A small gift can make a big difference for these students

Give Warmth to a Playmakers Student

When you sign up to donate monthly (no minimum!), we will gift a Playmakers Student a pair of gloves!

Every contribution, big or small, gives us the ability to continue our mission of helping at-risk students in under-served communities. For our students, a pair of gloves can make life just a little more comfortable when walking to school or going outside for fitness activities.

One of our Character components teaches students to give back to their communities. Your support becomes an investment in the community – changing the culture on the school campus, and at home.

donate a helping handHow to give:

Download our donation form to setup a small monthly draft. We suggest $25-35/month which helps us keep the lights on and provide coaching for the students.


Our programs are based on our character-based curriculum with trained coaches who work one-on-one with the students.  The Playmakers Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization ID: 26-4648226. All monetary donations are tax deductible.

If you have any questions, please contact us by email below or call 916-220-1284.

Can you help us purchase gloves to warm the hands of our young Playmakers?

Would you give a kid a helping hand?

donate a helping handFitness is an integral part of our program, and we want our kids to have warm hands when it is chilly outside. This small gift can mean a whole lot to someone whose family is struggling.

For every monthly donation sign up through December, we will purchase new gloves for one Playmaker student.

A small monthly donation of $20 can support our program all year long. If you are already giving monthly, why not introduce our program to a friend who has a heart for helping kids?

We need your help to change the world, please visit ThePlaymakers.org/donate to learn more about our monthly giving program.

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Thank you to all the Rotary Clubs that help us reach more students

Thank you to our local Rotary Clubs

Rotarians in the Sacramento region are changing young lives in disadvantaged communities.

Mike Daly, with the Rotary Club of Rancho Cordova-Sunrise has been involved with our program for the last 5 years. They were one of the first Rotary Clubs to sign on and sponsor our program on a local campus. We now have involvement with almost a dozen civic clubs in the area who are supporting our program in one way or another. Words are not enough to express our gratitude, we are building the next generation of Rotary.

Mike tells us, “You are taking an element of society, of culture, children who are underachieving in reading and struggling with learning, and you bring them to a place of confidence of achievement. And then through the character component when they come out, they learn the issue of conflict resolution, and they’re more confident in themselves, take on more challenges and it just seems that overall they get to be a more well-rounded, a more competent person. How does this help the community? You have less trouble in schools, less trouble in communities, and in families because they are learning to deal with issues in a better way.”

The Playmakers Vision – How do we change lives?

Over the years working with kids, through summer camps and school-year programs, stories emerge which reminding me why I am here helping lost kids.

Kids don’t have to have a disadvantaged background to be lost, but the kind of loss I have seen through the eyes of the students – well it could make a grown adult stagger. We want to empower young people to be brave, not be afraid to learn, work with the team – whether that is family or a sports team, or just a core group of friends and supporters. You get back what you put in, and never give up on your dreams.

Last summer, a student on their second day of summer camp, told the coach her mom had committed suicide just a few days before. We were honored this young lady allowed our coaches to help her through a difficult time – she did not retreat, and she is a Playmaker. She participated all summer and had a blast. Our goal is to stay connected with her throughout the school year and invite her to next summer’s program.

Students have found support through their peers. We change lives by empowering the students to help themselves. Our vision is to instill a pay-it-forward mentality in the students within their community.

— A couple of seasons ago when coaching football, a young man starting his sophomore year in high school – with a 3.0 G.P.A., I asked Kenny what his parents did for a living (what I am really doing is finding out if he lives with his Mom and Dad). HIS story: His parents brought him and his sister in on Christmas Day to tell them that they are getting a divorce. That was his reality of Christmas that year.

— Another child who was 11 years old and had lost his Dad to gang bullets

— These two Playmakers got together through the direction of a Playmaker Coach, and the older student agreed to mentor the younger one with the following goals:

1) They will read a book together in the summer

2) They will meet in July and discuss the book at The Playmakers camp

3) A.J. will be a guest at Kenny’s high school game. (Do you know how big that is for an 11 year old?)

By helping each other with a little encouragement from adults – these kids are investing in themselves. They are up to the challenge.

Listen to what the kids have to say about The Playmakers.

If you would like to follow other stories or participate in helping change young lives,  you are invited to become part of The Playmakers Family. You can learn more about our core values here.

Greg “Coach Roz” Roeszler is the Founder and Executive Director of Playmakers Mentoring Foundation. If you would like to invite Coach Roz to speak to your group, please contact us  at www.ThePlaymakers.org

Coach Roz featured in Daily Word

Coaching in the Inner City

This article was published last month in Daily Word, A Faith-based website of resources and Daily Inspiration by Unity. Coach Roz speaks about his coaching experiences and his passion for helping lost kids.

When I started coaching high school football in one of Sacramento’s roughest areas, I didn’t know some of these kids had no place to live or that they didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. Many had never known their father. They all wanted to play football, even though their school hadn’t won a game in three years. It was a big assignment, but I wanted them to have a male role model in their life who truly cared about them. The football team became “family” for them and they found a sense of belonging and safety.

Many of the boys were failing academically, so I started an early-morning tutoring program. Initially, we were just helping them catch up on their homework. It didn’t take long to find out that they were failing because they couldn’t read. We switched our focus to reading and getting them caught up in the foundational pieces necessary for them to pass their subjects.

We wanted to provide ongoing support and encouragement for kids who had been given such a tough start in life, so Playmakers Mentoring Foundation was born. Through Playmakers, we promote character and leadership to disadvantaged and at-risk kids using football as the conduit. For many of these kids, our program became a lifeline.

You have to be willing to meet the kids where they are. That means going to difficult neighborhoods and broken homes and being comfortable developing relationships with the kids and their families, just as Jesus would. We try to model Jesus by how we carry ourselves, how we live our lives, and how we interact with kids. That’s what being a Playmaker is all about.

coach roz

Greg “Coach Roz” Roeszler is the founder and executive director of the Sacramento-based Playmakers Mentoring Foundation. For more information, visit theplaymakers.org.


Annual Football Camp 2014 Re-cap

What a tremendous 9th Annual Playmakers Sacramento Football Camp. Over 300 kids and 30 coaches enjoying football and character based messages.

Highlights include:

  • 25 kids committing to summer reading and being Playmakers “year round”
  • Two new teams (Mesa Verde and Highlands) coming on board
  • One team committing to a 2.5 team GPA

This week Playmakers will be in the Bay Area for a camp of over 500 kids and then off to Omaha for our youth camp.

Our summer reading/mentoring program is in full swing in Rancho Cordova with measurable results that will create better students. We will keep you posted as the results come in.

Thank you very much to our primary sponsors: Asher College of Sacramento, and Playwell. Your generosity allowed 300 kids to learn about character and have some fun playing football.

Greg “Coach Roz” Roeszler is the Founder and Executive Director of Playmakers Mentoring Foundation. If you would like to learn more about Coach’s “Winning With Honor” Philosophy, give him at call at 916-220-1284.

If you would like to invite Coach Roz to speak to your group, he can be reached at www.ThePlaymakers.org.

Permission to coach you, hard

I met a tremendous Coach in Omaha named Mark McKelvy. Mark is committed to bringing peer-to-peer mentoring into his team as he understands the bigger picture of using his team as a platform for teaching character, being a great husband and father. Coach McKelvy now has a “platform” or “congregation” of over 40 kids and their families. All coaches do. Here is what begins to separate Coach McKelvy from his peers. He now implements specific mentoring “Every Day Drills” (EDD’s) into his program. Those drills include the following:

  • Making “pay-it-forward” mentoring a high value in developing his program
  • Developing relationships with chosen leaders with “off the field” relationship teachings
  • Inserting LOVE into his program at a higher level
  • He is coaching hard on mentoring at a high and accountable level

I am so energized to work alongside Coach McKelvy as we travel down this road together. He understands that statistically speaking, our African American boys today have a 50% chance of graduating high school (less than that in the inner city and areas where we coach). Together, that will NOT happen on our watch. I hope you will follow along, comment, or join us in this tremendous adventure. Coaches can change the trajectory of our fatherless society where 2 out of 5 kids in our country are living in a home without their biological father.

Greg “Coach Roz” Roeszler is the Founder and Executive Director of Playmakers Mentoring Foundation. If you would like to invite Coach Roz to speak to your group, he can be reached at www.ThePlaymakers.org. To contact Coach Roz at Playmakers, e-mail coachroz@theplaymakers.org

There Is Hope ~ Do You Care?

Character: Doing the right thing when no one is looking
Although this post was written in 2011, we thought it worth re-posting.

Having just finished watching countless bowl games and beginning to process the 2011 football season, I feel as frustrated as ever as I look at the character breakdowns in our student athletes across the country. Just Google “college football arrests” and get ready to stick your finger down your throat. Not to single out one institution, but one young man, when stopped by law enforcement, commented, “I don’t give a *#%#*, I play for (school)…and I’ll get out of it anyway.” Who is mentoring this kid who has accepted a full scholarship and represents that institution? I can just imagine what his GPA is.

I coach in Sacramento where one of our high school coaches was just arrested for his alleged relationship with a minor girl from his campus. Pile on top of all that, my gut tells me we are just on the tip of the iceberg in lies and cover-ups re: the Penn State fiasco.

Huskers, you did not go the season without character breakdowns either. The young men we watch and who paint their faces red or some other color owe us more. The coaches who coach them owe us a product we can be proud of. So you think I am being too judgmental? Don’t let yourselves off the hook. We play, coach, and watch the greatest game that God put on the face of the earth. The Super Bowl is nothing short of Christmas. The National Championship Game is now prime time. So I’d like to offer some light, some positives, in what we have become numb to.

The University of Hawaii’s quarterback is David Graves. Now I will admit that I know this young man and his family personally, but I will write about any kid who has the character that this kid demonstrates. I saw David last week at church with his family, as he was home on a short break. I happened to have a 7-year-old with me who we brought along that day. David Graves made this kid feel special just by talking to him and being interested in him. David asked the “What position do you play” questions and more importantly, he created “a moment” for this little guy.

This kid didn’t stand in line at the mall to meet Graves. He didn’t have to pay to go to his camp. He met Graves in church where Graves is very much at home. David will now ask me how the little guy is doing, and he’ll look for him this summer. My guess is the little dude will be wearing a Rainbow Warrior Football tee shirt as soon as I get Graves the kid’s size. David has created a memory, and he will be remembered by the experience that Graves took the time to make.

My guess is, David understands why he can’t get behind the wheel if he shouldn’t. He knows how to make the right decisions. I want to be around guys like David Graves. They bring me great pride, and I am a fan who has watched him growing into the man God intended. He may or may not be in the NFL (I wouldn’t bet against him), but who cares? David will be a success because he has character formed by a Mom and Dad who coached him well.

Here is even more to look forward to: David’s younger brother, Dano, just finished his freshman season as the quarterback at the Air Force Academy. That’s right, two brothers playing college football, both quarterbacks giving to others.

My hope is that you will not become numb to what we cheer for. We can demand more and set the bar higher. You can be a fan who comes and goes with little significance, or you can stand up, be heard and demand character from your chair. Do it by writing. Become a voice and make a difference. Maybe you will meet some student/athletes you can be proud of. Maybe you will meet David and Dano Graves. Refuse to cheer guys who tell law enforcement officers, “I am going to get out of it anyway.”

…Coach Roz

Greg “Coach Roz” Roeszler is the Founder and Executive Director of Playmakers Mentoring Foundation. If you would like to invite Coach Roz to speak to your group, he can be reached at ThePlaymakers.org.


Published on 01-22-2012

There Is An Oak In Palo Alto

Spring ball 2012 is beginning or has begun around the country. It is a time of the year when most college football players make the team and depth charts are set. Spring ball is the time where kids rise to the next level or fall off and head home.

They head home for a variety of reasons: grades, competition, homesickness, or character breakdowns that embarrass themselves, their families or the institution that is paying for their schooling. Junior colleges will fill their rosters with some head cases that just didn’t understand the opportunity they had in front of them.

Let me put a kid on your radar screen who will not be coming home, except to say, “Hello.” He is beginning Spring ball in his sophomore season at Stanford and his name is Jordan Richards. I get excited just writing about Jordan. He is one of the most humble kids I have ever met and plays the game with his hair on fire. Richards is the real deal in every sense of the term. He is a student/athlete who understands that academics comes first. He played as a true freshman at safety and will hit you hard enough to give the ball carrier snot bubbles. If I had to bet, Jordan will play on Sundays after he graduates from one of the nation’s top institutions.

Each Friday I text a handful of kids who play college football around the country, wishing them luck and to stay healthy. I am so proud that whatever road trip they are on, I will get a text back from each of them that says, “Thanks, Coach.” Jordan’s text is usually a little longer as he asks how “the boys” (that I am coaching) are doing. He really wants to know how they are. He has the heart of a Warrior-Poet. He is a man who has a heart for others. He was built for others. Jordan Richards will make a difference on the field, at home and in the community, and Jordan will make others around him better men. He is the product of two parents who instilled values that Jordan learned and follows. Pretty simple formula really – establish values, and build character traits around those values.

Jordan is a leader in every sense of the word. I have watched him speak to our Playmakers in many different settings with a humble confidence that makes me proud. He talks of sacrifice, about putting team above self, and his faith. His priorities are in order and the future is very bright for this young man. He has already played on the biggest college stage and never flinched as a freshman, covering some of the best in the country. Richards is even a better man than he is a football player. He was recruited by Jim Harbaugh, and when Harbaugh left for the 49ers, Jordan never wavered because he made a commiment to something bigger than an individual.

Jordan Richards will play on Sundays if he wants to and if it is in God’s plan. You see, Jordan will follow God’s plan for him. When he is playing on Sundays, he will still answer my texts, show up when you ask him to, I won’t have to go through his agent to reach him, and I won’t have to pay him a speaker’s fee. He just knows that he is blessed, he has a responsibility to pay-it-forward, and will give all that he has.

In a day where we need heroes who can be counted on, this is a guy that is worth watching. Keep your eye on Jordan Richards on the field and off. He is an uncommon man who I am proud to say, “I know him.”

…Coach Roz

Coach Roz Is the Executive Director of Playmakers Mentoring Foundation, which is based in Sacramento. To contact Coach Roz, you can email him here.

This article was first published on 02-28-2012.