WEST LAFAYETTE — For Tim Roth, his Hall of Fame coaching career at Winamac can be summed up by his three-word motto: “Faith, Family and Football.”
Roth was inducted into Indiana Football Hall of Fame during ceremonies Wednesday at the Purdue Memorial Union.
“I just try to instill in our players that there’s more to life than football,” Roth said. “When you’re playing football, that’s your No. 1 priority. When you step off the practice field, step off the playing field, then let’s prioritize our lives and get our faith and our family and things that are important to us in order the way that it should be.”
Roth’s motto starts with faith as the No. 1 priority. As Ashley Ledford, his daughter who introduced Roth on Wednesday said, “Faith, where would our family be without it?”
“In those moments in life that have perhaps set you back or even knocked you down,” Ledford continued, “knowing you relied on your faith to pick you up, to face the next day, to take the next challenge, we are stronger because we have witnessed you live by that faith.”
Roth’s oldest son, Tyler, was the star running back on the 2000 Winamac team that went 13-1 and was a semistate finalist. Tyler was tragically killed in an auto accident a week after he graduated high school.
“Without faith I couldn’t go on,” Roth said. “In 2001, we lost our oldest son a week after he graduated high school in a car wreck and I didn’t know if I could continue coaching. I asked God a bunch of questions and had a bunch of support from community members, and a couple assistant coaches came over to the house and said ‘whatever it takes, please don’t quit.’ So I did a lot of talking to God and I’ve tried to instill that in my family as well and then our players as well. I don’t portend to be a preacher or anything like that, but you’ve got to know your priorities and faith is my No. 1 priority.”