LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Former Cedarville University soccer coach John McGillivray was welcomed into the NCCAA Hall of Fame during festivities held at Boyce College at Southern Seminary.
He was introduced by one of his former men’s players, Ben Belleman, who is currently the NCCAA Director of Membership and Compliance.
“The NCCAA Hall of Fame is the perfect place for John McGillivray. He is the epitome of Christian leadership within intercollegiate athletics, having impacted the lives of student-athletes, staff, and opponents for eternity’s sake for over four decades,” said NCCAA Executive Director Dan Wood.
McGillivray is the 56th member of the association’s Hall and the seventh current or former member of the Yellow Jacket coaching staff to earn the honor.
The list includes Dr. Don Callan (1992), Elvin King (1993), Dr. Pam Johnson (2008), Pete Reese (2009), Dr. Dee Morris (2011), and Paul Berry (2015).
McGillivray combined 42 years of coaching men’s and women’s soccer at Cedarville University that were filled with successes for his teams, student-athletes, and the Kingdom of God.
“Over that many years, you’re tempted to measure success just by wins and losses. Stepping back from it now, I’m reminded that I got to see the growth in players spiritually and to watch how God worked in their lives,” McGillivray said.
Throughout his long and distinguished career, the students he taught and coached loved and respected him, because he genuinely cared about their welfare and growth in their walk with Jesus Christ. Furthermore, he has consistently exemplified how followers of Christ can compete hard while respecting their opponents and honoring Christ with their play.
In 1974, McGillivray began teaching in the Health and Physical Education Department and coaching the men’s soccer team at his alma mater, Cedarville. After 24 years as coach of the men’s team, he was asked to transition to coaching the women’s team and did so for 18 years.
“To those of us privileged to be his colleagues, John has been an unwavering example of what a coach at a university like ours should be. He embodies the values that the NCCAA stands for in college athletics,” said Dr. Dee Morris, Cedarville University’s women’s tennis coach.
During those 42 years, McGillivray accumulated 375 wins, 6 NCCAA District/Regional Championships, 7 NCCAA National Championship appearances, 4 NAIA District/Area Championships, an NAIA National Tournament appearance, a Great Midwest Athletic Conference Championship, and an NCAA DII National Tournament appearance.
McGillivray has very high standards of integrity and has spent a lifetime modeling these standards to all with whom he interacts. His integrity and leadership helped produce personal wins for his student-athletes and himself. During his career, there were 82 NCCAA Scholar-Athletes, 9 NCCAA All-Americans, an NCCAA National Player of the Year, an NCCAA Michelle Akers Award recipient, and an NCAA DII All-American.
McGillivray was named NCCAA National Coach of the Year, NAIA District Coach of the Year (3 times), and NAIA Area Coach of the Year. He has also been honored with the Distinguished Merit Award from the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Officials Association and the National Merit Award by the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association.
McGillivray’s success on and off the field can be pointed back to his faith, which has always stood out as his mantra of operation. His colleagues consider him to be the epitome of a servant leader who would selflessly do anything for anyone.
“Every time I am with John, I am more impressed by his character, desire for excellence in every area, and sensitivity to those around him. The Cedarville University Athletic Department is a reflection of his passion for seeing all students grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Cedarville Athletic Director Dr. Alan Geist.
Over the course of his career, McGillivray led his teams on 15 mission trips to various countries around the world to share the Gospel.
Story by NCCAA Media & Communications Coordinator Brandon Gilmore.