The Raven Way: Coddington Leads New-Look AU Football Program
BY ZACH WADLEY ’14
5 MIN. READ
Jonathan Coddington ’14 is excited. You can hear it in his voice when he speaks. The new Anderson University football coach has returned to his alma mater where he once quarterbacked the Ravens, and is now tasked with leading the 2023 version of AU football in his first head coaching position.
Coddington is an engaged listener. He holds eye contact. He focuses on the conversation. He is intentional when he speaks. When the conversation turns to football, that’s when his blood gets pumping. His pace picks up, and it’s as if the million thoughts running through his mind are on display for all the room to see. To listen to him is to feel his passion.
He was always going to be a coach; that much he knew. But to have one of his dream jobs already? That’s something to be excited about. “There were a lot of emotions when I saw the job open up, excitement being the biggest one,” said Coddington. “I’ve thought about this job for a long time, and it felt like this was the right time and that God had laid the path for me to get to this point.”
Coddington comes to Anderson from Concordia University Ann Arbor, where he spent the last eight years on staff. He began as a graduate assistant, coaching the wide receivers before moving into a full-time role where he coached quarterbacks. He spent the last three years of his tenure as the offensive coordinator.
Not only does he get to return home, but he also gets to experience life as a head coach. “I’ve been mentally preparing for the role for a while,” said Coddington. “The two head coaches I worked for at Concordia were phenomenal and delegated quite a bit, so that has helped me feel at home in this role.”
Coddington has been hard at work to install his vision for “The Raven Way”—a multi-pronged approach to doing things the right way and building a program that all university stakeholders can be proud of. Coddington believes that nearly every college football program in America does the same things, but it’s how they do them that separates the great from the good and the good from the bad. In turn, there are seven mantras that make up “The Raven Way,” which will guide the program.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER: We are for each other. Our love stems from our Christian faith.
CONTAGIOUS POSITIVE ENERGY: Any success we have out on the eld will start with a belief that precedes it within our group.
BE ALL IN: We don’t just do things the right way when it’s convenient. We do it the right way regardless of the circumstances.
CHAMPIONSHIP LEVEL STANDARD: Our goal is to win a championship like everyone else, but that starts with the standard we set on game day, in practice, in the classroom, and in our interactions with others on our campus.
BE THE TOUGHEST, HARDEST- WORKING, MOST COMPETITIVE TEAM IN THE COUNTRY: Regardless of what plays are called, we can always control those three things.
DO IT BETTER THAN IT HAS EVER BEEN DONE BEFORE: Individually and collectively, we must have the mindset that we’re going to do things better than they have ever been done before.
ADD TO THE LEGACY: This program has been successful. Who is next?
For as energetic and excited as Coddington is, he is not detached from reality. He understands the program has to lean into “The Raven Way” if it is to get where he wants it to be. But he is more than willing to engage all stakeholders, especially the program’s alumni, to drum up support. He started doing so on his own staff by hiring multiple alumni across different generations.
“I wanted to have some alumni on staff, people who love this place just like I do,” he said. “They
are going to work hard for this place and they have all had success here as a coach or player.” Coddington also brought a few coaches with him from Concordia and others he met along his journey. Together, they make a well-rounded unit.
Excitement will be a theme throughout Coddington’s rst season, and it’s something he hopes translates to the fans and alumni who come to Macholtz Stadium on game days.
“We’re going to win some, and we’re going to lose some,” he said. “But we’re going to compete every single day. We will stick to our plan, and that will help us arrive at our destination, which is to be the team that we want to be, that our campus is happy to have here, and that everyone can be excited about.”
Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.