Hi everyone! Thanks so much for tuning into the podcast—always grateful for a listen. I’m super excited to share my conversation with my friend Coach Ashley Howard who is the men’s head basketball coach at LaSalle University. This was a really fun one for me because his story connects to past podcast guests Coach Jay Wright and Father Rob Hagan. If you haven’t listened to my podcast with Coach Wright or Father Rob, definitely take the time to tune in. They both were incredible guests. And this was also fun for me because Coach Ash is a family friend! His dad, Mo Howard, coached my brother, Tony Hayden, at St. Joseph’s Prep so we go way back.

Coach Ashley Howard is married to his wife, Arianna, and they have two beautiful children! He was born and raised in Philadelphia where he bounced around from different grade schools and high schools and then landed at Drexel University. He was a standout player at Drexel but unfortunately, his basketball career came to a sudden halt at the end of his sophomore year due to a health condition.

Coach Ash found the silver lining and became a student assistant coach, which was the start of his coaching career. After Drexel, Coach Ash was an assistant at LaSalle then Drexel, Xavier, and then at Villanova under Coach Wright—Coach Ash was a major part of the 2016 and 2018 basketball championship success. After his profound experience under Coach Wright, Coach Ash was offered the head coaching job at LaSalle University just one year ago in April 2018, which was always a dream for him!

So throughout our conversation,  we not only talk about Coach Ash’s successful basketball coaching career but we also talk about the setbacks, the importance of trusting God’s plan, overcoming failure, balancing family life, always remaining humble, the meaning of grit, and so much more. Hope you guys enjoy!

Books:
Uncommon Life by Tony Dunge

New podcast is up with my friend Father Rob Hagan! Father Rob is most well known for being an incredible asset to the Villanova University Community, where he is both the basketball and football Chaplain and Senior Athletic Director.

Coach Jay Wright gave him the honor of being the last person to cut down the net after the 2018 Championship game. Coach Wright remarked the following about Father Rob: “I think every player and every member of our staff will tell you Father Rob is one of the greatest men any of us have in our lives. He has been an integral part of the program and my life, I count on him as a dear friend. Our whole team and staff attend a prayer service before every game. It starts with Father Rob doing a reading from the Bible and then a homily. He’s never talking about the game, he’s talking about life — and what kind of men we are and what kind of Christians we are. I always joke with Father, don’t make us cry before the game!!”

When I met Father Rob last month, I had just lost my dad and he also lost his dad suddenly at the age of 18, so we instantly made a connection and he was able to provide me with profound wisdom I will never forget.

So quick background on Father — he is from Philadelphia, went to Cardinal O’Hara for high school, graduated from Villanova in 1987 and then immediately went to law school. He was a successful attorney for seven years, living a very normal life for a young man in his 20s and early 30s. Then when he was 32, he decided he wanted to become an Augustinian. After six years of additional education, he was ordained a priest in 2003 and has never looked back.

Throughout our conversation, he not only takes on his life journey but also provides us with valuable universal life lessons on humbleness, small acts of kindness, patience, overcoming failure, how to handle losing a loved one, and so much more. Please enjoy!

 

Books:

Green Bananas: The Wisdom of Father Bill Atkinson