Frosty Westering Articles

October 31, 1994
Frosty The Showman
Pacific Lutheran coach Frosty Westering proves you can have fun and win
David Guterson

Forrest Edward (Frosty) Westering, coach of the football team at Pacific
Lutheran University, near Tacoma, Wash., is a winner by anybody’s standards. His
229 victories are the most among active NAIA coaches, and his teams have
finished among the top eight in the NAIA’s Division II in 10 of the last 14
seasons. Westering’s Lutes have played in the division’s championship game six
times since 1980 and have won three titles. Last year, after his team finished a
12-0-1 season by winning the title, Westering was named NAIA Division II Coach
of the Year for the second time in a decade.

Yet for Westering, 66, these conventional measures of success are unimportant.
Winning, he says with neither irony nor embarrassment, is “a by-product of
learning to live decently.” In fact Westering is less interested in football
than he is in “shaping players’ lives and influencing their hearts and minds.”

A former Marine squad leader with a doctorate in education, an author (Make the
Big Time Where You Are) and a motivational speaker, Westering is a font of pithy
sayings about life and sports. It would be easy to dismiss him as a man puffed
up with stale proverbs, except that he produces fine football players who are
also fine young men.

Westering’s players do not swear or tussle or trash-talk. They never dance in
the end zone or raise fingers toward heaven to proclaim that they’re No. 1. They
help each other to their feet, but they also help up their opponents and
compliment them on their performance. “Some teams think it’s just a psych job,”

says assistant coach Scotty Kessler, an NAIA All-America defensive back for PLU
in 1980. “But the guys are just being the kind of people Frosty has taught them
to be.”

Newcomers to Westering’s football program sometimes feel, as one freshman put
it, as if they have “landed on another planet.” Having accepted the game’s
conventional ethos while playing for their high school coaches, they are
astonished to find that the PLU season begins not with grueling two-a-day
practices but with a three-day retreat to Gearhart, on the Oregon coast. There
they do everything except play football. Like a troop of boys at summer camp,
they splash in the Pacific, play tug-of-war and softball, perform late-night
skits (half of which parody Westering affectionately) and engage in egg tosses
and pie-eating contests. Westering, in shorts and a T-shirt, exhorts them with a
bullhorn, continually offering aphorisms while limping about on the hip he
injured hitting a practice sled 20 years ago, at the age of 46. At dinner he
leads his players in song, and then, after promising not to sermonize, he
launches into an extemporaneous sermon on self-esteem, fear of failure,
goal-setting and the importance of commitment.

Westering does not recruit. He has no training rules. He never punishes or
insults a player, and he has yet to kick anybody off his team. There are
full-contact drills only twice before the season starts, and the exercises are
friendly. Westering’s practices include Popsicle breaks, interludes for watching
the sunset and cheers for the snowy flanks of Mount Rainier, which looms large
to the east. (“Hey, Mount Rainier! Go, Mount Rainier! Attaway! Attaway!”) During
the last practice before the 1993 championship contest, Lute linemen kicked
field goals; quarterbacks ran wide receivers’ patterns; and linebackers tried to
throw deep.

Games are even more unorthodox. The Lutes didn’t even put on their pads until
minutes before the kickoff for the championship. During timeouts, when the
situation permitted, instead of talking strategy, Westering played paper, rock,
scissors with his squad. In huddles his players held hands, and on the sideline
they sat together in a semicircle, like kids around a campfire. Afterward they
gathered for two hours in the locker room, weeping, hugging and giving each
other what they call bouquets. (“I just want to say, Mike, I love you so much.
You played a great game today.”)

If all of this sounds absolutely ridiculous, consider that the Lutes won the
championship game by a score of 50-20.

Westering met Donna Belle Jones, his wife of 43 years, at their grade school in
Missouri Valley, Iowa. His father ran a drugstore and soda fountain (the
nickname Frosty stems from the younger Westering’s generosity in providing
frosted malts to friends), and though Frosty’s parents urged him to be a
pharmacist, he joined the Marines in 1945. After a two-year stint in China and
Guam, he played offensive end for the El Toro Marines near Santa Ana, Calif.,
then for Northwestern University and the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The first
of Frosty and Donna’s five children was born in 1953 during Frosty’s second year
as a high school football coach in Elkader, Iowa. Except for the two years he
spent working on his doctorate at Northern Colorado University and the two
years—1960 and ’61—he served as the athletic director at Parsons College in
Fairfield, Iowa, he has coached ever since.

Westering is steeped in the principles of the human-potential movement and is a
student of texts with lilies like The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
and The Greatest Secret in the World. He can talk at length about psychological
mechanisms like visualization, projection and centering, spicing his discourse
with down-home adages like “Character is our best piece of equipment” and “If
life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” He takes much of his teaching from the
Bible and quotes it with ease, particularly those passages that seem to him
appropriate for sports. The Lute playbook is far less about X’s and O’s than it
is about attitude, regret, fear, fulfillment, success and effort.

If Westering had critics, they would denounce him for operating the corniest
kind of cult or perhaps an indoctrination center for impressionable Boy Scouts.
But Westering apparently has no critics; he is loved by everybody who knows him.

“He’s probably the guy that parents in America would most want their kid to play
for,” says Ross Hjelseth, the former president of the NAIA coaches’ association.
“Frosty’s in a class by himself.”

Former players stress the significance of the time they spent with Westering.
“Frosty had a dramatic impact on my life,” says Larry Green, an insurance-agency
manager in Seattle who played for the Lutes in the mid-’70s. “He gave me a sense
of purpose and direction. He made me realize how good I could be.” Don Poier, a
Lute defensive end in the early 1970s who now runs a television production
company in Seattle, calls Westering “one in a million. There were some real
roughnecks on our team, and Frosty turned them right around.” Craig Fouhy, an
offensive tackle for the Lutes from 1972 to ’75 who is now a high school
football coach in Everett, Wash., recalls that Westering “had a million clich�s
and lived every one of them. I came from a single-parent situation and had my
share of problems. Frosty just took me by the hand. I hear his voice ringing in
my head every day I live, in everything I do.”

Westering’s more recent players offer similar testimonials. Marc Weekly, PLU’s
1993 NAIA All-America quarterback, says, “I went from being a cocky young
freshman to learning to love other people as a senior—and I give Frosty all of
the credit.” Ted Riddall, PLU’s All-America linebacker, was sinking under the
weight of personal problems—he had recently been divorced, lost interest in
playing football and quit school at the University of Montana—until he joined
the Lutes in 1991. “Frosty,” he says, “was a role model. He turned my life
around and gave me guidance.”

Westering has no hobbies and no plans to retire. Professional teams have
contacted him about taking assistant coaching positions, but Westering has
always declined. “The real work is right there,” he said, gesturing toward his
players on a sunny August afternoon on the beach at Gearhart. He stooped to
remove his shoes and socks, then limped out into the surf with his bullhorn and
encouraged his players to follow him into the Pacific. They did. All of them.
One hundred young men at the edge of the continent, following Frosty Westering.
It was so corny and so moving—the endless expanse of water, the stout old man
with his craggy brow, the crowd of boys with their hearts afire—that it made you
happy-there are still such things in the world

Frosty Westering Quotes
Posted on 31 July 2009 by Admin

“The more honor and self-respect among players, the greater the team.”

“How a man plays the game show something of his character; how he loses shows
all of it.”

“Players don’t care how much I know until they know how much I care.”

“Extra Effort develops Excellence.”

“We’re more than champions today.”

“You are either green and growing, or ripe and rotting.”

“It it is to be, it is up to me.”

“Be a tough-minded optimist.”

A moment with … Frosty Westering, PLU football coach


“The man in the arena, you will know … by the type of character he will show.”

Frosty Westering not only lives by that creed — he wrote the words and repeats
them often as the first line in an ongoing ode to a life in sports.

The 74-year-old Pacific Lutheran University football coach is a member of a
select fraternity of college coaches who have won at least 250 games. His name
sits alongside Eddie Robinson, John Gagliardi, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Charles “Pop”
Warner, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden and Tom Osborne.

Westering, who played football at Northwestern and Nebraska-Omaha, and is a
former Marine drill instructor, has written a book, “Make The Big Time Where You
Are,” which details his “double-win philosophy” of sports competition and
community responsibility.

In light of the firing of Rick Neuheisel at the UW for gambling, and Mike Price
at Alabama for cavorting with strippers, Westering seemed like an ideal
candidate to put the role of coach in a different perspective.

Q: As a longtime member of the coaching fraternity, how do you feel about the
events that cost Price and Neuheisel their jobs?

A: “Both of them are good men. They are caught in a syndrome of choices and
things that are involved at that level, and they are very, very difficult. I
can’t put myself in their shoes because I haven’t been there. I do know that it
still goes back to whatever level you’re coaching, whether you’re coaching in
the pros, in Division 1 or at our level. We’re in a very selfish world, and
trying to teach selflessness is not easy.”

Q: What is the responsibility of a coach to be a role model to players in
respect to moral issues such as gambling, personal behavior, drinking, drug use
and other issues they will face off the field?

A: “All the studies show that the coach, in the case of a single-parent home or
in many cases even a double-parent home, is one of the most influential people
in a young man’s or a young woman’s life.”

Q: But isn’t it hard to be a role model when there is so much emphasis put upon
winning and the competitive side of sports?

A: “There are kind of two camps, where coaches see that winning is always
beating somebody else, and therefore you’re always comparing yourself to others.
The other model is where you really don’t control others. You know that the best
way to do it is to be the best you can be. The challenge is finding out how good
you really can be within yourself. If you don’t want to be the best, then you
really don’t understand what winning is all about.”

Q: What pressures must a coach overcome, and do coaches have to live up to a
higher standard?

A: “When you are part of an organization or a team, in order to have success,
you have got to have some guidelines that you follow. I’m a former Marine, and
the Marine Corps develops this pride within you — I’m not sure I agree with all
the ways they did it, but there’s this real loyalty there because you feel that
you are part of something bigger than yourself. So in society today, with all
those things that kids have to deal with and get challenged on so young in their
lives — whether it’s drugs or drinking, which is part of drugs, whether it’s
sex or gambling — it’s a tough job for coaches, and some of them get in trouble
for making poor choices.”

Q: How have the big-time demands, and excesses, of pro sports changed the world
of college sports at the highest levels, in particular with coaches who have

A: “The kind of people that start to come around you, you can never be sure what
values they have. As soon as things don’t go well, they’re gone. It is very
difficult, in terms of whom do you trust. People can’t understand the
temptations until they are caught in them. In the Marines, that’s why they teach
you about booby traps.”

Q: What have you learned about human nature and coaching that can apply to those
who are tempted?

A: “Everybody wants to be respected or liked, but the only way you get that is
you have to respect others and have class. We have a handout on class, and class
is a characteristic a person has that is very special. The last part of it says,
‘If you have class, you don’t need much of anything else. If you don’t have it,
no matter what else you’ve got, it doesn’t make much difference.’ It’s an
intangible thing in terms of winning and losing, and relationships and that.
It’s an unselfish characteristic.”

— Angelo Bruscas

After 32 consecutive winning seasons, football coach Frosty Westering leaves a
legacy that surpasses his records

by Nick Dawson

To some people, football Coach Frosty Westering’s legacy at PLU will be all
about wins. The numbers speak for themselves:

Four national championships (1980, 1987, 1993 and 1999) in eight title game

Nineteen national postseason appearances. And 32
consecutive winning seasons at PLU.

A 305-96-7 win-loss record in 39 total seasons, including a 261-70-5 win-loss
record in his 32 years at PLU. And he holds the distinction of being one of only
10 college coaches with 300 career wins.

Frosty has accumulated countless mementos in his years at PLU, and his office is
a shrine to the people he has played and worked with.

To Frosty, as the affable coach is known everywhere, the championship trophies
and winning seasons serve a bigger purpose. Success on the field gives him a
platform from which he can pass on meaningful life lessons to those who rub up
against the football program, particularly players, but also parents,
cheerleaders, coaches and students. He is also a respected professor who has
influenced countless non-athletes in the classroom.

A championship, in the world, gives you authenticity that you did it,” says
Frosty, admitting that most people wouldn’t listen to him if his teams finished
0-9 or 1-8. “The championships just validate that you can coach. But that really
doesn’t say anything until you ask, ‘What was the trip like?’ The trip was the
greatest thing in life whether we won or not.”

It’s the trip—the journey through 39 years with thousands of different lives to
touch— that drives this man. Now, following 32 winning seasons at PLU, the
legendary Lute coach with two artificial hips has walked off the field. For a
man who has lived his life and titled his book with his motto, “Make the Big
Time Where You Are,” this will be not so much a retirement as it is a sidestep
into others areas where he can influence the lives of others. He plans to finish
a second book, visit his grandchildren and lend a hand to a national coaches
association that wants to learn more about his philosophy.

“From a legacy standpoint it’s really not the wins and losses, although those
are important,” said Paul Hoseth, who coached alongside Frosty for more than 20
years and is now athletic director and dean of the School of Physical Education.
“But I don’t think that’s really too important in the big scheme of things from
his perspective. It’s an attitude of how to play the game, how to coach the
game, that I think will live on.

“The impact that he has had on students who both played and didn’t play football
here has been amazing, and not only at this institution but many others. I just
can’t imagine people not being impacted in some way.”

Frosty’s son Scott, who was an All-America tight end at PLU and has been the
team’s offensive coordinator since 1984, agrees with Hoseth about his dad. “He’s
one of those unique guys in life that you come across that can make anybody feel
good about themselves regardless of their walk in life. One thing I’ve learned
is living the saying, ‘Your true character shows in how you treat people that
can do nothing for you,’ and that’s how my dad has lived.”

“The real measure of me is not what I can do in comparison to others but what I
can do in comparison to my own best self.”

From small town to small colleges, Frosty developed his winning ways

Forrest Westering’s coaching philosophy, which is more a life philosophy, got
its start in the small eastern Iowa town of Missouri Valley. Frosty, whose
father owned a pharmacy and whose mother was an English teacher, spent a good
portion of his childhood on football and baseball fields.

It was in Missouri Valley that the three most significant parts of his life
began to gain focus.

First was his faith in God. Late in his high school years, Frosty accepted an
invitation to play for a local fastpitch softball team. He was impressed by the
pitcher, an outstanding athlete who played an aggressive game. Turns out the
pitcher was a pastor. “I didn’t know pastors could be good athletes,” says
Frosty. “I got to know him as an inspirational man of God. He was such an
influence on me that I gave my life to Christ.”

Second was a commitment to family as he and grade school sweetheart Donnabelle
Jones continued a courtship that eventually led to their marriage in 1951.

Finally came his love for coaching football. While still in high school, Frosty
first felt the satisfaction of coaching, leading Missouri Valley grade school
football teams.

After one semester at Drake University, Frosty, then 18, joined the Marine
Corps, spending time in Guam and China as part of post-World War II occupation
forces. He later returned stateside, where he played football for the El Toro
(Calif.) Marines.

Frosty left the service to attend Northwestern University, where for two years
he practiced but saw little playing time on the gridiron. When his dad was
diagnosed with lung cancer, Frosty returned to Missouri Valley, at the same time
transferring to the University of Omaha, 28 miles away. He played one season at
the Nebraska school, earning honors as a defensive end and tight end.

“We played both ways then. One thing I learned to do was block punts. These are
all phony teeth here,” Westering said with laugh while pointing to his top front
teeth. “You see, in those days there were no face masks.”

Frosty finished his degree at age 25 and declared himself ready for his own
program. “I was so excited. I had all these coaching ideas and I didn’t know how
I was going to put them together. I knew this, all the coaches I’d had believed
that football was war and winning was it. They didn’t know there was another way
or they didn’t believe in another way. I had this idea that I wanted to coach
like I’d like to have been coached but never was.”

Frosty immediately put his philosophy to good use, turning struggling Iowa high
school football programs at Elkader and Fairfield into winners. The Fairfield
job led directly to his first college head coaching position at Parsons College,
located in Fairfield. He also turned that program into a winner, including an
unbeaten 10-0 record in 1962, his first season. After two years he moved on to
Lea College in southern Minnesota, where for five seasons his teams won nearly
60 percent of their games.

In the middle of all this, Frosty worked on his master’s and doctorate at
Colorado State College, now the University of Northern Colorado. It was there
that he was first exposed to a fledgling organization called Fellowship of
Christian Athletes. “All of a sudden Donna and I realized, this is it, this is
what can tie my faith directly into athletics,” says Frosty. “My mission is to
share Christ through football without forcing it on anybody. (FCA) really
solidified my mission as a coach.”

Frosty says he shares the philosophy of Amos Alonzo Stagg, one of the greatest
coaches in college football history, who finished his 57-year coaching career
with 314 wins, ranking him eighth on the all-time coaching victory list. Stagg
had studied for a life in Christian ministry before realizing that football was
his passion. The coach, after whom the NCAA Division III national championship
game is named, made coaching football his ministry, serving God by leading young
men to success on the gridiron and in life. “I feel exactly the same way,”
Westering said.

Frosty’s enthusiasm wows coach search committee

In 1972, Frosty came to a PLU program that had enjoyed a modicum of success with
three consecutive winning seasons under Roy Carlson.

The 32-year marriage between Frosty and PLU, however, almost
didn’t happen.

The committee assigned the task of finding a new coach named three finalists,
all with college-level coaching experience, including the head coach of a
national championship program. After interviewing each candidate, “the decision
was we didn’t feel comfortable with the people that we had interviewed,” Hoseth

Westering wasn’t on that list. David Olson, then PLU athletic director and a
former assistant football coach at Wartburg College in Iowa, remembered Frosty
from his days at Parsons College. “I got to know and respect his football
coaching ability and the discipline his teams showed,” Olson remembered. He
called Frosty to see if he was interested in the position, and an initial
meeting in the Twin Cities between the coach and then PLU financial vice
president Dean Buchanan went well.

Frosty was invited for an interview. Toting a couple of briefcases loaded with
films and papers documenting his years at Parsons and Lea colleges, Frosty, then
44, came for a visit.

“It was no different than it is now. He was excited,” Hoseth said. “After the
weekend people thought, wow, what is this all about? He was not only
enthusiastic, but he approached things a lot differently than many other

As PLU’s assistant coaches, Hoseth and Joe Broeker got their first glimpse of
the man who would soon become their boss on the field. Hoseth recalls asking
Frosty during his interview about his thoughts on how to treat people and how to
respond to students. That provided the first insight into the depth of Frosty’s
feelings about football and what really matters in life.

Frosty and his Lutes have touched thousands of lives over the years. Airline
pilots and flight attendants are appreciated with a PLU football T-shirt and an
“Attaway” cheer. For nearly 30 years, the lives of Tacoma area grade and middle
school students have been touched by football players who serve as mentors.

“One of the great things in this idea of a legacy, my dad’s never really stubbed
his toe, blackened his eye,” Scott Westering said. “Not that he hasn’t made some
bad choices and stuck his foot in his mouth, but he’s been true to who he says
he is and what he values and who he is as a man and as a coach and a person.”

While such praise is common, Frosty points out with a laugh that he does not
walk on water. “Well, I know where a few rocks are, so I can stand on the

Players from across the country credit Frosty with their success on and off the
field. Steve Ridgway ’76 graduated from Puyallup High School in the early 1970s.
An outstanding prep football player, he chose a scholarship from the University
of Colorado over Notre Dame University. After one semester, realizing that the
Division I program wasn’t for him, he transferred to PLU at the suggestion of a
family friend, then University of Puget Sound head coach Bob Ryan. “That
recommendation by an arch-rival of PLU,” said Ridgway, “was to my benefit.”

Ridgway, an All-America linebacker in 1976, remains involved in the program as a
mentor to team captains. He owes much, he says, to his college coach.

“Frosty Westering showed me how to play the game the right way, what athletics
really was all about: that it was bigger than just stepping on the field, making
tackles, interceptions, winning games,” Ridgway said. “In the time that I was at
PLU Frosty gave me a faith to build my life on, he gave me a hope for the future
and a sense that love never fails.”

Since 1972, PLU football has been known more for the uncommon:

Preseason practices start with a three-day Breakaway where team-building games,
skits and songs are in and where footballs and pads are left at home.

“Attaway” cheers for a laundry list including Mt. Rainier, alums and other PLU
athletic teams.

When a Lute player knocks down an opponent, he is the first to offer a hand to
help him up.

Trash talking or posing for the crowd result in a seat on the bench.

“Afterglow,” following all games, a gathering in the hundreds including players,
coaches, parents and friends where hugs, compliments, love, laughter and tears
flow in equal

The double-win, which emphasizes the satisfaction of playing to one’s personal
potential over the final result on the scoreboard.

Frostyisms such as “The real measure of me is not what I can do compared to
others, but what I can do compared to my best self,” “Character: Our best piece
of equipment,” and “The longer we play the better we get.”

Those uncommon elements, magnified by phenomenal success on the field, have
brought both local and national prominence to the coach and the program. It
explains why, approximately 10 years ago, a stamped envelope addressed simply,
“Frosty, Tacoma, WA,” arrived at the PLU athletic department. It also explains
several articles in the large national magazine, Sports Illustrated. In its 2000
college football preview issue, SI dubbed Frosty’s program as “The Nicest Team
in Football.”

Frosty Westering’s Big Time
Story URL:


Kristopher Jones Apr 23, 2005

He has lived an unselfish and inspirational life, and he has finally been
recognized on a national level. On Thursday, former Pacific Lutheran University
head coach Frosty Westering was named to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Seahawks.NET‘s Kristopher Jones took a look at Westering’s life – and the effect
he has had on others – in this moving story.

(Editor’s Note: Former Pacific Lutheran University head football coach Frosty
Westering was named to the College Football Hall of Fame yesterday. He will be
inducted in August. Kristopher Jones wrote this column for Seahawks.NET in the
fall of 2003. It appeared in the King County Journal soon after, and it was a
feature story in the Seahawks’ Gameday Program on December 21, 2003 – the day
that Frosty Westering raised the 12th Man Flag at Seahawks Stadium.

With the 2005 NFL Draft mere hours away – and everyone’s mind on the college
game – we thought that re-publishing this article would be a fitting tribute to
the life and career of a man who may have lived “under the radar” in college
football, but always understood the real meaning of the game.

All together now…”Attaway, Frosty!”)

Far from the bright lights of the NFL or major college football, Frosty
Westering has become a coaching legend in the Northwest. He retired last month
after 32 straight winning seasons, four national championships and a .789
winning percentage at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Washington. This
year he became the ninth coach in college football history to win 300 games.

Division III college football may not seem like the “big time”, but through the
years Westering passed on several opportunities to coach in the NFL and at
bigger college programs.

“Bigger doesn’t always mean better,” Westering said. “I felt like I could do
more good right here.”

He’s become such a popular figure that, like Santa Claus, he gets mail addressed
only to: “Frosty, Tacoma, Washington.” Instead of chasing the big time, Frosty
made the big time where he was.

The results speak for themselves.

Excellence on the PLU football field is a by-product of Westering’s overall life
philosophy of the “double-win.” The real competition isn’t with the opposing
team; the true test is in the daily challenge to play – and live – up to your
best potential. The double-win comes from knowing you’ve done your very best,
and more often than not, that will lead to a win on the scoreboard as well. The
life lesson is in expecting excellence from the man in the mirror, and getting

Because his players individually, and his teams collectively, are competing
against themselves, they’re free to celebrate the competitive experience that
their opponents provide. In a world full of in-your-face trash-talk, the Lutes
regularly help up opposing players and tell them “great play!” Teams unfamiliar
with their approach to the game often think its cornball or some psychological
ploy, but by game’s end they realize it’s as sincere and genuine as Frosty

Above all, Frosty’s teams always have FUN.

“The model of winning is the biggest thing we’ve tried to change,” Westering
says. “The only way most people know how to win is to beat somebody and if you
don’t, you’re a loser. Fear is the motivation – the fear of losing. When I talk
to coaches they say, ‘no Frosty, they’ve got to want to win.’ I say, you don’t
understand, there are two models of winning. For us, winning is the by-product
and not the goal.”

“We look at winning a different way. We’re gonna love to play the game, we’re
not going to base it on what the scoreboard says and when we get done we’re
going to feel good regardless of what happened because we know we gave it the
best shot we’ve got. It frees kids up and they play better. They bring out the
best in themselves and each other.”

“That’s a hard sell in a world that says you’re number one or you’re no one, but
not everybody’s gonna win. So, what’s going to happen? They’re not going to have
as much fun. We’re going to have fun regardless of the score.”

To drive home his point, Frosty pulls out one of his favorite ‘Far Side’
cartoons by Gary Larson. It shows General Custer and his men posing for a group
picture the day before the battle of Little Big Horn, holding up their fingers
saying, “we’re #1!”

“You don’t do your best and then become content, you become content and then you
do your best. The goal isn’t the end of the road it is the road.”

PLU won the 1999 Division III National Championship by becoming the first team
ever to win five straight playoff games on the road. Their opponent in the final
would be Rowan University, who had finally defeated powerhouse Mount Union the
week before after several unsuccessful attempts. No one thought the Lutes had a
chance, but then, no one bothered to ask them.

“Todd Christiansen did the color for that game on ESPN,” Westering said, “and he
did all the pre-game stuff. Todd said, ‘Frosty, you’ve got a bunch of nice guys
and all, but you’re going to get killed.’”

Rowan took the kickoff and on the game’s first play from scrimmage, PLU forced
and recovered a fumble. One the next play the Lutes were up 7-0. The final score
was a decisive 42-13 PLU victory. The noticeably bigger Rowan players had just
met an entire team full of Davids.

“Afterwards, I gave Christiansen a copy of my book and about three weeks later I
got a hand written note from him. He said, ‘Frosty, I read your book and it was
very interesting. I hadn’t thought about many of those things before. I realize
that I was really wrong about your team. Read Jude, 1:22.’ So, I open the Bible
and it says, ‘Be merciful to the doubters.’”

As the wins and the championships have piled up, so have the memories. His
cramped office is carpeted in old Astroturf and pictures fill every inch of wall
space. Assorted football mementos are stacked on top of each other on shelves.

Westering, by his own admission is “a big plaque guy” and he keeps a drawer full
of his favorite inspirational sayings to hand out. Somehow, it’s all exactly
what you’d expect from this particular 75-year old coach.

Frosty’s journey started in Iowa where he met his future wife, Donna, in
kindergarten. After serving in the Marine Corps, he lettered in football at both
Northwestern and Nebraska-Omaha. He later earned a doctorate in Education from
the University of Northern Colorado. The confluence of sports and faith drew him
to the very first meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Estes Park,
Colorado. The FCA recently awarded Westering with their Lifetime Achievement

It’s easy to see how Westering’s cornerstones of sports, faith, motivation and a
commitment to excellence were placed, and how he built his unique philosophies
on that solid foundation. In 1990, he compiled his winning life philosophies
into a book called “Make the Big Time Where You Are!” Now that he’s retired,
he’ll be finishing his second book called “The Strange Secret of the Big Time”
and spending more time with his 13 grandchildren.

“I always knew I wanted to be a coach. I coached little kids teams back when I
was in high school and I saw the tremendous influence that a coach can have on
kids. These kids would do anything for you, but I realized it could either be in
a positive or a negative direction.”

No one need ask what kind of coach he became.

“There’s no question that the thing that’s meant to most is the relationship
with my players. All these other things that people talk about, all the
championships and being in the select 300-win club, I didn’t even know what that
was all about. There’s a great tradition here of being part of something that’s
bigger than yourself.”

“They say you ride off into the sunset, but as you’re going toward the sun you
never catch it,” Frosty said. “It’s always out there.”

For Frosty Westering, the “big time” isn’t the end of the road…it is the road.
It really is the journey and not the destination.

Quotes Frosty Westering used…

Commitment/ Discipline

“Discipline is: Knowing what to do, Knowing when to do it, Doing it to the best
of your abilities, Doing it that way every single time” – Bob Knight

“Each of us has been put on earth with the ability to do something well.  We
cheat ourselves and the world if we don’t use that ability as best as we can.” –
George Allen

“You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him to a heavy load.”  –
Bear Bryant

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.”  – Jim Rohn

“It is one of the strange ironies of this strange life that those who work the
hardest, who subject themselves to the strictest discipline, who give up certain
pleasurable things in order to achieve a goal, are the happiest men. When you
see 20 or 30 men line up for a distance race in some meet, don’t pity them,
don’t feel sorry for them. Better envy them instead.” – Brutus Hamilton

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty
of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or
sideways.” -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” –

“Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities
are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a
perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind-you
could call it character in action.”                  – Vince Lombardi

“You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself.” – Jim

“There are no short cuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

“If we don’t discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us.” – William

“Nobody’s a natural. You work hard to get good and then work to get better. It’s
hard to stay on top.” – Paul Coffey


“There was never a champion who to himself was a good loser.  There is a vast
difference between a good sport and a good loser.” – Red Blaik

“Sportsmanship is not a passive activity of acceptance.  Rather, it is a
positive reaffirmation of the fact that an athlete is disciplined enough to have
perspective, maintain poise and do what is best for their teammates.” – Bruce
Eamon Brown

“One man practicing sportsmanship is better than a hundred teaching it.” – Knute

“A man’s character is the reality of himself; his reputation, the opinion others
have formed about him; character resides in him, reputation in other people;
that is the substance, this is the shadow.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“It is my thought that clean living and a strict observance of the golden rule
of true sportsmanship are foundation stones without which a championship
structure cannot be built.”  – Major Taylor

“Lose and win in the same spirit” – Danish Proverb

“What I admire most in any man is a serene spirit, a steady freedom from moral
indignation, and all-embracing tolerance—in brief, what is commonly called
sportsmanship.” – H.L. Mencken

“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.”
-Mike Singletary


“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become
it.” – William Aurthur Ward

“But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, his greatest fulfillment of
all he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good
cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” – Vince Lombardi

“Believe deep down in your heart that you’re destined to do great things.” – Joe

“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should
have accomplished with your ability.” – John Wooden


“Courage is not the absence of fear, but simply moving on with dignity despite
that fear.”  – Pat Riley

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the
shore.” – Andre Gide

“Courage means being afraid to do something, but still doing it.” – Knute Rockne

“ Take pride in yourself.  Be your own person.  Don’t do things because everyone
else does them.  Don’t be a part of the crowd.  Dare to be different.  Never be
afraid to stand up for what you believe to be right, even when it means standing
alone” – Jack Lambert


“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden

“Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.” – Vince Lombardi

“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say that you cannot do.” –
Walter Bagehot

“The biggest mistake an athlete can make is to be afraid to make one.” – L. Ron

Hard Work

“No one has ever drowned in his own sweat.” – Lou Holtz

“We should not have to push you to work hard, you should work hard because you
want to be a great player.” – Bobby Knight

“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” – Vince Lombardi

“The six W’s: work will win when wishing won’t” – Todd Blackledge


“You can’t get much done in life if you only work when you feel good.” – Jerry

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” – Vince

“Perseverance isn’t just the willingness to work hard.  It is that, plus the
willingness to be stubborn about your belief in yourself.”     – Merlin Olsen

“Man’s greatest moment of happiness is to be tested beyond what he thought might
be his breaking point and not fail.” – Joseph Murphy


“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we
fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Alva

“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content
with your failure.” – Abraham Lincoln

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26
times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed
over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael


“ There are 86,400 seconds in a day. It’s up to you to decide what to do with
them.” – Jim Valvano

“Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or
later the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.”   – Vince Lombardi

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn
out.” – John Wooden


“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about
it: 1.  Admit it.   2. Learn from it, and  3. Don’t repeat it.” – Bear Bryant

“The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave
when we don’t know what to do.” – John Holt

“There is a choice you have to make, in everything you do.  And you must always
keep in mind the choice you make, makes you.” – Anonymous

“I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I
think I do.  That is character.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.” – Anonymous

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to
other people.” – Spencer Johnson

“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with
the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and
see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.” – John MacDonald

“Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do” – Don Galer


“Enthusiasm is the fire in our furnace, it is the spark that keeps us going in
high gear.  It makes going great.

Enthusiasm brings on excitement

Excitement then produces energy

Energy generates extra effort

Extra Effort develops Excellence.” – Frosty Westering

“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion.  You must set yourself on
fire.” – Reggie Leach

“If it is to be, it is up to me.” – Frosty Westering


The more successful you become, the longer the yardstick people use to measure
you by.” – Joe Paterno

“Don’t let winning make you soft.  Don’t let losing make you quit.  Don’t let
your teammates down in any situation.” – Larry Bird

“Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a
sprinter; long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we
are given the opportunity to perform at our best.” – Michael Johnson

“Shallow men believe in luck… strong men believe in cause and effect.” – Ralph
Waldo Emerson


“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to
excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” – Vince Lombardi

“You don’t aim at the bullseye.  You aim at the center of the bullseye.”  –
Raymond Berry

“The masters all have the ability to discipline themselves to eliminate
everything except what they are trying to accomplish.” – Dale Brown

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it
happen.” – Michael Jordan

“The only one who can beat me is me.” – Michael Johnson


“Above all be of single aim; have a legitimate and useful purpose, and devote
yourself unreservedly to it.” – James Allen

“The secret of success is constancy to purpose.”- Benjamin Disraeli

“Lack of something to feel important about is almost the greatest tragedy a man
may have.” – Aurthur E. Morgan

“To put away aimlessness and weakness, and to begin to think with purpose, is to
enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the
pathways to attainment; who make all conditions serve them, and who think
strongly, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully.” – James Allen


“There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come about
through encouragement from someone else. I don’t care how great, how famous or
successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause.” – George M. Adams

“The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement. Yet, almost no one gets
the encouragement they need to grow to their full potential. If everyone
received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would
blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond the wildest dreams. We
would have more than one Einstein, Edison, Schweitzer, Mother Theresa, Dr. Salk
and other great minds in a century.”  – Sidney Madwed

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise
after success.”  – Unknown

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you.
Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you.”
– William Arthur

“There is no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man. We are made up of thousands of
others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of
encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our
thoughts, as well as our success.”  – George Matthew Adams

“You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts,
acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all
help one another, everybody wins.”  – Jim Stovall

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Note how good you feel after you have encouraged someone else. No other
argument is necessary to suggest that never miss the opportunity to give
encouragement.”  – George Adams

Mental Toughness

Definition: Mental toughness is having the natural or developed psychological
edge that enables you to: Generally cope better than your opponents with the
many demands (e.g., competition, training, lifestyle) that are placed on you as
a performer. Specifically, to be more consistent and better than your opponents
in remaining determined, focused, confident, resilient, and in control under

“Mental toughness is many things. It is humility because it behooves all of us
to remember that simplicity is the sign of greatness and meekness is the sign of
true strength. Mental toughness is spartanism with qualities of sacrifice,
self-denial, dedication. It is fearlessness, and it is love.” – Vince Lombardi

“All things are difficult before they are easy” – Thomas Fuller

“Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one” – Bobby Knight

“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.”  – Bill Russell

“Mental toughness is not letting anyone break you.” – Jimi Mitchell

: “Mental toughness is doing whatever is necessary to get the job done including
handling the demands of a tough workout, withstanding pain, or touching an
opponent out at the end of a race.” – Jennifer Eberst

“Mental toughness is not being affected by anything but what’s going on in the
game or competition no matter what coaches, other players, or refs are doing.
It’s being able to block out what’s not important.” – Jenny Brenden

Why We Don’t Quit:  Giving up is the ultimate tragedy. – Robert J. Donovan


“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” – Bobby Unser

“You can’t push anyone up the ladder unless he is ready to climb himself.” –
Andrew Carnegie

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” – H. Jackson Brown

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” – Abraham Lincoln


“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in
having no goal to reach.” – Benjamin Mays

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal. Not to people or things.” –
Albert Einstein

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something
to aim at.”- Bruce Lee

“First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second,
have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and
methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.”- Aristotle


“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”
–  Frank A. Clark

“The leaders I met, whatever walk of life they were from, whatever institutions
they were presiding over, always referred back to the same failure something
that happened to them that was personally difficult, even traumatic, something
that made them feel that desperate sense of hitting bottom–as something they
thought was almost a necessity. It’s as if at that moment the iron entered their
soul; that moment created the resilience that leaders need.” – Warren G. Bennis

“If you know someone who tries to drown their sorrows, you might tell them
sorrows know how to swim.”  – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; adversity not without many
comforts and hopes.” – Francis Bacon

Track Quotes

“If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a board and knock me
down, because that means I didn’t run hard enough” – Steve Jones

“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you,
‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’”  – Peter
Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

“If you can’t win, make the fellow ahead of you break the record.” – Author

“This is the truth. The clock doesn’t stop until you force it to.  That is the
elegant beauty of track.  It is the simplest, and hardest, of sports.  Hear a
gun go off, and run fast.  That’s the simple part.  The hard part is, run faster
than anybody else out there.  This is the truth.  The clock will run until
somebody makes it stop.  It might as well be you, don’t you think?” -AISICS ad


“Self-disciplined begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don’t control
what you think, you can’t control what you do. Simply, self-discipline enables
you to think first and act afterward.” – Napoleon Hill

“Relentless, repetitive self talk is what changes our self-image. ” – Denis

“We all have voices in our heads which talks to us on an almost constant basis.
Our voices give us messages continually, and what they say to us affects us.”  –
Juliene Berk

“The inner speech, your thoughts, can cause you to be rich or poor, loved or
unloved, happy or unhappy, attractive or unattractive, powerful or weak.” –
Ralph Charell


“My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple. I tell myself: Get out
of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you’ll win…
Channel your energy. Focus.” – Carl Lewis

“Concentration is the ability to think about absolutely nothing when it is
absolutely necessary.”- Ray Knight


“Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class,
and be humble.”- John Madden

“We only live once, but once is enough if we do it right. Live your life with
class, dignity, and style so that an exclamation, rather than a question mark
signifies it!” – Gary Blair


“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and
that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley

“Perfection does not exist – you can always do better and you can always grow.”
– Les Brown

“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” – Unknown

“Become addicted to constant and never ending self improvement.” – Anthony J.

“He who stops being better stops being good.” – Oliver Cromwell

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by
achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar

“Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try
to be better than yourself.” – Willam Faulkner

Being a Champion

“No matter how tough, no matter what kind of outside pressure, no matter how
many bad breaks along the way, I must keep my sights on the final goal, to win,
win, win — and with more love and passion than the world has ever witnessed in
any performance.”- Billie Jean King

“There is no great success without great commitment, there is no great
commitment without great sacrifice.” – Kevin Massimino

“I’m tired of exceeding average, I want to be the BEST” – Tim Pettit