Hometown Heroes: Chris Stewart

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They overcome the odds. They sacrifice for the greater good. They trade in problems for possibilities. You may know them as neighbors, coaches, colleagues, or friends. At Studio B, we honor them as Hometown Heroes, ordinary citizens whose everyday efforts strengthen the communities of Southeastern Ohio. Each has a unique story and together they inspire us to make a difference.

The concept of Hometown Heroes grew from a desire to recognize the many people who positively impact our region. Communities face challenges too difficult to ignore. Studio B celebrates individuals who model courage and compassion in the face of adversity. What do they value? Where do they find inspiration? How do they imagine a better future? Tune in as Hometown Heroes tell their stories.

On this edition of Hometown Heroes at Conversations from Studio B, Gina Wolf, a student in the School of Communication Studies, and Lynn Harter, the Steven and Barbara Schoonover professor of Health Communication, talk with Chris Stewart, Athens High School and Sandlot Baseball Coach and Athens Middle School Football and Basketball Coach. 

Stewart received his Bachelor of Science from Kentucky Christian University in Christian Education. Stewart is an active member of the region, including his role of Transition Coordinator at Personnel Plus and co-founder of Oasis Church in Meigs, Ohio.

Today, Wolf and Harter talk with Stewart about his involvement in youth athletics in the region. For Stewart, winning doesn’t just translate to being victorious over your opponent. In addition to teaching proper technique and sportsmanlike conduct, Stewart helps members of his teams grow into responsible adults who can face whatever challenges life throws their way. He does this by teaching, in his words, “the importance of accountability, mental toughness, and confidence both in and out of uniform.” As he works to cultivate the potential of his players, Stewart is redefining “winning,” and positively changing the tone of youth athletics in southeast Ohio.

During his conversation with Wolf and Harter, Stewart reflects on the path that led him to coaching, his goals as a coach, and the role of athletics in society at large. “This time that they [athletes] have to play the sport is very small compared to the rest of their life,” stressed Stewart. “So, if they can translate what they are learning on the field to life, then it’s very helpful.”