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The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.

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Sammie Smith

School – Florida State University

Position – Director of Character Development for Ole Miss Football

 Year – FCA staff since 2012

 Hometown – Apopka, FL

 Location – Oxford, MS

Sammie is from Apopka, Florida, where he was a standout 230-pound running back with sprinter’s speed. Sammie’s talents awarded him a scholarship to play for Coach Bobby Bowden at Florida State from 1985-1988. In 1987, Sammie set the FSU rushing record with 1,230 yards. This record stood until Warrick Dunn broke it in 1995.

Sammie was drafted as the ninth overall pick of the 1989 NFL Draft. While at the summit of his athletic career, his life began to unravel. In 1990, Sammie lost his 2- month-old son Jerrod to sudden infant death syndrome. Then in 1996, Sammie was convicted on two accounts of possession and distribution of cocaine and served seven years in federal prison. When Sammie was at his lowest point, he surrendered his life to Christ and things have never been the same.

“That first night, I sat in the county jail and had a chance to really look at the previous six or seven years,” Sammie said. “It was at that point that I trusted Jesus to forgive and change me. I promised Him that when all was said and done, I will get out and do the things I know God would have me to do.”

Sammie’s story is one of redemption. He knows what it is like to hit bottom; but he also knows what it like to get a second chance to live with purpose. Since being released from prison, Sammie has shared the message of Jesus Christ with thousands at churches, civic organizations, and through FCA. In 2012, Sammie joined the FCA staff as the representative for Lake County, Florida. In this role Sammie has shared the hope of Christ with the youth and coaches in the community where he grew up. Now Sammie will have the opportunity to share his story of redemption with student athletes and coaches at Ole Miss.

Shalonda Smith

School: Northwest Mississippi Community College (current) 

Work: Campus Representatve at the University of Mississippi since 2017 

Hometown: Eustis, FL 

Location: Oxford, MS 

Shalonda was born in Sanford, Florida and was raised in Rantoul, IL. Shalonda later moved back to Florida and graduated from Eustis High School. She attended Lake Sumter Community College and shortly began her work experience in banking that lasted over 20 years.

Shalonda is the wife of ex-professional Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos football player, Sammie Smith, and together they have three beautiful children. Shalonda and her family moved to Oxford, MS in 2016 when her husband became the Fellowship of Christian of Athletes (FCA) Director of Character and Development for the University of Mississippi football program. Consequently, the move opened the door for Shalonda to be able to move from FCA volunteer to part-time female FCA Campus Representative at the University of Mississippi serving alongside her husband, which is an answer to their prayers. In her new role, she mentors and disciples young women (athletes and non athletes), supports coaches, leads bible studies, life groups, ministers to the football coaches’ wives and assists her husband in his ministry as well. Shalonda also serves at her local church as a Spiritual Counselor, Women’s Small Group Leader, a Worship Leader, and is on the Baptism Team. In addition, Shalonda serves on the board of the I Am Brave Foundation a non-profit Christian organization whose ministry is to love, support, and encourage women in the community of Lafayette County.

Peggie Gillom- Granderson

School: Ole Miss


Hometown: Abbeville, MS

Location: Oxford, MS

Bio: In Progress

Deshone Thompson



Work: Ole Miss and surrounding area Representative 

Hometown: Abbeville, MS

Location: Oxford, MS 


As a native of the Oxford, Lafayette community, I grew up just down the road in the small town of Abbeville, MS. I gave my life to Christ and was baptized at 13 years old. It was at this time that I knew God’s plan for my life would be in ministry. After graduating high school in 1994 and serving six years in the US Air Force, I surrendered to the ministry in 2004. With fourteen years of ministry experience, in March of 2018, God called me to full-time ministry with FCA. My primary responsibilities are to minister to the Ole Miss men’s basketball team and schools locally and in surrounding counties.


Jonathan Fulcher

Campus Director