Southeastern University Announces Possible Football Program During Tim Tebow Leadership Dinner

Southeastern University Announces Possible Football Program During Tim Tebow Leadership Dinner


LAKELAND, Florida, March 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — If only Tim Tebow still had college football eligibility.

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With one of the most popular athletes in the country in attendance Thursday night, Southeastern University announced a major initiative for its athletic program.

“We are looking at the possibility of bringing college football to Lakeland!” Vice President for Advancement Brian Carroll announced to a crowd of about 500 in the Sportsplex.

The announcement came at the end of the first day of Southeastern’s National Leadership Forum, which since 2007 has brought together some of world’s most gifted leaders. Included in this year’s lineup is Tebow, the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos and former Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida.

After closing the main session of The Forum on Thursday afternoon, Tebow was the main draw for a scholarship dinner in the evening. The dinner provided an ideal setting to announce the possible formation of football.

Southeastern currently offers 11 varsity sports that compete in the NAIA, and will have 13 in the fall of 2012 when men’s tennis and women’s softball come on board. The addition of football, which is still only in its information-gathering stage, would be a major step for Fire athletics.

“We are excited about exploring the opportunity to bring college football to Southeastern University,” University President Dr. Kent Ingle said.

During his two Q&A sessions with Dr. Ingle, Tebow addressed some of the major steps and moments during his career and spiritual journey. He credited his family for laying the foundation of faith and hard work that helped him get to where he is today, while also acknowledging the opportunity his talent and fame give him to share his beliefs.

“I’m so grateful for the platform I have through football,” he said. “My goal is not to win as many games as I can but to change as many lives as I can.”

With many University of Florida fans in attendance, Tebow also recalled his college recruiting process and how he decided on Florida over Alabama literally moments before his announcement on national television. He then talked about the responsibility to be a good role model, something he saw modeled in former Gators Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel when he signed autographs for Tebow and other kids at Tebow’s church years ago.

“Always try to share with kids there is always someone watching you and who will follow you,” he said. “We have to always think, ‘Are we leading them in a good direction?'”

Joining Tebow in the speaker lineup on the first day of The Forum were Pat Williams, Curt Coffman, Nancy Duarte and Scott Rasmussen.

Williams, senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, shared seven ingredients he has found to be necessary in order to be a successful leader. They are vision, communicating vision, people skills, character, competence, boldness, and a servant’s heart.

“To grasp and hold a vision is the very essence of successful leadership,” Williams said.

He emphasized the importance of a leader’s ability to communicate their vision. According to Williams, leaders must communicate optimism and hope, while doing so clearly and publicly.

“It’s one thing to have a vision,” he said. “But if you can’t communicate, it nothing will happen to it.”

Coffman, an independent researcher, author, speaker and consultant who spent 22 years at The Gallup Organization, focused on the importance of leaders to recognize and take advantage of the strengths of those they are leading. He advocated doing away with the career ladder and replacing with the “career tree,” giving employees the chance to grow in their position and find meaning and responsibility without the necessity of promotions.

“We need to establish the outcomes of every person’s role, and then allow them to get there using their talents, skills, and knowledge,” he said.

Duarte, a communication expert at her firm, Duarte, Inc., expounded on her research from her book Resonate, in which she explains how story patterns can be incorporated into business communication. She examined famous speeches and how leaders transition from saying how things are to how they could be, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. That format leads causes a message to resonate better with listeners, according to Duarte.

“The only sacrifice we need to make our dream come true is learn how to communicate,” Duarte said.

Rasmussen, founder and president of Rasmussen Reports and a founder of ESPN, used his session to address public opinion on a wide range of issues. He discussed how political change is the result of a growing public sentiment on a certain topic, and that political action is rarely the catalyst for that public sentiment. He said public cynicism toward government is at an all-time high, before answering questions ranging from the 2012 Presidential election to a potential conflict with Iran.

“We have big problems as a nation, and there is no organization in government with the moral authority to address them,” he said.

The National Leadership Forum will continue Friday with five more sessions. Speaking on Friday will be Phil Cooke, Erwin McManus, Howard Putnam, Mark Sanborn, and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

You can visit Southeastern University online at


Founded in 1935, Southeastern is a dynamic, Christ-centered university that works to integrate personal faith and higher learning. We are accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and affiliated with the Assemblies of God. Our breathtaking campus is located in sunny Lakeland, Florida, within 30 minutes of Tampa and the Disney area of Orlando.

SOURCE Southeastern University

Southeastern University Announces Possible Football Program During Tim Tebow Leadership Dinner