Arriving at Virginia Tech as a freshman in 1956, Carroll Dale was excited about the opportunity to play football for the Hokies. And he was hopeful he could find other Christians on campus. His hope was fulfilled when he connected with the InterVarsity chapter.
"The fact that there was a Christian group, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on campus, really gave me a shot," he said. "I went to Virginia Tech with the expectation that there weren't any other Christians on campus."
Carroll had a stellar college career, playing end on both the offense and defense. He was a four-year starter and led the team in receptions all four years. He became Virginia Tech's first All-American, and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana, in 1987.
Throughout his college years he remained involved in InterVarsity and a local church. "I have always believed that spirituality is like athletics," he said. "We need to do our physical exercises to stay in physical condition. And we need to work on our spiritual muscles: reading, praying, fellowship, witnessing, and attending church, because the adversary is out there every minute of the day, working on us."
The Los Angeles Rams drafted Carroll and he played five seasons. Then in 1965 he was traded to the Green Bay Packers and quickly became one of Bart Starr's favorite receivers. He played eight seasons for the Packers and helped lead them to victory in Super Bowls I and II.
Today Carroll lives in the town where he grew up—Wise, Virginia. He is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Athletic Development for the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Several times a year he is invited to speak before various organizations, sometimes about his faith and sometimes about athletics. “I always try to make mention of the importance of the spiritual commitment in the game of life,” he said.
Rigorous discipline helped Carroll excel on the football field. He believes spiritual disciplines are also an important part of the Christian faith, and he is thankful to InterVarsity for being his spiritual team at Virginia Tech.