Limestone Head Football Coach Speaks At YMCA Community Prayer Breakfast

Charles Wyatt
Furrey - YMCA

God has a sense of humor.

His humor became apparent to Mike Furrey when he left a job as Limestone’s head football coach in 2018 for what he thought was his dream job as an NFL assistant coach. Furrey, an eight-year NFL veteran, spent four seasons as the wide receivers coach on Matt Nagy’s staff with the Chicago Bears.

Furrey quickly helped the Chicago Bears to an NFC North division title in 2018 and two postseason appearances in 2018 and 2020. Despite this success, he felt his life being pulled back to Limestone University in the same way the former Marshall assistant coach was first drawn to the community to recruit Gaffney High star running back Hyleck Foster.

Furrey was the guest speaker Thursday for a YMCA community prayer breakfast. He shared his vision for the Cherokee County community and discussed his decision to return as the Limestone head football coach last March.

“God definitely has a since of humor. There was a hole in my heart because I wasn’t in Gaffney,” Furrey recalled about his time in Chicago after departing Limestone. “I have coached and played in every stadium in the NFL except for the new Dallas stadium. All I wanted to do was come back to Gaffney for four years.”

Furrey served as Limestone’s head coach for two seasons in 2016 and 2017. His second football team in 2017 followed the never-quit attitude of their head coach, winning three of its five games in overtime.

He spent much of his time outside football involved in community service activities and worked to form strong partnerships with many school and community organizations in Cherokee County. He jumped at the opportunity last March when Limestone University athletic officials asked him to return as the Saints’ head football coach.

The reason was not just to coach football, according to Furrey.

Football is one of the tools that has guided Furrey in his faith to answer God’s calling for his life.

That calling Furrey said is to make a positive difference in the lives of young men and a lasting impact in the community.

“My vision is to help build the Cherokee County community,” Furrey said. “Success brings with it a platform to get involved. My goal is to make a difference and work with leaders in the community to make a positive change every day. There is no reason Gaffney shouldn’t be the best well-known city in South Carolina.”

When he returned as the Limestone coach last year, Furrey had a week to hire a staff and get ready for spring football practice. He brought in a coaching staff with 50 years of NFL playing experience and a host of talented players to help rebuild the Limestone football program.

Limestone completed a remarkable turnaround season from a winless fall season to finish with an 8-4 record in 2022 for its first winning season. The football team made its first appearance in the NCAA Division II playoffs and played home games on campus at Saints Field for the first time in the school’s 177-year history.

Limestone is now preparing to embark on a fundraising effort for a stadium expansion at Saints Field.

The 3,000-seat stadium will serve as the home field for football, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and field hockey.

Furrey envisions state-of-the-art athletic facilities at Limestone University that will help students be successful in all areas. He is ready to work with the community to make this dream a reality and believes people should work every day to use God-given talents to the best of their ability.

“I have faith and belief that God is working in all things and has his own plan for our lives,” Furrey said.

(Article by Scott Powell, The Gaffney Ledger, January 13, 2023. Photo by Limestone University Department of Communications & Marketing.)