Nothing says Christmas like a water buffalo. For a poor family in Asia, getting a water buffalo is like getting a farm tractor to pull a plow, or getting a milk truck full of delicious milk, or getting a stand at the market to sell cheese. A water buffalo opens the door for work, food, and income. More importantly, it opens the door to talk about Jesus.
And nothing says Christmas better than that. This is Hans Schile from the Finishing Well Podcast. On Finishing Well, we help you make godly choices about Medicare, long-term care, and your money. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Questions and answers, Q&A with Kolov, The Devil's Nightmare. Hey, thank you so much, Nick. Appreciate you having me on the show, man.
Well, it's great to have you. When I say way, way, way back, I was trying to calculate, and you can help me with this, Kirk. 1978, does that sound right? It was actually 1979, the spring. We had English with Mrs. Stahlheim, the spring of 1979. That was when I started. I sat out the first month after high school and was a working stiff.
Okay. And for those who don't, well, I'm just amazed you remember the professor's name there. So, what Kirk is referring to is our college days. We first met at Golden Valley Lutheran College in Golden Valley, Minnesota. And that's where we first connected, right?
Yes, sir. That's where we first connected. And so, which is surprising for some, because they're like, wait a minute, the Russian nightmare went to a Bible college. And I'm like, yeah, when I tell that story, Kirk, I'm like, yeah, truthfully, I didn't go to learn about Jesus. I went because, you know, at the time when they were the number one football team in junior college football, and I knew several of the coaches at that time, and that was my motivation for going there out of high school.
And lo and behold, our paths would cross. Tell people a little bit about Kirk Talley, that lovely bride of yours, that beautiful wife of yours, Terry. But just tell folks a little bit about who Kirk Talley is, or your early days. Yeah, my early days. I grew up in a Christian home. My dad was a pastor, and is retired pastor now, still does counseling, well into his 80s on a weekly basis.
But I grew up in a Christian home, certainly had things that I was doing that weren't appropriate from a Christ-like perspective growing up in and out of high school. But I met my wife when we were both in high school. We knew who each other were, and we were blessed to stay together throughout a four-year period, which included that of Golden Valley Lutheran when we had nine months where we didn't date. But got back together there at Golden Valley, finished up there. I played one season of football at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington at the time.
It was an NAI school. And I played for a man named Frosty Westering who just impacted my life more than anybody other than my parents and my wife. And so he taught me how to integrate my faith into coaching. And that's what I've been doing for the last almost 40 years, Nick.
Yeah, and we'll talk more about that, but let me just interrupt you there for just a second. So you and Terry go all the way back to high school? Like, when did you first meet Terry? Well, I kind of went to a crazy junior high that, in the town of Bloomington, Minnesota, it split off all the students in that junior high to three different high schools. And I stayed in touch with some of the guys that I went to junior high with while I was in high school. They started palling around with Terry. She became a Christian early in her high school years. And so we crossed paths quite a bit in high school. So we kind of eyed each other, but really didn't start dating until I was out of high school and just working. But the two of us, and then Trent Trimer, who's a good friend, and you know Trent as well, he helped in getting Terry, who was going to go to St. Ben's there near St.
Cloud, to convince her to go to Golden Valley Lutheran. So that's how we ended up staying together because it was probably more Trent than me convincing her to go to this Bible junior college in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Right, right. Which, you know, I think back on those days and certainly so many memories. But it's interesting. I mean, that's fascinating to me that you guys have known each other that long. And then, how did you, so was Trent the reason you decided to go to Golden Valley as well then?
Yeah, Nick, it's so interesting to have the 20-20 vision that we have now. But I was not really a great student in high school. I didn't like school anymore, so I decided...
I can relate to that, by the way. Yeah, I think there's a lot of football players that are out there. But I wanted to go to PLU because of Frosty from 9th grade on. My parents had visited there, and my cousin had played for him in the early to mid-70s.
And they couldn't stop talking about this coach. But anyway, to make a long story short, I got accepted there, but it was conditional. And I said, my pride got in the way. I'm not taking some classes for no credit.
I don't even remember if it was math or English. But anyway, to make a long story short, bottom line is I chose to just work instead. And I was all set. I went to Normandale, which you know Normandale and his football history. I was going to go there and play tight end because I was a tight end in high school. And I was set to go there, and good old Trent calls me up and said, don't go to Normandale and have high school number two.
Why don't you come up and visit Golden Valley? So I went up there on a Saturday in October and met the coaches. I hadn't gotten recruited one I owed out of high school.
And Luther Lerseth, who we know and love, spoke to me. I met Scrine, and I was smitten with Golden Valley Lutheran and the football program and the coaches and the players. I had no idea what I was getting into. Yeah, nor I. I committed to going there in the spring rather than even waiting in the fall.
I was that excited about it. Yeah, well that's amazing. You talk about grades and stuff. That was another factor. The main reason I went to Golden Valley out of high school was, prior to your being there, Coach Irv Nerdahl, Bill Burke. Bill Burke was the defensive coordinator and my first male mentor in my life. He was my seventh grade football coach.
And the first real man, for those who know my story, my dad left when I was three, so I had no male leadership. And Coach Burke was the first one to take me under his wings in seventh grade. So he was the defensive coordinator over there. There was about four or so of the coaches from Robinsdale, where I was going to high school and graduating from, that were over at Golden Valley at that time.
And he kind of convinced me to go over there. But grades was another factor, like yourself. It didn't dawn on me until my senior year in high school that you actually have to have grades to get into college.
And I'm like, oh, for real? You mean my athletic ability? The fact that I'm a football stud just won't get me into every major college in America?
Well, unfortunately, no. And even then, I still didn't fully apply myself, honestly, until my junior and senior year. I just did enough my freshman and sophomore year to kind of skate by.
But once I got into my major, that's where it really started to excel for me personally. Amen, brother. Yeah, so going back to those Golden Valley, and by the way, there's only one other person in my life, Kirk, just so you know. There's only, that I consider a friend, a dear friend, there's only one that I've known longer, so you're the second longest, second longest reigning dear friend of mine. Of course, you probably, or you may know who I'm going to refer to, he doesn't live far from you now, but Tim Pelletier. And Tim and I actually go back to high school. We played football together at Robinsdale High School, and I met him in 1975. Wow, yeah, that was your early high school years.
My early high school years, he played quarterback there in high school, and then he played quarterback for Golden Valley, and he was another factor why I went to Golden Valley. So there were multiple reasons, and unlike yourself, see, I didn't grow up being a PK, for those who don't know, that's preacher's kid, right? I didn't grow up being a PK, so I tried to sleep through every Bible class I had there at Golden Valley.
You can probably picture that, Kirk. Hey, I did the same thing, especially when it was Luther's class. He's a heart and soul of that place, really, and sadly enough, I've missed a lot of his classes. I mean, he was such a soft-spoken man, wasn't he? Basically, he was a football coach. Was he such a soft-spoken man? Oh yeah, except for when he'd say, our victory is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Oh my gosh, gosh. What are a couple other favorite memories you have from Golden Valley? Okay, I've told this one many times over the years, but we had a team both years I played that was ranked in the top 20, and that year, my first year there in 1979, we were in the top 10. And we had some really good football players, including yourself, and anyway, one of my greatest memories was of Saturday mornings when we were at home. You and Joel and Bomber and Scotty Berger would come down the hallway to Trent's in my room, down the door, jump on the bed, start beating the crap out of us, me and Trent. They'd say, get those cartoons going! And we'd watch Godzilla and Johnny Quest before we went over for our pregame breakfast. Oh my gosh, come on. Wow.
And for those of you who don't know, they may not be familiar with it, let me just interject. So Bomber, Dan Johnson, went on to play about eight or nine years for the Miami Dolphins under coach Don Shula. And was a tight end, and went down to Iowa and then on to Miami, and if I'm not mistaken, you probably remember better than I did. Did he catch a touchdown in the Super Bowl? He did.
I think it's the last touchdown that Miami has scored in a Super Bowl. Dan Johnson, the bomber, the bomber. He and I played against each other in high school. He was over at Cooper High School. I played against him in high school, too. Yeah, and then Scotty Berger was a teammate of mine in high school from Robinsdale. Scotty Berger, linebacker. And then you said Joe, so most people go, Joe who? Well, let's enlighten the audience to who we're referring to.
He would later become known as who, Kirk? The Animal. The Animal, Legion of Doom Road Warrior. That's right.
The Animal Road Warrior. Actually, we all play college football together, and I'm trying to picture that, man. You know, barging into your room. Yeah, so I'm thinking back, Kirk, to so Animal and I, before we ever entertained the idea of being professional wrestlers, we were actually performing body slams and elbow drops on you guys.
Oh yeah, absolutely. But here's the thing, and it was that first English class when I met you guys, and I hadn't played ball with y'all, but you took me in because all those same guys were in that class except for Scotty Berger. And we started walking into the classroom, you and I, with our sunglasses on, as if we were the east-west connection. And the guy named Scott Simpson used to always say, listen here, little man. I don't know if you remember that Scott Simpson, but I do. I do remember the guy, and I remember the strut, and again, for the wrestling fan out there, the east-west connection was Jesse the Body Ventura, that's right.
Jesse Ventura, that's right. And Adrian Adonis, east coast, the east-west connection, so we would mimic or imitate Jesse the Body Ventura, Adrian Adonis, east-west connection, strutting into Bible class, yeah? So here's one thing, man, you brought up the strut, I will never forget this, I remember like it was yesterday, my wife probably is disappointed that I remember this better than some other aspects of our wedding day. But I'm walking down the aisle with my bride after the wedding, and I look, and I see you and Brad Leaton sitting in the back row, and I start strutting when I see you, and a picture of it is in our wedding album.
Are you serious? Jesse the Body strut. The Jesse the Body strut down the aisle on the wedding day.
As I'm looking at Nikita Kolov and Brad Leason. Well, you know, here's the interesting thing, Nik, that I saw. They would always call Trent, they never said it, you guys never said it to me, and it was more Joe than anybody. You're a sissy, you're a girl, you know, because Trent had a strong faith, part of the reason I chose the Golden Golden Valley, because I knew he would keep me in check. And Trent did not swear, he didn't cuss, he was a very kind and gentle guy, but he was a great football player, and so I think that Joe and some of the other guys sort of picked up on that he was different. And so he got picked on a little bit, not enough to disrespect him ever, but it was all in jest, but I think there was a ton of respect for Trent because he walked by his faith, but Joe and some of the other guys didn't know how to deal with it, and so that's sort of what happened.
That's how I see it 20 vision later. Well, and it's interesting, because Joe came from a Catholic background, so a roadwayer animal was from a Catholic background, I essentially came from no church background, I mean, more or less. I mean, you know, we attended a Lutheran church, at best when I was little, living in Minneapolis, you know, we were CEOs, we were Christmas and Easter only crowds, part of that crowd at best, but I look back, Kirk, and clearly I can look back and go, God has a sense of humor, I end up at a Bible college and trying to sleep through Bible classes, but nevertheless, seeds were still being planted, right? They were still being planted, and just to be around you guys who grew up in that, and to be at a Bible college.
I'm going to get to what you're doing in modern day, fast forward to modern day, but you have one last favorite memory from Golden Valley? You know, I think singing on the bus after the games was fun, you know, I remember some of the things in regard to on the field, but in all honesty, may the circle be unbroken after the games a lot of times, and things like that, and those are some great memories for sure. Well, it's, and I know the conference we played in, of course, you know, we weren't, it wasn't like we were in some kind of Christian football conference, right? I mean, we were just in a regular football conference, but we were the only Christian school, yeah?
Absolutely. That I remember, and so, you know, even with other teams, we'd get made fun of. In fact, I remember my freshman year when I fractured my leg up in Thief River Falls, you know, the other team, you know, Raz and us, the goody-goody boys from Golden Valley, you know, because everyone knew we were a Bible college, and we left it all on the field, didn't we?
And as you said, we had some very dominating teams, no doubt. Right, and those bus trips were long, because that was back when the speed limit was 55, and in our conference, we, I think the closest team was three or four hours away. Yep, yeah, and Thief River Falls, six plus hours on the bus. Yeah, those were some long bus rides, but some great times of fellowship, and so, well, you mentioned, and oh, by the way, so we've been talking about your lovely bride, Terry, but you have some children, too. Yes, sir, we have Brittany, our oldest, who is married and lives with her husband and two kids up in Connecticut, where her husband is from, and then Christy lives right there in Roseville.
She's got a son as well, and they're in their mid-30s now, so we're getting up there. We're getting up there, we're getting up there, and you guys live in Florida, Sunshine State. Yes, sir, we live in central Florida. Alright, and before we get to what you're doing and how folks can follow you, and so you mentioned going out to Tacoma, out to Washington, PLU, Pacific Lutheran, and now, but you've spent almost 40 years in coaching, so give a quick snapshot on your coaching career. Yeah, you know, I started coaching part-time there in the Twin Cities at Bethel University. Coach there had recruited me out of Golden Valley and chose not to go there, but he asked me to coach, and so started coaching there. That was my first gig doing defensive line, and we moved around a ton. I was a graduate assistant for a couple years. My first full-time paid position was as a college head coach, so that's pretty crazy.
That was in 1988. I just turned 28, and we've moved around the country. This is my fifth head job here at Warner University, and it's been a huge blessing. Never, ever would have thought that I'd be a head coach for 26 seasons throughout my career, that's for sure.
That's amazing. Tell the folks again what college you're currently at. Yes, I'm at Warner University. It's a small Christian school, around 1,000 students down here in central Florida.
We're about an hour from Tampa Bay, and we're about 45 minutes to an hour to Disney World. Okay, and over the course, we've got just a few minutes left, Kirk, but we've got a couple highlights on your coaching career. Yeah, I would say that the first highlight is when I see these young men that I've recruited in high school, and then they leave and get back to me and just say how the good Lord, or that I have impacted them, and I say good Lord because it's his Holy Spirit working through me, impacted or influenced their lives and how they either live or how they work with their kids, it's just interesting. Probably a couple of the guys that have been the biggest pain in the butt on and off the field during their time underneath me as the head coach are probably the guys that I'm closest to or have had most contact with over the years.
So it's sort of crazy how God works in mysterious ways that way of some of these kids that, you know, they got caught drinking because I've always been at Christian schools except for my first gig, you know, or this or that happened, and so I got to meet with them. So anyway, those are some of the highlights for me. Certainly we've won the conference many times.
We've also lost a lot of games as well, but we've won a lot more games than we've lost, so that's been a blessing as well. Well, I think, Kirk, and the reason I wanted to have you on the show is certainly because of our long-standing friendship, but more than anything, the impact of what you just said, the impact that you're making on young lives. And, you know, for the listeners out there, you know, Kirk isn't necessarily a Nick Saban per se, you know, in the limelight on a major platform. However, I remind, Kirk, here's what I want to think about you.
Here's what I think, here's the Scripture comes to mind. Let me finish and say, the last will be first and the first will be last, and meaning, take a guy like Nick Saban who is, by all accounts, first, right? I mean, he's roll tide, right?
I mean, he's got it rolling with the tide, right? And so, he's a man of notoriety, but here's Kirk Talley who has given nearly 40 years of his life on a smaller scale and on a lot lesser platform, less known by the major audiences, but nevertheless, making as great or even greater an impact on young men's lives. Because you're modeling Jesus for them. And eventually, I picture men in heaven because of what you modeled as a coach to these young men, Kirk. And, you know, I just have such a love in my heart for you. You brought back some great memories today.
Some of which I'm like, oh my gosh, I completely forgot about that. But some great memories and kudos to you and I hope the listeners will go and look up your college and follow your coaching career down there in Florida, man. Such a pleasure to have you on the show today.
Hey, thanks so much for having me, my friend. Well, and much continued success and more conference championships is my prayer for you. And not just so that you can build your own accolades, but Lord, as the Lord gives us, because you're incredibly, people I'm sure can tell, incredibly humble. And in that sense, God says clearly in his word that he'll build the platform for those who walk humbly before him.
Absolutely. And he's going to continue to give you greater and greater and greater influence on many, many, many more lives. And so, appreciate you and your lovely bride, Terry, and your family.
Thanks, Nick. Well, today on The Man Up Show, Kirk Talley, head football coach and making a difference. What are you doing to make a difference? Like, whatever chosen field you find yourself in, whatever endeavor, whoever you're employed by, are you working as though unto man or work as though unto the Lord?
I think clearly you can see Kirk is working as though unto the Lord, even though he's employed as a head football coach. And so, I just want to encourage you and or challenge you today. If you don't yet have a personal relationship with Jesus, could I encourage you to make that decision today? Wait no longer. Wait no longer. Pause even right now in whatever you're doing and invite Jesus into your heart. Thanks for tuning in to The Man Up Show and we'll catch you next time on another episode of Douglas. This is the Truth Network.
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