Adrian Despres – The Locker Room is His Office
January 2012 - Cover Story
by Lori Hatcher
Adrian Despres is a big guy. At six feet six inches tall, he towers above many of the University of South Carolina athletes with whom he works. A former defensive end for the Furman University Paladins, Despres often trains with members of the football team in the offseason, running, lifting, and working out. He attends practice several days a week and travels with the team. But unlike the coaches who help the athletes develop their physical strength, Despres’ goal is to help the athletes under his care develop a different type of power. As a volunteer Character Coach for the USC football team, he is a living testimony that a man is often strongest when he is on his knees.
“I became a Christian on the first day of college and ‘Two-a-Days,’” Despres recounts about twice-a-day football practices. “My roommate led me to Christ, and my life from that point on dramatically changed.” A biology/premed major, Despres (pronounced dePRAY), remembers reading the book Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. “The book challenged me to live every second to acknowledge Jesus.” It was during this time that God called him into the ministry. He accepted the call to wholeheartedly do whatever the Lord wanted him to do.