Cullan Maher '07, in his new career path, will look to influence high school student athletes the way he was influenced while at OLu.
Lancer. Servant. Athlete. Christ Follower.
These characteristics are woven into the DNA of Cullan Maher, a 2007 OLu graduate. A decade later, with the lessons he learned at OLu, Maher is preparing to take on the role of Area Representative for Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
And as a part of the role, Maher will get the opportunity to impact current Orange Lutheran student-athletes, just as he was impacted during his time spent as a Lancer.
Maher grew up in a Christian home and heard about OLu from the many admissions visits made to Red Hill Lutheran School. After going through Red Hill and a public middle school, he wanted to attend a Christian school that would challenge him to grow and mature into the man that he wanted to become. Because of his background at Red Hill and the reputation of the athletics programs, Maher was very excited to be a part of the Lancer family.
His freshman year consisted of playing freshman football, an experience that he fondly looks back on because of the “built-in community” he had on his very first day of classes. This propelled him to four years in the football program, culminating in winning the 2006 State Championship.
Maher looks back on coaches Jim Kunau, Rod Sherman and Brent Vieselmeyer as incredible men of God.
“They pushed me because they believed in me, sometimes believing in me more than I believed in myself,” he said. “They showed me that there is more to life than the great sport of football. They helped make me a man of character for when life happens.”
Partially on a whim during his freshman year, Maher also decided to try out for volleyball and Coach Marc Laulhere helped open his eyes to how much he loved the sport, leading him to play all four years and even coach at Orange Lutheran for a few seasons.
Two teachers had tremendous impact on Maher’s journey through high school classrooms. Unexpectedly, a sophomore chemistry class with Mr. Mark Maietta, now Director of Missions, proved to be one of the most impactful experiences.
“I was able to just sit in his classroom and talk about life while getting help with my homework,” Maher said.
Through his relationship with Mr. Maietta, Maher chose to join a team of students, parents, faculty, and staff on a Mexico mission trip, opening his eyes to the need for Christ in the world and igniting a passion for the advancement of God’s Kingdom.
After graduation, Maher spent years playing volleyball at Cal Baptist University and being involved with Athletes in Action.
“Athletes in Action gave me the opportunity to step into sports ministry so that I can use my ability and passion for volleyball as an avenue and platform to minister to people all across the world,” he said.
Reflecting on his love for global mission, Maher went on short-term mission trips to Costa Rica and Brazil and spent seven months in Ireland doing sports ministry.
As a culmination of all his experiences, including several years of volunteering with FCA, Maher is excited to take on the responsibility of Fellowship of Christian Athletes Area Representative. He will partner with the schools in his designated area, including Orange Lutheran, to aid in discipleship, community building and the development of student athletes, bridging the gap between schools, churches, and families.
When asked about why he chose to step into this role, Maher said, “With this opportunity, I am able to reach out to the community I have called home for my entire life and make an impact while seeing the lives of athletes and coaches be changed for Christ and His Kingdom just as I was during my Orange Lutheran years. As a ‘Champion for Life,’ I’m thrilled to advance His Kingdom.”
If you would like to know more about FCA and opportunities to partner with Cullan through prayer, volunteer and financial support in his ministry here in Orange County, there are a couple avenues you can use to connect with him: