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As an NFL GM I would hire Billy Ray Stutzmann | The coach Navy fired for refusing the vaccine

Billy Ray Stutzman was fired from the Naval Academy because he did not feel it was right to be forced to take a vaccine based on his religious beliefs. DId he make the right choice?

Every general manager (GM) in waiting has a staff of people in mind when the call comes from an NFL owner. 

Former Navy assistant coach Billy Ray Stutzman is now on my list. 

I too have not taken the COVID-19 vaccine either, nor will I. 

I will take a bullet before I take the vaccine. 

I will not compromise either, based on a job or a paycheck. In 2013, I already stepped out of America’s system for an entire year when I preached full-time, trusting only Jesus Christ for all provisions. 

At the time I had a stay-at-home wife and four small children. I had no savings, no credit cards, a below average credit score, no back-up plan and no safety net. 

My book, Whatever it Takes, had just been published and I sent out an email to all the churches around the area I was living at during the time titled, “Modern Day Gospel Message.” Within the email I wrote, “Freely I have received, freely I give, all I ask for is an opportunity to come in and share my testimony.” 

Doors started flying open and pastors started inviting me in to share my story of a fan who made it into the NFL. I never asked anybody for a penny. Former NFL players turned evangelists, who had been out preaching and sharing their stories for years told me they thought I was nuts. They told me churches would take advantage of me. They told me I had to ask for money up front. I did not listen. I just trusted God instead – – and pastors started handing me checks without me saying a word. Money also started showing up out of the blue in our mailbox. Whatever was needed – – came. We lived like this for a year. It was the most incredible time of my life to see the same God of the Bible doing things in the here and now – – just like He did back then. 

Pastor Dale Fushek of the Praise and Worship Center in Chandler, Arizona was one of those pastors who invited me in to preach. He is a pastor who used to travel with Mother Teresa. When Pastor Dale heard my story and how God was providing for me and my family, he said, “That is how it works, money always follows calling.” 

It was also the hardest of times at the same time as my youngest son Isaiah James was dealing with a brain tumor and he had 350 resulting seizures at two years old. However, I watched Jesus Christ do amazing things that year. Let me make this clear, I did nothing – – I was only a vessel. I take none of the credit. I am nothing by myself. Everything that happened that year was because of Him. Jesus Christ gets all the Glory. I watched all sorts of supernatural things happen that year when I was out there preaching. I saw people supernaturally touched by the Holy Spirit and I even saw a woman I was baptizing in the Name of Jesus Christ healed of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which is said to be medically incurable. 

One night prior to preaching at the Praise and Worship Center I got down on my knees and prayed to God. I said, “Like the Apostle Paul said, I do not want my preaching to be with wise and persuasive words, but I want my preaching tonight to be with a demonstration of the power of the Spirit so men’s faith will not rest on my words but instead it will rest on your power,” and then I started praying in tongues. Energy was surging through me to the point my body was shaking as I was praying. 

That night when I was up there in front of the congregation I exclaimed, “And the next great revival that will sweep across this country and sweep across this globe will be birthed right here in the Praise and Worship Center!”

At that moment the power went out. 

Suddenly, a man’s voice yelled out from the congregation, “Keep preaching, bring the light into the darkness!” So I continued preaching by raising my voice.

The power came back on eventually and Pastor Dale came up to me by the window and put his arm around me. “In my 30 plus years of preaching, I have never seen anything like that before, you preached the lights out bro – – and not just in here, but all the way down the block!” He pointed out the window at the blinking stop light that was down a block from the church building. 

Back in 2006, God gave me a vision that I was accepting the Super Bowl Trophy up at the podium. The vision was as real as watching television. I know where all this is headed and when the call comes from an NFL owner comes – – Billy Ray Stutzman has a position on my coaching staff.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK. 


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