Samaritan's Feet Names Three 2019 Barefoot Coaches of the Year

Coaches are honored for their support and efforts to raise awareness for the mission of this international non-profit.

​​​Samaritan’s Feet International proudly announces its three 2019 “Barefoot Coaches of the Year:” Mike Anderson, head basketball coach, St. John’s University; John Stiegelmeier, head football coach, South Dakota State University; and Edwin Thompson, head baseball coach, Eastern Kentucky University. Overall, these coaches’ involvement with Samaritan’s Feet has impacted thousands of people around the globe. Each coach will receive their award at the Samaritan’s Feet Champions of Hope Weekend retreat in Amelia Island, Florida on May 2-5, where their efforts will be celebrated.

Coach Anderson and his team have volunteered at shoe distributions in their local area for the past four years, helping to serve over 280 children in their community. “Thank you, Samaritan’s Feet, for inviting me to represent children without shoes as a Barefoot Coach. Growing up, as a child, I walked barefoot many times out of choice not out of lack. Psalms 127:3 MSG, says: ‘Don't you see that children are God's best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy?’ Being able to be a small part of service to God by serving children through the washing of feet and then putting shoes on those feet is not only a humbling experience but also a blessing. I appreciate you, Manny and Tracy and all that you do for the kingdom! You are one of God’s great gifts to His children,” said Coach Anderson.

Coach Stiegelmeier has gone barefoot during pre-game warm-ups for the past seven years, often asking the opposing team’s coach to join him. He and his team and staff have served at several shoe distributions in their local community over the last several years. “The SDSU football family is honored to support the mission of Samaritan’s Feet. Every year we are reminded of how blessed we are and of the tremendous need for shoes around the world and in homes of many of our neighbors here in Brookings,” said Coach Stiegelmeier.

Coach Thompson has coached games barefoot for Samaritan’s Feet during the past two baseball seasons. His team and staff have volunteered at shoe distributions in their county each year for the past three years, serving a total of 753 children. Coach Thompson has rallied his team, school and area around the cause and has fundraised to help support these events. “I am truly honored to be selected as a coach of the year. Being a part of Samaritan’s Feet family is and will never be about me, it is about the young people we have the opportunity to serve and impact,” said Coach Thompson.

Each of these coaches have demonstrated the fives pillars of being a barefoot coach: giving a voice to the voiceless, creating awareness for Samaritan's Feet, providing shoes to impoverished children, enhancing the image for coaches, schools, athletes and the NCAA through courageous efforts, and providing multiple opportunities to engage people in a life of service.

Previous Barefoot Coaches of the Year include Sue Semrau, Florida State University (2018); Joe Kittell, University of Mary (2017); Brian Jones, University of North Dakota (2016); Jeff Jones, Old Dominion University (2015); Saul Phillips, Ohio (2014); John Calipari, University of Kentucky (2013); Scott Nagy, Wright State University (2012); Brad Stevens, previously of Butler University (2011); William Knopf, Glenforest School (2010); and Ron Hunter, Georgia State University (2009).

About Samaritan’s Feet International

Samaritan’s Feet is a 501(c)(3) humanitarian aid organization that shares a message of hope and love through washing the feet of impoverished children around the world and adorning them with new shoes. There are an estimated 2.2 billion people worldwide living in poverty and more than 1.5 billion who suffer from foot diseases. The goal of Samaritan’s Feet is to create a world with zero shoeless children. Since its founding by Manny Ohonme in 2003, Samaritan’s Feet and its team of ambassadors and partners have blessed more than 7 million children in 108 countries and 389 U.S. cities. For more information about Samaritan’s Feet International, visit


Source: Samaritan's Feet International