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Super Bowl Winning Coach Leaves Football for Faith Calling

Former NFL Super Bowl Champion Assistant Head Coach Rocky Seto walks away from his lifelong football career to enter full-time ministry sharing his passion for Jesus’ saving grace. Read Transcript


- What else is gonna matter in the end?

Super Bowls aren't gonna matter,

national championshipsaren't gonna matter,

in the end, where do we rank Jesus

in all this stuff that God's given us

and simply put Jesus, there'snothing better than Jesus,

Jesus is the greatest treasure.

- A treasure trove thatRocky Seto lives for.

The successful NFL andcollegiate coach called

a career audible leavingfootball to devote

his energy training tohelp pastor the church

he once attended in southern California.

A decision announced aftera January 2017 playoff loss.

You go through that typicalend-of-season exit meeting.

What did you say?

- Coach Carroll made anannouncement to the team

that I'd be leaving the Seahawks

to go into full-time ministry

and Coach Carroll invited meup and to talk to the team

and got to talk aboutJesus and about the gospel,

the goodness of God and so I was able

to talk about that with the team

and then leave on thatnote, it was incredible.

I felt like the Lordprepared me for that moment.

- [Interviewer] And the response?

- They gave me a standing ovation

and a bunch of hugs and it was great.

It was like ridiculouslyencouraging and the Lord is good

and then after that, I stayedthere for another couple days,

cleaned out my officeand then that was it.

- [Interviewer] Even thoseclose to the team said listen,

quite honestly, Rocky hasbeen pastoring all along,

his employment justhappened to be football.

How has coaching prepared you?

- Oh, coaching and pastoringhave incredible parallels.

And God impressed upon my heart

how have I trained youover the last 20 years?

And then coaching, God'sraised me up to lead

and to develop leadersand that's what I'm called

to do is to lead, developleaders to love Jesus

and give 'em what they need andJesus defines leadership as,

he said, "I did not come to be served,

but to serve, to givemy life as a ransom."

- [Interviewer] It's the ambition of most

to get to what you just left.

- I think this is a bigpoint, it's God who's

the one that blessed and opened doors

to be coaching at USC, let alone coaching

at the Seattle Seahawks, it was all God.

When we know that, you know,

we don't hold on to like I gotta hold on,

'cause the trap is thinkingthat we're the ones

that could make this thing go.

God is the one that makes this thing go,

so it's always betterto be under God's Will.

- [Interviewer] What wasthe turning point for you?

- I thought about this maybe extensive

for the last seven years, God is it time

to go into ministry?

I just felt like I was gonnabe called into ministry

I just didn't know when and where.

- So Pastor Cory Ishidaof Evergreen Baptist

of the San Gabriel Valley, the church

I grew up in southern California called

me up and said, "Hey, I think you're gonna

"be my next Senior Pastor."

- For him, to make thismonumental decision

of leaving pro football toenter into the ministry.

I mean he makes decisionsbased upon what he feels

the Lord wants in his life.

And that is an invaluable attribute

and trait for a pastor.

Actually, it's aninvaluable trait for anybody

who calls upon the name of Jesus.

- [Interviewer] A careerchange, a new opportunity,

divine appointment, what do you call it?

- Well certainly a callingand God calls people

to coach which he did forme for almost 20 years,

now he's called me to bea pastor at this church.

This is the ultimatething that we could do.

If he's called you to be an attorney,

a gardener, a homemaker,raising your children,

that's the ultimate calling.

And so, you treasure Jesusabove all things in your life.

I mean, he dominates your life.

Jesus, this is constantlyon your thoughts,

He in fact will impart hisdesires into your heart.

- [Interviewer] What's most misunderstood

about the Christ that we follow

in that culture has really grown dulled

to that you will stress?

- Jesus is the lamb of God,he's the sacrifice of God,

he has tenderness of Godand also he's a line Judah,

he's the Warrior God.

And football, they're using men,

and a certain type of man, right?

I mean, intense men,physically gifted men.

How is this type of man gonnafollow this type of Jesus?

So are we in the church presenting Jesus

in the way that he's most accurate?

In Revelation it describeshow Jesus is gonna

come back riding a horse with a sword,

getting ready to destroyall of his enemies

to set up his kingdom.

Do we realize that Jesushas a flame of fire

and when you see himhe's glowing like the sun

and when we see him,we're gonna be like whoa!

I could follow you andI need to follow you,

I will follow you.

Jesus is no longerplaying the lamb anymore,

he's the lion forever.

- [Interviewer] What have you learned

since becoming a pastor?

- Yeah, to be very clear whatGod has called on me to be

and preach the Word of Godin a Christ-exalting way.

So in essence, Tom, everytime we preach the Word,

we're bringing 'em Jesusand then raise up leaders.

Those two things.

- From the pulpit, withresponsibility of a congregation,

does he look any differentto you then he did before?

- Well I'm gonna steal a line

from one of my favoritemovies, Chariots of Fire,

and Eric Little, he goes,"When I run, God made me fast,

"and when I run, I feel his pleasure."

And when I teach andpreach the Word of God,

I feel God's pleasure in a different way

that I haven't even felt,even from coaching football,

which I love, but whenI teach the Word of God,

I feel God's pleasure in awhole deeper and different way.

(soft music)

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