Norm's History

About Norm Evans

  • Born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and grew up in S. Texas. Attend school in Donna, Texas.
  • Attended Texas Christian University on a football scholarship; All Conference Tackle and Team Captain, graduated with a degree in Education and a double major in Business and Biology.
  • Drafted by the Houston Oilers and started as a rookie at right offensive tackle
  • Traded in an expansion draft to the Miami Dolphins.  Served as Team Captain, selected Outstanding Offensive Lineman,
  • Missed only two games in 10 years with the Dolphins and was part of the Perfect Season Team, the only undefeated team in NFL history.
  • NFL Pro Bowl participant twice

Norm’s Athletic Career

  • Earned 10 letters in high school sports in Donna, Texas where he was All-State in football and All-District in basketball.
  • An All-Southwestern Conference football selection and Team Captain at TCU.
  • Drafted in the 1965 NFL player selection by the Houston Oilers where he earned a starting position as a rookie offensive tackle. 
  • Moved via the expansion draft to the Miami Dolphins where he was the starting right offensive tackle, Best Offensive Lineman twice, and Unsung Hero, Team Captain and leader for 10 seasons, including the Perfect Season 17-0 in 1972. He played in three Super Bowls and was selected for the NFL Pro Bowl twice.
  • Ended his 14 year NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks where he again served as co-captain.  He was voted Seattle’s NFL Man of the Year, inducted into the Kingdome Hall of Fame, nominated for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s “Sportsman of the Year “award and the Brian Piccolo Award. (Read here about Norm's Seahawks years on his 'Spirit of '76' page)
  • He and Bobbe published Norm Evans’ Seahawk Report from 1979 to 1982.

Norm’s call and his story:  “The spiritual pioneer in professional sports "chapel services" was Ira "Doc" Eshleman. What Doc began in pro football slowly spread to golf, baseball, basketball, motor racing, and then to top-level sports teams and individual sports across the entire world. Doc's son Paul, along with Eddie Waxer, who both served Campus Crusade on the University of Miami campus, convinced Doc that an off-season training conference for NFL players was a must since many were coming to faith thru the NFL chapel program but were not getting any discipleship training. 

Forty years ago there were only a few known believers out of 1,000 or so NFL players. There were small Bible studies on four teams. Many of the early believers were ridiculed for their faith in the rough and tumble sport of football. In 1967 Doc volunteered to help me expand my early chapel efforts with Miami Dolphins. The Chapel idea originated, in part, from Johnny Baker of the Houston Oilers, who started his post-game hospital visitation to injured ballplayers. Doc recruited business executives, pastors and athletes from other sports to be "chapel" speakers. Today in pro football 500 or more players attend weekly chapel services on all 32 teams.The wives and girlfriends on many teams also have a Chapel service. Many of the players and/or wives attend Bible studies during the week. 

In 1971, Norm and a group Christian NFL pros and ministry leaders including Dave Hannah, Paul Eshleman, and Phoenix businessman, Arlis Priest, convened a Campus Crusade based discipleship conference to train athletes and chapel leaders in helping professional athletes and their spouses become Christian leaders. Thirty-four pro football players attended that meeting in Dallas. The following year, a steering committee made up of ctive NFL pros met in Atlanta where the name, Pro Athletes Outreach, and initial plan were developed to serve pro football. The players chose to provide the leadership of the program and to include their spouses. They agreed on the need for teaching to build them in relationship skills, parenting, marriage, and financial stewardship as well as training on how to share their Christian faith. In 1974 PAO was officially incorporated and held its first pro baseball conference led by Waddy Spoelstra. Arlis Priest was also appointed the first president of PAO that year. In 1984, Norm (President) and Bobbe Evans (Exec. Director) replaced Arlis following his retirement, and moved the PAO office to the Seattle area.  The Evans’ led PAO for the next 26 years and expanded the ministry to present conferences for NASCAR drivers, rodeo and jockeys, tennis and NBA basketball.  In 1998 Norm, along with Coach Gary Moore and Coach Doug Chapple, founded Coaches Time Out, a summer conference designed  to challenge high school and jr. high coaches to be intentional in their calling to influence a generation of young people for Jesus Christ. Eventually, there were 8 to 10 CTOs held around the country every summer.   

The dominant objective of PAO and CTO is to equip pros, coaches and their families to maximize their platforms of influence, effectively communicate their faith in God through Jesus Christ, and strengthen their personal relationships, marriages, parenting, finances and faith.   Having equipped pro athletes for more than four decades, PAO realized a great unmet need to equip coaches at the junior and senior high school level. As pro athletes shared their life experiences at these conferences, it became apparent that nearly all were dynamically impacted by athletic coaches prior to their pro careers. They credited much of their personal, professional and spiritual formation to coaches who got it right and were intentional with their influence.   

Here's an example from John Kasay, NFL kicker for the Carolina Panthers: "Billy Henderson was my high school head coach. He was a steady example for me as I matured and dealt with some difficult issues in my personal life. I remember Coach Henderson's philosophies concerning hard work, preparation, excellence and teamwork. The impact he had on me as a 15-year-old has carried over into my life, my family and my career two decades later."   

"Because of our experiences with coaches, Laura and I have joined with and whole-heartedly support Coaches Time Out. We believe it is the single greatest tool for us to impact the lives of our country's next generation of leaders." Few leadership development models have the exponential replicating power of Coaches Time Out, where every coach we reach influences hundreds of student athletes each year and often thousands over a career.   

We believe coaches can prepare young athletes for success on and off the field, cultivate the next generation of leaders, strengthen families and help transform communities across the nation. PAO has also seen the transformation of the lives of coaches and their spouses through our annual CTO conferences which began in 1998. CTO has expanded from the Pacific Northwest to Florida, St. Louis, the Great Lakes and the Carolinas.  The influence and impact continues to grow and to expand under the leadership of PAO’s new President, Steve Stenstrom.   

As a result of the steady growth in attendance and the positive impact on youth, the Board of Directors approved an exciting and ambitious strategy to expand CTO conferences to serve coaches in all 50 states within the next ten years. Our ultimate objective is to grow a nationwide community of Christ-centered coaches who develop the moral and spiritual foundations of our student/athletes and equip them to lead with excellence and integrity. 

The interest and involvement in CTO continue to grow nationally.   
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