Association of Catholic Coaches & Athletes (ACCA)

How the ACCA came into existence:

On Saturday, January 8, 2011 Barry Dean had Mass celebrated at the American Baseball Coaches Association’s (ABCA) national convention at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. The Mass was available for the Catholic baseball coaches attending the ABCA convention. Prior to the Mass Barry contacted Matthew Kelly, a world renowned speaker on the Catholic faith, about donating copies of his book, “Rediscover Catholicism” and his CD, “7 Pillars of Catholic Spirituality” to give to the coaches attending the Mass. The event was well-received by the coaches in attendance, and it was then that the idea was formed to establish the Association of Catholic Coaches & Athletes.

Two main focuses of the ACCA will be to first educate Catholic coaches about their faith, and secondly to inspire them to evangelize their Christian faith to their players and fellow coaches. By educating our Catholic coaches and athletes on why we do what we do in the Catholic faith they will in turn have a greater understanding and appreciation for the tradition, beauty and truth of their Catholic faith. This will in turn strengthen their relationship with Jesus Christ, thereby forming them to be better husbands, wives, students, coaches, players, and most importantly, followers of Jesus Christ. As a result of this transformation, the follower will be more likely to evangelize to fellow coaches, players and teammates.

Mission Statement:

From the Youth Leagues to the Professional Leagues, our Mission is to “Educate, Honor, Inspire & Evangelize” Catholic Coaches & Athletes of any sport in the United States and around the World. This will in turn allow them to better serve the athletes they coach and teammates they play within a Christian manner. We are a Catholic organization which professes the Catholic Faith as taught by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1997, 2nd Edition).

How to achieve the Mission:

Have Mass celebrated at each of the National Coaches Conventions (State Conventions when available)
At these Masses have the sacrament of confession available, have a speaker or two talk about a certain aspect of the Catholic Faith (Confession, praying the Rosary, Adoration Chapel, reading the Bible, etc.), have food there and enjoy fellowship. Also hand out Matthew Kelly, Scott Hahn, Fr. Larry Richard’s and other Lighthouse Catholic Media CD’s and Catholic literature (books, Rosaries & Rosary booklets, how to go to Confession pamphlets, etc.). Recruit coaches at each mass to be the contact person for Catholic Coaches & Athletes in the state they reside until all 50 states are represented.

Hold Catholic Coaches Conferences (National, Regional and State Levels)
A weekend gathering: Check-in, welcome and social Friday night, all-day speakers and activities on Saturday & Sunday morning, end conference by attending Mass Sunday morning.

Reaching Catholic Coaches
Emails, Mail outs, putting ad’s in coaches publications, the word being spread by coaches attending at the Masses held at the National and State Coaches Conventions.

Working with other Catholic Organizations
Assisting Catholic Sports Organizations such as, but not limited to, Varsity Catholic, Catholic Athletes for Christ and Catholic Baseball Players for Christ, and other Catholic Coaches & Athletes whom we encounter. Encouraging our male and female coaches to attend a Cursillo retreat weekend, and our males to join a Men of St. Joseph’s group or start a Men of St. Joseph’s group if there’s not one in there area.


2011 – 2012 Timeline / Calendar of Events

April 18, 2011 Vicar General Fr. Stephen Martin writes a letter of support to the ACCA on behalf of the Archdiocese of Mobile and Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi.
May 19: First Board Meeting, Approve By-Laws & a Constitution and apply for 501 (c) (3) status.
Sept. 13: 501 (c) (3) status is granted to the ACCA by the IRS.
Oct. 31: Bishop Robert J. Baker of the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama writes a letter in support of the ACCA.
Nov. 15 ACCA website goes live,

National Coaches Conventions where Masses have been set up: 2011 – 2012 School Year

Date of Mass Event Location of Convention/Time & Location of the Mass
January 7, 2012 American Baseball Coaches Assn. Anaheim – Hilton & Marriott Hotel’s/TBA
January 8, 2012 American Football Coaches Assn. San Antonio – Gonzalez Conv. Center/TBA
April 1, 2012 (Mass TBA) Men’s Basketball Final Four New Orleans, Louisiana/TBA
April 1 – 3, 2012 (Mass TBA) Women’s Basketball Final Four Denver, Colorado/TBA


* Once the time and location of the Mass have been confirmed for each convention we’ll post it above.

* Please check this page from time to time to see if we add any other Masses for other sports coaches national conventions.

Coaches contact information will be taken at the Masses. They will be kept informed of the future Masses and events the ACCA.

ACCA State and Regional Representatives will be appointed as more coaches around the country show an interest in helping us achieve our mission.