Onward & Upward
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Our desire is to help you move Onward & Upward through relationship and character coaching. Everyone has a story and everyone has stuff in their life. The journey for most of us deals with relationships, whether good or bad, and character plays such an important role in building these relationships. We all need help in these areas no matter what season of life we are in - because not one of us is perfect. Onward & Upward's coaching practices help clients define and grow towards reaching their relationship and character goals. As a Board Certified Christian Life Coach, we use a formulated coaching plan that includes accountability, regular coaching sessions, homework, prayer, and encouragement. We may use books, workbooks, DVDs, assessments, and other tools as well. We know through experience that the need is great and it is the desire of our hearts to serve you, have an impact in your life, and make a difference for God and His Kingdom.

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My Story —

My name is Gary Lydic. I was born in Dayton, Ohio and grew up in a very loving family. Most of my childhood memories revolve around playing basketball, my favorite sport, at a neighborhood park. My mom and dad always knew where to find me. In junior high, I was known as “blocky” - whether that nickname applied to the shape of my head or its hardness is still debatable. Thankfully God softened my hard heart when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior my junior year in high school at a Billy Graham film. I attended McPherson College, a small college in Kansas, where I played a little basketball and baseball. Majoring in physical education, I had the privilege of serving as the Student Assistant Basketball Coach my senior year.

The Lydic Team

The Lydic Team

Upon graduation from college in 1971, I headed to Florida where I was hired by Walt Disney World. What I thought would just be an interim position until a high school coaching job opened up became a career with the Disney organization. From pre-opening to the completion of EPCOT Center, I served in management in Transportation, the Magic Kingdom Theme Park, Employee Recreation, and both the Contemporary and Polynesian Hotels. In 1979, I was transferred temporarily to California and WED Enterprises (the design company for Disney), where I had the opportunity to work as a Project Coordinator for EPCOT Center. Disney days were filled with many amazing and wonderful adventures for me. I received opportunities for career development and training that have lasted a lifetime. The greatest opportunity came in 1977 when I met and married the love of my life, Debi, a Disney Girl who worked in the Magic Kingdom giving guided tours. Our family grew from two to four with the birth of our sons, Trevor and Brent.

Coaching at Pistol Pete Maravich Basketball Camps

Coaching at Pistol Pete Maravich Basketball Camps

In 1983, after 12 years with Disney, Debi, the boys, and I hung up our mouse ears and made Pasadena, California our new permanent home. During our early days in California, I began playing early morning basketball with another great fan of the game, Dr. James Dobson. Dr. Dobson offered me a job at his young organization, Focus on the Family, while playing basketball in his backyard. Little did I realize the significance of that basketball court offer and how it would impact my life. I served at Focus on the Family for 22 years in Human Resources, Public Affairs, and as Director of Ministry Services. As Director of Ministry Services, I directed the Pistol Pete Maravich Basketball Camps, Single Parent Events, Life on the Edge Tour for parents and teens, Church Relations and events for pastors and families. During my time with Focus, Debi and I again moved our family to Colorado Springs, a place that will always be near and dear to my heart.

In 2005, I accepted a position with America’s Family Coaches, a marriage ministry led by Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg. Debi and I once again pulled up our roots in Colorado and moved to Des Moines, Iowa. I served as Vice President of Development for nine years where I had the opportunity to minister as a “friend” raiser.

In 2015, after much prayer, Debi and I sensed God’s call to begin Onward & Upward Ministries, a nonprofit 501(c)3 ministry that focuses on relationship and character coaching for men and their marriages. We are serving others to help them move Onward & Upward through coaching that uses Biblical wisdom and Christ-centered encouragement.


My Wife —

My bride Debi and I have been married for over 40 years. Debi serves the women of our church and community as Director of Women's Ministry. She has also completed her certification as a Board Certified Christian Life Coach. We have two sons: Trevor and his wife Kayce, and Brent and his wife Rachael.

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My Family —

God has blessed my wife Debi and I with two wonderful sons, and now two amazing daughters. Being a father is perhaps the greatest coaching opportunity of my life. My sons wanted to share a few thoughts about me as their father and coach.

“There is no better example of what it means to be a man of integrity than my father, Gary Lydic. I am truly blessed to have been raised by a man who has put God, his family, and his friends as a top priority in his life. Dad has a true servant’s heart and wants to help as many people as possible. Dad is always the first to introduce himself and then ask how he can help them. When he asks someone how they are doing, he truly wants to know. This is very rare in today’s society. He will lend a listening ear, help coach, or just give a word of encouragement. He has blessed so many people in his life and will continue to do so through Onward & Upward Ministries.”


“In the Bible, Barnabas was an apostle of Paul's and known as the Son of Encouragement because of the way he came alongside the early church and built them up. In the same way, my Dad as been a constant encouragement not only to myself and our family, but to everyone he comes in contact with. He has always been there to encourage me Onward in pursuing my dreams, and reminding me to look Upward when faced with life's difficulties.”

- Brent Lydic


My Experience —

It has been an honor and privilege for me to be a part of these companies and associations during my career:

McPherson College: Student Assistant Basketball Coach
Walt Disney World: Management - Magic Kingdom, Resorts, Epcot and WED Imagineering
Focus on the Family:
Management - Human Resources
Ministry Services - Pistol Pete Maravich Basketball Camps Director
Life on the Edge Tour (conferences for parents and teens) Conference Director
Pastoral Ministries & Church Relations
Colorado Springs Sky Sox Triple A Baseball Team: Chaplain
National Association of Basketball Coaches: Ministry Team
Colorado Springs Christian High School: Assistant Varsity Basketball Coach
America's Family Coaches: Vice President Friend Raising (Development) A Marriage Ministry

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Providing relationship and character coaching to help others move Onward & Upward through Biblical wisdom and Christ-centered encouragement.



Biblically Based



To coach others to progressively live, act, and look like Jesus Christ and say the things He would say through the teaching and practical application of God's Word.

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