Willie Taggart has done a great job of making sure FSU past is taken into consideration as he forges new traditions. Many former players love the current interactions with Bobby Bowden, Mickey Andrews and Jim Gladden.
Taggart’s open-door policies and events for old players have been much appreciated.
There has been one constant who every former Doak Boy has made sure he’s come back to see. A person who has tied every player from the past three-plus decades at FSU together. A guy who I believe is as important to the program as honey fried chicken.
I know you’re thinking Odell Haggins, and he is the prototype for all things Seminole, but I’m talking about Clint Purvis, the long-tenured team chaplin at FSU.
I love that Taggart kept him around.
I remember when I first met Purvis. He hosted team Bible studies after practice. I don’t remember the Word as much as I remember the pizza. Folks think that football players are rich, but you can never turn down a meal in college.
As a student-athlete in the 2000’s, I was in a perpetual state of famishment. I was tired, too, but Clint had that good pizza, Papa John’s – before all this – and all you had to do was come hear 30 minutes of him preaching the gospel.
Then we fellowshipped and he was there to hear about all your problems, without judgement. He was someone you could talk to and tell you that you’re not the first Nole to go through that.
Every Friday night during the season, after Bowden gave the same exact speech that he gave every Friday night, telling us obvious things, Purvis would have a prayer group right before mandatory snack (I could write a book on how much they made us eat). We would all get up and say what we needed prayer for, and then Purvis would intercede on our behalf.
The next morning, Purvis would lead chapel as part of our pregame rituals. He would have a message of determination and some speaking points that he printed on cards for us to take back to our lockers. I kept a good portion of them, but many have been lost over the years. They were amazing messages many players held dear.
These little things that Purvis did week-in and week-out for all players, including walk-ons, throughout a player’s years on campus stuck. He is a walking Rolodex of the greats, and not so greats, who have come through Florida State.
Warrick Dunn spending time with longtime FSU Chaplain Clint Purvis. pic.twitter.com/bhz0oZiEs1
— Warchant.com (@Warchant) September 2, 2017
He’s married a great many of us and has also been there for many of us during our worst.
It's a blessing having genuine people in your life that truly has your best interest at heart. Mr. Purvis has always been there for me since the first day we met and still checks on me from time to time to make sure I'm ok. I appreciate you and love you so much Clint! Nole Family pic.twitter.com/X5VyWxx3ym
— Snoop Minnis (@Snoop_Minnis) August 2, 2018
During the Jimbo Fisher era, it was tough watching many of the “old” Seminole support staff mainstays former players came to love be let go. I was grateful Purvis stayed.
Many of us didn’t quite know who to ask for help during the Fisher era, but a call to Purvis always got you what you needed. I’ll never forget my son’s first FSU experience. Purvis hooked him up with a tour equipped with Garnet & Gold guides, field passes, and tickets. My son was like his spiritual grandson and many others feel the same way.
Purvis is the ultimate encourager. When I scored my first touchdown, he was one of the first to congratulate me and then do a quick prayer. When I got stopped, he was the first to encourage me and tell me he’s still got more prayers for me after touchdowns.
Even now he keeps up with many of us and lets us know he’s proud.
The storyteller in many cultures, especially Native American, was one of the most important people to the community. They kept the history of the tribe and were able to tell younger generations of the elders who came before them. Purvis is that to FSU football and FSU football is more important to his life than anybody inside of the Moore Athletic Center.
He’s the tie that binds generations of Noles and the reason that most of us have had faith through the good and the bad.
Trainer acting stingy with the Powerade. Bih give me some for the culture. Shout out 2 Clint Purvis for blessing my soul with that holy water.
— James Coleman (@biggamejames36) July 28, 2018
Clint Purvis doesn’t get enough FSU love in my opinion
— True Nole or LA (@Text_N_Tweet) March 29, 2018
In case u missed it Former Noles give team chaplain a Chevy Tahoe. Story includes Clint Purvis heartfelt response https://t.co/laj9kpTwNn
— Jim Henry (@JimHenryTALLY) December 30, 2016
RELATED: My favorite Florida State football traditions.
Article Originally Appeared on Gridiron Now: http://gridironnow.com/team-chaplain-clint-purvis-continues-binding-generations-of-seminoles/