Adrian Despres â€“ 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, Despresâ€™ 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.
â€œI became a Christian on the first day of college and â€˜Two-a-Days,â€™â€ Despres recounts about twice-a-day football practices. â€œMy roommate led me to Christ, and my life from that point on dramatically changed.â€ A biology/premed major, Despres (pronounced dePRAY), remembers reading the book Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. â€œThe book challenged me to live every second to acknowledge Jesus.â€ 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.