(Photo courtesy of Crimson Tide Athletics/University of Alabama)
When God gives you a second chance, it's not something you take for granted.
As the 2013 season came to a close, I had no job and no head coaching offers, and my relationship with God was a fraction of what it used to be. God gave me a second chance to redeem both.
I knew I could still coach and never doubted myself, but the question was whether anybody would give me a chance to prove myself. The opportunity came from the greatest college coach of my generation: Nick Saban.
Coach Saban has now won six national championships, but when he hired me as his offensive coordinator, my reputation was tarnished to say the least. He could have chosen anybody in the country, but he took a chance on the guy who had been fired from two of his three previous positions.
Learning under Coach Saban was incredible. He made me a better coach, and thanks to his help, we won a National Championship together and 3 straight SEC Championships. When we beat Clemson 45-40 in the title game, it was like my career had come full circle. It was exactly 10 years after losing the National Championship to Texas, but after everything I had been through, this one felt really special. At the championship parade I was getting a police escort for a much better reason than a few years before.
Thanks to my time with Coach Saban, I was able to land the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic. And it's here in Boca Raton I have begun to realize just how amazing God's plan can be.
When that book arrived in my office a few months ago, it was actually the second time that God had compelled someone to reach out to me. Jon Gordon, a famous author and speaker, had never met me before, but God told him to drive down here and meet with me. So he did, and as a result my life has changed.
Jon opened my eyes back up to God, and ever since that day, not a week has gone by that I haven't communicated with him. I've now restarted my relationship with God and I’m using my obstacles to help others through hard times.
The best part about my spiritual rebirth, however, is getting to experience it with another person. My dad has become a born again Christian himself over the last three years, and I'll never forget attending church a few months ago and then turning around to see my parents at the same church service.
The funny thing about my dad is that he isn't just a mentor or role model. He's also now my co-worker.