David and Lola Sanford

MAI Location: Charlotte

Job Responsibility:  US Director, Urban Eagles Director

Email: dsanford@maisoccer.com




David is married to Lola Sanford and they have two sons. Lola is a professional Christian Counselor. Mitch serves with MAI through International Tours and is Assistant Coach of the Lady Eagles W-League team. Luke and his wife, Margaret, live in San Diego, CA, where he is Assistant coach under former Eagle Phil Wolfe at Point Loma Nazarine University.

David coached at Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, NC through the '80s and '90s. He loved using the environment of the sport to mold and impact young men for Christ. His WCA teams won nine State Championships and were nationally ranked several times by the NSCAA. David was NC High School Coach of the Year three times, NSCAA Southeast COY twice and NSCAA National Private High School COY once. He is a member of the NC Field of Honor with the NC High School Soccer Coaches Association and is a member of the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame. David also served as the Middle School Principal his last ten years at WCA.

When MAI opened the office in Charlotte in the early '90s David connected immediately. While at WCA he would coach teams on Charlotte Eagle International Youth Tours and traveled with the Men's pro team to Jordan, Israel and Gaza. He joined the MAI Board of Directors in 2003 and served five years before the board challenged him to come on staff full-time. The Lord confirmed that call and David and Lola moved to Charlotte in 2008 to take on the role of US Director.

In addition to his state-side responsibilities, David serves sports ministry initiatives he and Mitch started in Kenya in 2006. They travel annually to train new coaches and develop existing ones. There are now an estimated 100 teams using the game to express the Gospel of Jesus to their youth and surrounding communities. David also travels to South America, Africa and Europe to help MAI train leaders and coaches.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary?

My joining MAI as full-time staff was a long process. By connecting with the Charlotte Eagles leadership, coaches and players to help impact my players at Wesleyan Academy I formed strong relational bonds. I then began helping take International Youth Tours. The next step was serving the ministry through the Board of Directors role. Finally, the Lord called us to move to Charlotte and I have been in my 'sweet spot' in ministry here with MAI.

I love the community I serve with at MAI and enjoy a great partnership with an incredible support team made up of dozens of individuals and families that make it possible for me to serve with MAI.