Discipleship in Coaching book cover

Discipleship in Coaching by Dan Ellis

My Dad Wrote a Book!

Working with author Dan Ellis on Discipleship in Coaching was special. Not only because he’s my dad, but because he’s a talented writer and teacher. His coaching experience and knowledge of the Bible come together in a new book titled Discipleship in Coaching. It will be an enjoyable read for all who know him and a helpful resource for any Christian who wants to integrate spiritual instruction in sports coaching. In this book, Dan shares how he came to be the first varsity boys basketball coach at Wood County Christian School and how he built a successful basketball program around the spiritual development of his players.


Our first step in working together was an editing phase. Using Track Changes in Microsoft Word, Coach Ellis and I worked together to polish his manuscript (line editing) and made sure things like grammar and punctuation are in line with the Chicago Manual of Style (copyediting). The word count is around 13,500—a quick read. After the following formatting phase, we sent a PDF file to proofreader Staci Mauney for one final edit. Staci and I have worked together on several projects and are both members of The Christian PEN (Proofreaders and Editors Network).

Dan and I also aimed to include at least one personal story in each chapter, drawing from his twenty-two years of coaching experience. I’ve always admired the way my dad presents material. He’s very organized. When he preaches or teaches, he usually offers an outline, often with memorable key words that may even start with the same letter. Discipleship in Coaching is no different. The titles of all ten chapters start with the letter p, forming an impressive table of contents.

Discipleship in Coaching table of contents


After editing, we began formatting the paperback. Dan wanted the text to be easy to read, so he chose a larger print template from BookDesignTemplates.com. Although it’s not officially a large print book by KDP’s standards (size 16), it’s close to it at size 14. I used Adobe InDesign to create a PDF file for publishing.

Each chapter opens with a key Bible verse in italics. A line separates the chapter number and title. This element echoes the line in the title on the front cover, creating continuity.

chapter head sample

The photos in the book are in chronological order and support the story of Wood County Christian School and its basketball program between 1996 and 2012. Access to decent photos from this time period was mostly limited to yearbook pictures, but I ran each image through a series of edits in Photoshop to make them look as good as possible. Making all the images black and white yielded a consistent look and lended to a lower retail price for readers.

book formatting

In the book, Dan refers to several documents he used when coaching, and we wanted to include these. They were Microsoft Word files on his computer. In the end, I reformatted them using the same font we used for the body of the book (EB Garamond) and inserted the documents as infographics in the book. However, because the infographic text is much smaller than the body text of the book, we’ve also made these resources available to print on Google Drive. Readers can access the links on discipleshipincoaching.com

Page spread including handout

Christian sports coaching resources

Discipleshipincoaching.com is a web page where readers can go after they’ve read the book. Not only are the resource links there, they’ll find links to the book on Amazon and Goodreads (so they can easily post a review), a copy of the blurb, Dan’s bio, and an email opt-in form. 

Discipleship in Coaching is also available in e-Book format. I used InDesign to create a reflowable ePub file that allows readers to customize the look of the e-Book on their devices. Both paperback and eBook formats are available to purchase on Amazon

reflowable eBook text


How do we as Christian coaches impart biblical principles to our players in practice? How do we incorporate discipleship in coaching? What should we do to prepare? How does a coach pioneer a new program or rebuild the foundation of one for this purpose?

In Discipleship in Coaching, retired coach Dan Ellis recounts his experience as the first varsity boys basketball coach at a new Christian school in Williamstown, West Virginia. He shares the seven points of his coaching philosophy and includes actionable ideas you can use to help your players grow spiritually.

This handbook on coaching and mentorship also includes Scripture, stories, inspirational quotes, and printable resources. Written in homage to the people and players who share in the collective legacy of Wood County Christian School, Discipleship in Coaching will equip you to be prepared for practice and to be a positive, caring influence for Christ.

About the Author

Coach Dan Ellis

Dan Ellis is a retired basketball coach and Christian school business administrator. He pioneered the varsity boys basketball program at Wood County Christian School in Williamstown, West Virginia, and served as head coach there for twenty-two years. While coaching, Dan was named Mid-Ohio Valley Boys Basketball Coach of the Year. Under his tenure, the Wildcats claimed nine WVCEA/WVCAT state titles.

Dan worked as a customer service representative in the marketing department of a metals company for twenty-six years before transitioning into full-time Christian ministry at WCCS.

Dan is passionate about Christian mentorship and sports. He continues to serve as a church elder and lay preacher. Dan and his wife, LaTrelle, have two grown children and live in Marietta, Ohio.

He enjoys golfing, following Ohio State and Cleveland sports teams, and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.


Dan is presently busy teaching and preaching at local churches, however he would like to go to some Christian athletic conferences in the future to promote Discipleship in Coaching. If you’d like to contact him about an upcoming event, his email address is on the copyright page of his book.

He’s gifted copies of the book to key colleagues who would appreciate or benefit from the book. Hopefully they will spread the word and post reviews.

Dad is not on social media, but plans to stay in touch with those on his email list. We pray everyone who reads this book will be blessed by it. You can support Coach Ellis by sharing this post or the Amazon link.

It was really fun working with my dad on this legacy project!


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Hi, I'm Danelle!

I specialize in Christian non-fiction editing and help new authors design and self-publish their books. I live in Kentucky with my husband Kevin and our two young boys. We love to read, play outdoors, and travel. 

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