Cochran finds common ground with athletes

Published 11:57 pm Wednesday, May 16, 2012

For many, its a struggle to find their calling in life. After years of searching, Lonnie Cochran has found what he feels he was meant to do.

Cochran serves as the Fellowship of Christian Althetes director for the Wiregrass and campus director for Troy University and couldn’t be any happier.

“I worked at a nuclear plant for 15 years,” Cochran said. “I had a calling to start a ministry and left my job on faith.”

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After five years of leading a teaching ministry, another opportunity found Cochran.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes had an opening for area director for the Wiregrass region. Cochran’s pastor at the time called and urged him to apply.

Following a time of prayer and reflection Cochran accepted the position and began working with coaches and athletes in eight counties to resurect a crumbling FCA program.

One day, Cochran, who played basketball under Don Maestri at Troy, said he began attending football practice.

“I didn’t know anyone there but felt the need to be there,” Cochran said. “I went for like five weeks. Coach Blakeney came up one day and introduced himself and wanted me to meet Gary Banks.”

Banks, a wide receiver for Troy in 2006 and 2007, served as the team’s de facto Chaplain.

“He was a strong Christian and helped me in offering my services to the team,” Cochran said.

Cochran does a lot of listening. As the team Chaplain, he feels a need to be there for the players as often as possible.

“I’m on the road a lot,” he said. “On normal days, I work with the high schools in the morning before heading to Troy.

I spend most weekends on the road and away from my family. But, I do it for the kids. If they need me I want to be there for them so I feel the need to be where the team is each weekend.”

Troy head coach Larry Blakeney feels Cochran is a special part of the football program.

“I can not put into words what he means to us and our program,” Blakeney said. “He works with our staff as well as all our student-athletes. He spends more time in prayer than any other person I know.”

Cochran will be the guest speaker at the J.O. “Tip” Colley Awards Banquet which will be held at 6:30p.m. at the Troy Recreation Center on Enzor Road.

The event recognizes high school seniors that have excelled in their Faith, in the classroom and in athletics.