’t even athletes necessarily,” Schneider said. “They’re just looking for a place to get plugged into. And of course, we have several athletes as well. I think a big mistake that happens with a lot of athletes is their sport becomes their identity.

“I coach wrestling, so if they’re a wrestler or a basketball player, one day that’s going to end, they’re going to play their last game and compete in their last wrestling match and then who are they as a person? Sometimes there’s a big struggle there. But FCA, over and over again, the speakers, we preach that their identity is in Christ, it’s not in their sport. There’s nothing wrong with working hard in their sport and achieving great things, but their true identity always lies in Christ, and that’s everlasting, it’s never going to go away.”