Catholic Athletes for Christ
The First Name in Catholic Sports Ministry

    Speaker Bios

    bauer_2014Lauren Bauer, Former Professional Softball Player

    LAUREN BAUER played softball at the University of Arizona from 1998-2001 and was a member of the 2001 National Championship team. She was a four-time All-American and an Academic All-Pac10 student-athlete. Bauer competed as a member of the 2001 U.S. National Softball Team and was named “Softball Athlete of the Year” by the U.S. Olympic Committee. After playing softball at the professional level, she retired in 2005. Bauer’s goal each day is to make Christ the center of her life; her motto is to “learn, live, and love the faith”.

    casper_icon_3David Casper, Former NFL Player

    DAVE CASPER, nicknamed “The Ghost” is a former NFL football player best known for being a prominent member of the Oakland Raiders. One of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game, Casper was elected to both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. While in college, he captained the University of Notre Dame football team to a National Championship in 1973. Casper’s 10-year professional career, primarily with the Oakland Raiders, was highlighted by five Pro-Bowl selections and a Super Bowl championship in 1977.

    chaneyDarrel Chaney, Former MLB Player

    DARREL CHANEY spent 16 years in professional sports, playing for the Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves. While with the Reds, Chaney played in three World Series and was a member of the 1975 “Big Red Machine” world champions. He was also a radio and TV broadcaster for the Braves and was a commercial spokesperson for several companies during his playing career. Following a successful post-baseball business career, Chaney now focuses his attention on motivational speaking.

    kellenclemens-Kellen Clemens, Former NFL Quarterback

    KELLEN CLEMENS is a former NFL quarterback drafted by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft and played collegiately at Oregon. He has also been a member of the San Diego Chargers, New York Jets, Washington Redskins, Houston Texans, and St. Louis Rams. Clemens is a sixth generation cattle rancher. He grew up herding cattle on his family’s ranch in Oregon, where they own over 100 head of cattle. Clemens is an active member of Catholic Athletes for Christ. His family received an unexpected blessing when Pope Benedict XVI blessed and kissed their four-week-old baby girl at the Papal Mass on April 17, 2008 at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.

    cutcliffe_iconDavid Cutcliffe, Head Football Coach, Duke University

    DAVID CUTCLIFFE is the head football coach of the Duke University Blue Devils. Under Cutcliffe, in 2012 the Blue Devils ended an 18-year bowl drought. The following season in 2013, Cutcliffe led the team to a second straight bowl appearance, an Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division championship, and the first 10-win season in school history. He also earned multiple college football coach of the year awards from the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the Maxwell Football Club, and the Bobby Dodd Foundation.

    Jack Del Rio, Defensive Coordinator, Washington Redskins

    JACK DEL RIO is currently the defensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins. Jack spent 11 years playing linebacker in the National Football League and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1994. He retired from playing in 1996 and went into coaching, serving in a variety of positions for several different NFL teams. In 2003 he was named head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, a position he held until November 2011. Prior to his current position, Jack served as the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos from 2012-2014, helping lead the Broncos to Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014. He also served as head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 2015-2017. Jack and his wife, Linda (member of CAC’s Board of Directors) have three daughters, Lauren, Hope, and Aubrey, and a son, Luke.


    Linda Del Rio, CAC Board Member

    LINDA DEL RIO is President of ExVotos Communications, LLC, and an accredited photographer. She serves as Vice President of The Jack Del Rio Foundation. Linda is also a board member and the NFL outreach coordinator for Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC), the first name in Catholic sports ministry and serves as a FOCUS Varsity Catholic’s Executive Consultant for collegiate athletes and missionaries as well as on committees within the Vatican Council of Culture in the division of Sport and within the Council of Laity and Sport. She has also organized women’s organizations for professional sport teams for wives, girlfriends, and their families. Linda’s writings and her accomplished and accredited photographs have been published globally in several publications in many newspapers and magazines. She is a Dame of Malta, a Lady of the Holy Sepulcher and supports many charitable causes including Comunita Cenacolo, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, Knights of Columbus, Children’s Hospitals, and Special Olympics. Linda has been married to Jack Del Rio, head coach for the Oakland Raiders, for 28 years and they have raised four children — Lauren, Hope, Aubrey, and Luke.

    donnellyRich Donnelly, Former MLB Coach

    RICH DONNELLY has coached in professional baseball for over 25 years. Prior to joining the Seattle Mariners’ organization in 2014, Donnelly spent three seasons (2011-2013) as skipper of the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League, Short Season-A farm club of the New York Mets. Donnelly also spent 14 seasons on Jim Leyland’s staff with three organizations – Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-1996), Florida Marlins (1997-1998), and Colorado Rockies (1999). He earned a World Series ring with Florida in 1997. He is also the author of the book, “The Chicken Runs at Midnight.”

    RebeccaDussaultRebecca Dussault, Former Olympic Cross Country Skier

    REBECCA DUSSAULT is a former American cross-country skier who was born and raised in Gunnison, Colorado. She participated in the 2006 Winter Olympics and was featured on EWTN’s “Life on the Rock” Catholic TV Show for her zeal of her faith and her active Catholic lifestyle. She is married with four children.

    faust_iconGerry Faust, Former Head Football Coach, Notre Dame

    GERRY FAUST is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the University of Notre Dame from 1981-1985 and at the University of Akron from 1986-1994. From 1962-1980, Faust was the head football coach at Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he tallied a mark of 178-23-2 that included seven unbeaten seasons, four national prep titles, and five Ohio state titles in his last six seasons. Faust coached 22 high school All-Americans and 39 All-Ohio players. In November 1980, Faust was announced as Notre Dame’s 24th head coach, compiling a record of 30-26-1 in five years, with two Bowl appearances.

    kerryfrazierKerry Fraser, Former NHL Referee

    KERRY FRASER is a former senior NHL referee who holds the record for most regular season and playoff games refereed. He began his NHL officiating career in 1980, and called over 1,900 regular season games, 13 Stanley Cup Finals, and over 261 Stanley Cup playoff games. Fraser also officiated two NHL All-Star Games, the 2010 NHL Winter Classic, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

    GavenEddie Gaven, Former MLS Player

    EDDIE GAVEN is a former professional MLS soccer player playing with the Columbus Crew. In July 2012, Gaven became the youngest player to play in 250 MLS matches at 25 years and 257 days old. He was originally signed by the New York Metro Stars when he was only 16 years old. Gaven has a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother and loves to pray the rosary.

    therese_grentz_iconTheresa Grentz, Former Collegiate/Olympics Basketball Coach

    THERESA GRENTZ is the former head coach of the women’s basketball programs at the University of Illinois, Rutgers University, and St. Joseph’s University. She was elected into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001. Grentz’s career record was 671-309 and she served as a head coach for 32 years, with the last 13 as the Illinois head coach. She was the Olympic head coach in 1992 where the team captured the Bronze medal in Barcelona.

    HabetzAlyson Habetz, University of Alabama Softball Coach

    ALYSON HABETZ is the assistant head softball coach at the University of Alabama, where she helped lead the Crimson Tide to the Division I National Championship in 2012. Habetz played professional baseball for the Colorado Silver Bullets and the Long Beach Aces. Her “uncle,” Hall of Fame Major League Baseball legend Tommy Lasorda, has mentored her career. Habetz loves to evangelize and has a special devotion to the Blessed Mother and the rosary.

    holliday_icon_3Johnny Holliday, Sports Broadcaster

    JOHNNY HOLLIDAY is a legendary Washington, D.C. sports broadcaster. Having broadcast more than 1,100 University of Maryland football and basketball games since 1979, he is considered the “Voice of the Terrapins”. Holliday also hosts the pre- and post-game shows for the Washington Nationals baseball team. He was inducted into the Radio and Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2003, and was awarded the Lindsay Nelson Outstanding Sportscaster Award in 2005 and the Chris Schenkel Award in 2006.

    ChrisHornChris Horn, Former NFL Player

    CHRIS HORN is a former wide receiver having played for the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and the Kansas City Chiefs during his NFL career (2003-2007). He is a member of CAC’s Athlete Advisory Board and is very interested in evangelization. Horn and his family pray the rosary daily and have a special devotion to St. Bridget.

    greg_johnson_iconGreg Johnson, Former NHL Player

    GREG JOHNSON is a former NHL hockey player (1994-2006) with the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, and Nashville Predators. In over 700 career NHL games, Johnson earned 350 points from 134 goals and 216 assists. His best season was in 1998-99 where he achieved 18 goals and 34 assists. Johnson was also a silver medalist for Team Canada in the 1994 Olympics and won a gold medal for Canada in the 1991 World Junior Championships.

    terry_kennedy_iconTerry Kennedy, Former MLB Player

    TERRY KENNEDY was a four-time all-star Major League Baseball catcher who played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1978-80), San Diego Padres (1981-86), Baltimore Orioles (1987-88), and San Francisco Giants (1989-91). In a 14-year career, Kennedy hit .264 with 113 home runs and 628 RBI in 1,491 games. Kennedy tied Johnny Bench’s National League mark of 40 doubles in a season in 1982. That same year Kennedy won the Silver Slugger Award. He appeared in four All-Star games (1981, 1983, 1985, and 1987) and played in two World Series (1984 with the Padres and 1989 with the Giants).

    bobby_keppel_iconBob Keppel, Former MLB Player

    BOBBY KEPPEL was a first round draft pick by the New York Mets in 2000. After six years in the minor leagues and one arm surgery he broke into the big leagues in 2006 with the Kansas City Royals. Keppel spent time in the majors and minors with the Colorado Rockies, Florida Marlins, and Minnesota Twins. He then spent four seasons (2010-2013) pitching in Japan with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Keppel is currently the publisher of “The 9s” mens magazine in St. Louis.

    klecko_icon_3Joe Klecko, Former NFL Player

    JOE KLECKO was selected by the New York Jets in the sixth round of the 1977 NFL draft and led all NFL rookies that season with eight sacks. He was the first member of what would become one of the most feared defensive lines in the history of the NFL, known as the “New York Sack Exchange”. Klecko, a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All Pro player, was the first NFL player ever to be named to the Pro Bowl at three different positions (DE, NT, and DT). He was also the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1981.

    BillLazorBill Lazor, Offensive Coordinator, Chicago Bears

    BILL LAZOR is currently the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears. Lazor previously coached for the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, and Philadelphia Eagles as well as offensive coordinator at the University of Virginia. He played collegiately as a quarterback at Cornell University from 1991-1993, where he graduated with 26 passing and offensive program records.

    Chris Ledyard, Athletic Director, JSerra High School

    CHRIS LEDYARD is the athletic director of JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano.  Previously, he served as the Director of Athletics for Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.

    lombardiJoe Lombardi, Quarterbacks Coach, New Orleans Saints

    JOE LOMBARDI is currently the quarterbacks coach of the New Orleans Saints.   offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions. His previous coached with the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons. Prior to coaching in the NFL, he coached at the college level at Mercyhurst College, Bucknell University, the Virginia Military Institute, and the University of Dayton. Lombardi also coached for the New York/New Jersey Hitmen of the XFL for one season. The grandson of legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi, he played as a tight end and graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1994.

    patmccaskeyPat McCaskey, Board of Directors, Chicago Bears

    PAT MCCASKEY began working for the Chicago Bears in 1974 and currently serves on the Chicago Bears Board of Directors. He is also the Chairman of Sports Faith International, an initiative that recognizes people who are successful in sports while leading exemplary lives. As Senior Director of Special Projects for the Bears, he works with players and staff to continue the club’s faith stewardship and community outreach initiatives. He is a speaker known for his moving and humorous presentations on sports, community, and faith. A high school football All-American and record-breaking track star in his youth, McCaskey is an avid runner who competes on the masters track circuit.

    MikeMcglinnMike McGlinn, Former Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame

    MIKE MCGLINN was a Notre Dame University offensive tackle, and part of the Lou Holtz legacy from 1991-1994. He played in major bowl games (Orange, Sugar, Cotton, and Fiesta) over four consecutive years. McGlinn is multi-talented individual who shares his love of the Catholic faith through speaking, writing, and music. He sings, plays piano, guitar and bass.

    RayMcKennaRay McKenna, Founder/President, Catholic Athletes for Christ

    RAY MCKENNA is founder and president of Catholic Athletes for Christ. He has served in sports-related ministry for 15 years including ministries associated with the MLB, NFL, professional boxing, and youth sports programs. McKenna was a participant in Rome at the Vatican’s first-ever sports conference in 2005 and has been working with the Vatican’s sports office to promote the Church’s mission in the United States through CAC. A leading Catholic speaker, McKenna’s favorite discussion topics are: “Jesus Christ: Model of Manliness, Model of Meekness”; “The Victory Disguised as a Defeat: Salvation of the World through a Cross on Calvary” (a reflection on St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians); “Playing and Praying to Win: The Role of Christians in Sports”; and “The Sense of Humor of God”.

    mckeon_icon_3Jack McKeon, Former MLB Manager

    JACK MCKEON is a former Major League Baseball manager. When “Trader Jack” took over as manager of the Florida Marlins in 2011 at age 80, he became the second oldest manager in major league history, behind only Connie Mack. During his previous stint with the Marlins from 2003-2005, McKeon led the team to a world championship in 2003. He also managed the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, and Cincinnati Reds. Jack was named National League Manager of the Year in 1999 and again in 2003.

    DarrellMillerDarrell Miller, Former MLB Player

    DARRELL MILLER is a former player of the California Angels (1984-1988) and currently serves as the Director of MLB’s Urban Youth Academy. As a convert to the faith, Miller is especially mindful of the depth and truth of the Catholic faith. He is a dynamic evangelical speaker who loves to share his testimony and faith far and wide. Miller was a participant in the Vatican’s first ever conference on Sports in 2005.

    piazza_icon_3Mike Piazza, Former MLB Player

    MIKE PIAZZA is recognized as one of Major League Baseball’s best players of the late 20th century. A 12-time All-Star and 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner, Piazza is often regarded as one of the best-hitting catchers of all time and holds the record for home runs hit by a catcher, with a career total of 427. Piazza played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and Oakland Athletics, before retiring in 2008.

    Philip Rivers, NFL Player, Indianapolis Colts

    PHILIP RIVERS is the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.  Previously, he was quarterback for the San Diego Chargers. Rivers was drafted in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft with the fourth overall pick. .

    VinnyRottinoVinny Rottino, Former MLB Player

    VINNY ROTTINO is a former Major League Baseball player and current scout for the Texas Rangers..  A native of Racine, Wis., Vinny played for his hometown Milwaukee Brewers from 2006-2008, before playing for the Florida Marlins, New York Mets, and Cleveland Indians. In 2014, Vinny played for the Nexen Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization where he helped lead his team to the KBO Championship Series.  Vinny is a cradle Catholic and very interested in sharing the faith with others, especially the young members of the church. He loves attending Mass and is thankful for the special graces the Lord bestows through the Mass.

    BradSengBrad Seng, Professional Ironman Triathlete

    BRAD SENG competes year round as a professional Ironman triathlete (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run). Seng has been the featured guest on EWTN’s “Life on the Rock” television program and several national radio programs including Nextwave Faithful Live and Catholic Connection.

    shurmurPat Shurmur, Offensive Coordinator, Denver Broncos

    PAT SHURMUR is currently the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.  Shurmur previously served as head coach of the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns. During his collegiate career, Shurmur was an all-Big Ten center at Michigan State. He loves his Catholic faith and is interested in sharing that faith through football.

    Kramer Soderberg, Coach and Author

    KRAMER SODERBERG is currently an assistant basketball coach at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill.  Kramer is a former standout college and high school basketball player.  Kramer was named Gatorade High School Player of the Year in Missouri in 2008 and inducted into the Lindenwood University HOF in 2017.  As a cradle Catholic Kramer’s faith life has been shaped through the influence of his parents, especially his father, Brad Soderberg, lifelong college basketball coach and current assistant at the University of Virginia. Kramer recently released a book titled “Fill Your Cup for Christ: A Spiritual Journey Sown and Grown through Sports.”  This book is meant to inspire and motivate Catholics to grow in their relationship with Christ and pursue a deeper and more authentic faith life by learning to strive for spiritual greatness in the midst of everyday life.  As a young, authentic, and enthusiastic Catholic, Kramer is able to connect with people of all ages through his stories, experiences, and simple yet profound understanding of the Catholic faith.

    JeffSuppanJeff Suppan, Former MLB Player

    JEFF SUPPAN is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and San Diego Padres. In 2006, he helped lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Championship and was named Most Valuable Player of the National League Championship Series. Suppan, a cradle Catholic and a product of a Catholic school education, was the first athlete to participate in the Vatican’s first-ever conference on Sports in 2005.

    sutulovichEric Sutulovich, Former NFL Coach

    ERIC SUTULOVICH is a former NFL coach with the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, and Houston Texans. Prior to his stint in the NFL, Sutulovich spent time in the collegiate ranks as a football assistant for the University of Kansas, University of Pittsburgh, and Louisiana Tech.

    sweeneyMike Sweeney, Former MLB Player

    MIKE SWEENEY (Chairman) is the former captain of the Kansas City Royals and a five-time Major League Baseball all-star first baseman. Retiring from the game in March 2011, Mike spent his first 13 years in the majors with the Royals, before finishing his career with the Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, and Philadelphia Phillies.  In 2015, he was selected as the 26th member of the Royals Hall of Fame. He now works as a special assistant for the Kansas City Royals and also runs his Catholic Baseball Camp organization.  Mike is a cradle Catholic and loves to share his faith at every opportunity. He remains fully committed to sharing the Gospel through athletics to all fellow believers in Christ.

    ThierfelderDr. Bill Thierfelder, Former Olympian High Jumper

    DR. BILL THIERFELDER is president of Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. He is a licensed psychologist, a two-time NCAA Division I All-American, a former NCAA Division I coach, and a member of the United States Olympic Committee’s Sports Psychology Registry (2000–2004). Dr. Thierfelder participated in the 1980 United States Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, and was a medalist at the 1981 U.S. Track and Field National Championships. He is also author of the book, “Less Than A Minute To Go: The Secret To World-Class Performance in Sport, Business and Everyday Life”.

    Dan Venezia, Former Professional Baseball Player

    DAN VENEZIA played three seasons with the Minnesota Twins Organization and is a survivor of two near-death experiences. His faith in Christ has been strengthened by these unique and powerful interventions God has made in his work, his family life, and his interactions with those less fortunate. He is the author of Surviving Covid-19 and a sought after motivational and inspirational speaker who has been a featured guest on many national radio and television programs. Venezia has a unique story to tell as a former professional baseball player, a successful fitness trainer and coach, a loving husband and father, and a passionate follower of Christ committed to share with others the power of faith, hope, love and forgiveness.

    LukeVercolloneLuke Vercollone, Former Professional Soccer Player

    LUKE VERCOLLONE has been a member of the Richmond Kickers soccer club in the USL Professional Division since 2008. Prior to joining Richmond, Vercollone played with the Charleston Battery during the 2006 and 2007 USL First Division seasons. Walked on to Seton Hall University’s soccer team Vercollone quickly became a starter and helped lead the Pirates to three consecutive NCAA tournaments. He earned first team Big East honors and was drafted by the MLS, where he played two seasons with the New England Revolution.


    Pat Verbeek, Former NHL Player

    PAT VERBEEK is a former NHL player from 1982-2002 and played for the New Jersey Devils, Hartford Whalers, New York Rangers, Dallas Stars, and Detroit Red Wings during his 20-year career. Verbeek is currently employed as Assistant General Manager with the Tampa Bay Lightning with former Detroit teammate Steve Yzerman, the current General Manager of the Lightning. He previously served as pro scout with the Detroit Red Wings.

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