Redmon Back On The Field

June 27, 2013
Juanphoto

Juan Redmon (’12) never dreamed he’d be where he is now. The four-time First-Team All-Conference Pioneer tight end and Heart of America Athletic Conference 2011 MVP is playing football again—and this time it’s professional. Redmon is a wide receiver for the Oklahoma Defenders in the Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL). In nine games for the Defenders last season, Redmon caught 27 passes for 290 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Juan travels from his home in Oklahoma City to Tulsa twice a week where the Defenders are located; once for practice and once for games. He is also an assistant football coach for the Southern Nazarene University Crimson Storm and a graduate assistant in the university’s student development office. As if that wasn’t enough activity, he’s pursuing an MBA at SNU. It all fits into what Juan says is God’s plan to use him where he is needed.

That plan wasn’t always clear to Juan who credits his best friend Marvin Hill (’12) with getting him to MNU, where he says his future started.

“MNU was like a second chance,” Juan states. “I had quit football [as a walk-on freshman] at Missouri Southern University because I was impatient, arrogant and lost my temper. Marvin convinced me to visit MNU. I ended up visiting three times the first semester and transferred there for second semester.”

So began an illustrious football career as Juan proved himself extremely valuable to the Pioneers during the next four years. But it didn’t happen overnight. Juan remembers Defensive Coach Paul Hubbard who taught him important lessons.

“Coach Hubbard got on me because I dropped the ball, got frustrated and kicked a trash can,” he says. “Coach said, ‘You’re always being watched. What you do matters. So you dropped the ball. There’s another down to play. Get to it.’”

From that point on Juan says he learned to relax and not overreact.

“You are always representing something more than yourself,” he says.

Juan’s teammates were welcoming and he felt a sense of acceptance and appreciation. Calling the team a brotherhood, Juan remembers that coaches and teammates encouraged one another.

“I didn’t just hear from them when I did something wrong,” he remembers. “There were lots of pats on the back when things went well too.”

RedmonPioneerRedmon as a MNU Pioneer circa 2011.

While searching for his ultimate career plan at MNU Juan started a major in psychology but soon realized that he was called to influence young men through his passion for football. He switched his major to sports management and thrived. Juan says the projects and practicums he completed in his major helped prepare him for his coaching position today.

“I’ve already led weight lifting on my own at SNU,” he says. “Most graduate assistants might not be trusted with that responsibility.”

Juan coaches wide receivers, tight ends and full backs for the Crimson Storm. This June he is took a 12-day mission trip to Serbia with some of the team and coaches. The group joined others with The Way Sports Missions and through coaching football camps reached out to young Serbian men for Christ. It’s another way Juan seeks to live his life mission of impacting others through the sport he loves.

On the football field for his Oklahoma Defenders, Juan enjoys the spirit of the fans who he says are great. While arena football is different from the standard game (eight players on the field instead of 11) Juan is enjoying the opportunity to play again. He’s even played against former Pioneer teammates, Brandon Smith (’12), Jared Elmore (FS ’10) and Brandon Russell (FS ’05), who play for Kansas City’s indoor team, the KC Renegades.

Today when he thinks of MNU Juan says the word love comes to mind.

“I was shown so much love at MNU,” Juan says. “I had no choice but to do things out of love myself. I learned to appreciate and love all things—to let go of judgments and offer my hand. I’m a much more generous person now.”