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Todd Oakes passes after four-year battle with cancer

Todd Oakes passes after four-year battle with cancer


Gophers pitching coach Todd Oakes died Thursday morning after a four-year battle with acute myeloid leukemia. He was 55 years old.

His wife Terri posted this note on his CaringBridge site: "With a heavy heart, we are saddened to say that Todd passed away peacefully this morning.  He was surrounded by his family with a cross in his hand and his favorite music playing. Todd fought with so much strength and courage, but he is finally able to be at peace and relax in a far better place. He was an amazing servant leader for the Lord, and it is comforting to know that God welcomed him with open arms into His Kingdom."

Though greatly accomplished, Oakes worked closely with FCA Coaches Ministry Director Ron Backes over the last eight years.

Here is a reflection from Backes:

When I recently spoke to Todd, I could hear the weakness in his voice. It was unlike any other time we’ve spoken. At the same time, I recognized that his sense of faith and hope were not diminished. It was as strong as ever. No panic, no regret.

Todd trusts in God’s love, and God’s plan for his life and the loved ones he leaves behind.

Even if when he felt discouraged or angry, he resolved never to lose perspective. 

“No matter what happens,” he told me, “I know God’s in control.”

He is grateful for not what he doesn’t have but what God’s given him during this process.

When I met Todd 14 years ago, he was a Christian. But what I saw was a dissatisfaction with where he was at in his life. He realized that God was calling him to more as a husband, as a father and as a coach. Working with him over the last eight years, Todd became more and more intentional and more and more bold about his faith.

He wanted to maximize the eternal impact he was having on his athletes by planting seeds of faith in them.

Consider the mission statement Todd shared with me:

“By the grace and guidance of God… I WILL BE A CHRISTIAN COACH AND A SERVANT LEADER in God’s coaching kingdom, and I will TRUST HIM to work in me and through me for His glory and divine purpose.”

Mission accomplished, Todd. Mission accomplished.

Click here to watch a video of Todd discussing his faith a few months ago.


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