Owner of two Super Bowl rings as offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers and twice NFL Coach of the Year, Bruce Arians has made some pretty good calls during a career that includes working with NFL superstars Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, and Tom Brady.

But no call was more important than the one he made as a freshman quarterback at Virginia Tech.

Right after Christmas break, Arians was back on campus a couple of weeks when he realized he could no longer maintain a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend at home in York, Pennsylvania.

So, Arians called her to explain. “He’s breaking up with me,” she thought. Instead, he said, “I guess we have to get married.”

That was 50 years ago and Bruce and Christine Arians haven’t been apart since. Granted, they have lived the somewhat nomadic life of a football coach’s family, one that has taken them to 14 different jobs in nine states, all four U.S. time zones, and countless houses.

Although he holds one of the most high-profile jobs in America, Arians shines the spotlight elsewhere. “Christine is the hero in our family,” he says of his wife, a family-law attorney who has handled countless broken-home cases. “Football is a game. She helps save kids’ lives.”

As part of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Christine Arians helps ensure that children who are involved in the court system, as a result of abuse or neglect by their families, receive the help they need. The Arians Family Foundation supports CASA through fundraising events like the annual Georgia Celebrity Golf Classic.

“The golf tournament is a large part of what we do,” Christine said. “But even if we didn’t raise money, just the awareness for CASA and what we do is invaluable.”

Owning a home in Great Waters since 2007, the couple is actually moving again—but just a few blocks, down closer to the lake at Great Waters. And while they split time between Tampa Bay and Greensboro, it's Reynolds that Christine calls “My forever home.” 

We sat down with Bruce and Christine and asked about their love and attachment to Reynolds.

When did you make your first visit to Reynolds on Lake Oconee?

Christine: It was in March fourteen years ago; we were living in Pittsburgh at the time, and were at Reynolds five days, looking at everything. We were getting close to retirement and thinking, “Where do we want to spend the rest of our lives?”

Bruce: I got this flyer in the mail from Reynolds, so I got online and when I saw it, I wanted to be there. I bought two plane tickets and said, “Let’s go.”

What were your first impressions of Reynolds?

Christine: I thought, “Wow, this is great.” It had great golf, a gorgeous lake, and a nice quiet pace of life. It is a country atmosphere, but sophisticated at the same time.

Bruce: Everyone is extremely friendly. We enjoyed the variety of clubhouses, and as we were looking around, it was amazing how friendly and vibrant the Great Waters clubhouse was.

What do you enjoy most about Reynolds?

Christine: The blue skies, the warm weather, and the water sports. Both of us just love the water. We take the boat out, find a place to anchor, and just float, have lunch. And the clubhouses are awesome.

Bruce: The amenities speak for themselves, but it’s the people who make it. And when I am in Tampa Bay, I miss the lake.

Why did you choose Reynolds on Lake Oconee as your home at this stage of your lives?

Christine: When we drove through the gates at Great Waters, it felt like we had come home. It had everything we could have possibly wanted.

Bruce: We had looked around in Mississippi, Alabama, and the Gulf Coast of Florida. It was all the great golf courses, being on the water, and a smaller community that made Reynolds very appealing to us.

Is your next move going to be a little easier, since you’re not building, but bought an existing house at Great Waters?

Christine: Moving is never easy, but this is our last one.

Bruce: We are real excited about moving out right on the lake, and we are building a swimming pool and pool house. It will be a great gathering place for our whole family.

How would you analyze your golf game?

Bruce: Never lay up. It’s the same as calling plays. You can’t hit a great shot unless you try a great shot. Of course I hit a lot of balls in the water. I am an 8 handicap—but all that means is I am going to lose a lot of money in February—and all the guys know it.

And how are you as a fisherman?

Bruce: I am the worst. If there are three of us on the boat, all using the same bait, two will catch fish and I won’t get a bite. I have to learn how to fish.

Are you looking forward to future golf tournaments at Reynolds for the Arians Family Foundation?

Christine: The tournament in Arizona has been wonderful, with all the support we get because Bruce is so recognizable there. But we just had to do one at Reynolds. The family comes down and it is such a fun time. Normally it takes time to be successful, but we have raised money each year.

Bruce: When we started the foundation, we wanted to have a golf tournament on the East Coast, because so many of our friends and family are there. Now they come down here to play in it. Everyone at Reynolds has been so generous in helping us get it off the ground.

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