Hey, I’m Thomas Wurtz. I am the founder of www.FaithandAthletics.com, founding director of the premier outreach to college athletes called Varsity Catholic, and author of Compete Inside.

Being a Christian athlete these days isn’t easy. And neither is trying to help form young athletes as a coach. That is what this site is all about.

My mission is to shed light on the intersection of faith and athletics, and to harness the benefit of that intersection. My take remains what it has been the past 9 years working directly with college athletes – athletes and coaches have the potential to be some of the most impactful Christians on the planet. They just need guidance.

My goal is to give athletes, coaches, administrators and parents profound insight and inspiration on faith and athletics, the power of uniting them both, and all things related to that journey. I hope you find the content perfectly relevant to you. I will typically post a blog entry each week, and each month feature a guest entry from someone in the world of sport. To make sure you don’t miss them, you can subscribe over on the right side via email.


My Biography

I have been around sports my entire life. I was an all-state quarterback in high school (Brophy College Prep), helping our team to the state finals in Arizona and setting a few school records. I went to the University of San Diego on a Presidential Scholarship and played a season of football. After taking a greater interest in the social aspects of college, I finished my last three years of undergraduate work at Benedictine College and played club level rugby.

While completing my Bachelor’s degree, I had a profound encounter with the Lord in large part through those I met that were involved with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS, www.focus.org). I have worked with college athletes since 2001 as a missionary with FOCUS at both Illinois Wesleyan University and Seton Hall University. In 2007, I launched Varsity Catholic (www.varsitycatholic.org), a division within FOCUS, to take our principles and approach to serve the faith needs of student-athletes across the country, and spent five years developing it on campus at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. I have served as the director of Varsity Catholic since its inception, guiding its growth as well as working directly with our over thirty staff around the country serving nearly 700 college athletes on a weekly basis.

I received my Master’s degree in Catechetics and Evangelization as a member of the first graduating class of the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado. 

I have been featured by the Vatican’s Church and Sport Section’s website. My book, Compete Inside: 100 Reflections to Help You Become the Complete Athlete was released in April 2015 by Westbow Press.

I am also a proud member of the elite Catholic Speakers Organization, CMG Booking.

I married my wife Kate in 2012, and now reside in Littleton, CO with our three awesome little children.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/twurtz13

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/twurtz13

If you are interested in having me speak at your next event, view my booking profile here

By the Way

This is my personal blog. The opinions I express here do not necessarily represent those of my employer or Varsity Catholic. The information provided here is as-is. I make every effort to ensure the validity of the information, but make no guarantees. Faithandathletics.com will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in the information on the site or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its use. 



Coach Jay Phillips

Coach Phillips cropped

FaithandAthletics.com is excited to add Coach Jay Phillips as a contributor. Coach, a 2005 Mount St. Mary’s University graduate, returned this year to his alma mater to take over as Head Coach of the cross country and track and field programs.

Phillips’ resume includes a nine-year stint on the Mount St. Mary’s coaching staff before serving the 2014-15 season as Cross Country and Track and Field Head Coach at Belmont Abbey in North Carolina. 

After completing his four-year career as a standout sprinter on the track and earning his degree in 2005, Phillips immediately made the jump into the coaching ranks at the Mount working his way from Assistant Coach to Associate Head Coach from 2005-14.

During his tenure on staff at the Mount, Phillips’ athletes broke eight school records as well as three Northeast Conference records. He coached 24 NEC Champions, 41 All-NEC honorees, two NEC Rookie of the Year and two NEC Most Outstanding Track Athlete of the Year winners.

Phillips’ time as the head coach at Belmont Abbey produced four Conference Carolinas individual championships and the women’s indoor track athlete MVP. His athletes also broke a dozen school records. In cross country, Phillips coached a top six finisher at the conference championships on the women’s side while both the men’s and women’s squads won sportsmanship awards from the conference.

As a student-athlete for the Mountaineers, Phillips was one of the Mount’s distinguished sprinters who consistently led the team on and off the track.  A member of the Mount’s all-time top sprinters’ list, he was also a member of the Mount’s All-East 4x400m relay team that still holds the school record.

Phillips was awarded the University’s most prestigious academic award, the Flanagan Memorial Prize, given to the graduate who best represents the mission of Mount St. Mary’s University in scholarship, conduct, and leadership.  Phillips also earned the Sheridan Award in 2005, given to the graduating student-athlete who excels in both athletics and academics.

During his time as an assistant at the Mount, Phillips started the “Faith and Athletics” program in 2010, which is designed to provide student-athletes the opportunity to meaningfully integrate their life as an athlete with their spiritual life. Phillips also served as a lecturer in the undergraduate theology department from 2008-14.

Phillips earned his bachelor’s degree in theology from Mount St. Mary’s in 2005 before going on to add a master’s in theology in 2008 from the Mount.

Phillips resides in Fairfield with his wife Dale, daughters Adelaide and Mary Grace, and son Isaiah.


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