Local coach a source of inspiration

Story by Andy Lyons, News Editor

Culp is currently the program development and retention coordinator for UCM Athletics. (Photo by ANDY LYONS, News Editor)

One of the many faces associated with University of Central Missouri Athletics is that of coach John Culp.

He’s been a face in the Warrensburg community for nearly 15 years as a teacher, principal and coach.

Culp is a graduate of UCM and was a teacher, coach and administrator in the Warrensburg R-VI School District prior to his retirement.

Since 2006, he has served UCM as program development and retention coordinator for UCM athletics.  He also served as a member of the Warrensburg City Council, president of the Warrensburg Lions Club and in a variety of leadership roles with the First United Methodist Church of Warrensburg.

He has been recognized with the Distinguished Service Award by the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, and has served as a member of the UCM Alumni Association board of directors.

Culp has been an athletic counselor annually at Missouri Boys State on the UCM campus, and has served as a member of the City of Warrensburg Children’s Memorial committee.

Culp has coached across Johnson County since the late 1980s. (Photo submitted)

He and his wife, Sandy, have been strong advocates for legislation enabling assistance for treatment of eating disorders in Missouri, following the death of their daughter, Laura, in May 2009, due to anorexia.

Despite the adversity he has faced in his personal life, Culp has maintained a positive attitude and outlook on life.

“My mother always said ‘it’s better to wear out than rust out,’” he said.

Beth Rutt, director of student activities at UCM, has known Culp for nearly 30 years.  She said that after visiting with him, people tend to be more optimistic about life.

“He really just values human life and relationships,” Rutt said.  “He really walks the talk [when it comes to genuinely caring about others].”

Rutt said that Culp would never intentionally offend anyone he encountered and really focuses on building people up.  She has maintained her friendship with Culp through the loss of his daughter and through his wife being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010.

“Despite the adversity and challenges in his professional and personal life, he still has hope,” Rutt said.

Ed Wirthwein, assistant director of the Union at UCM, has known Culp for 18 years, and is an adviser for the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at UCM, along with Culp.  He said he agrees with Rutt that Culp is the type of person that doesn’t let his personal life affect maintaining a positive influence on young people.

“He’s always optimistic,” Wirthwein said. “If he knows it’ll help someone, he’ll sacrifice it. He’s the ultimate role-model and father figure, and he has no self-pity.  What gets him through is seeing those around him succeed.”

Posted by on October 15, 2012. Filed under Life and Leisure,Muleskinner. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Responses to Local coach a source of inspiration

  1. Brent Palmer Reply

    December 22, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Coach John Culp was one of the greatest coaches that Pleasant Hill High School ever had in Pleasant Hill, MO. I have so many fond memories of one of my all time favorite coaches. I played football from 1974 through 1978 on Coach Culp’s teams at Pleasant Hill. And during those 4 years, we had some outstanding teams. He was a great leader, a great motivator, and he loved coaching. Not only was he a great coach but he taught kids how to become great young men while growing up. I will always be grateful that I had the chance to be around John Culp while growing up in Pleasant Hill. Miss you Coach Culp, Brent Palmer

  2. Rex Russell Reply

    December 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Best wishes to Coach Culp. He had a very positive impact on me and Pleasant Hill High School while I was there. He deserves all the recognition he gets.

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