You won’t find many men in sports like Chris Hanson. In my conversation with the current Trinity Christian School Athletic Director, it was clear that his relationships with Jesus Christ, his wife, children, and church family at SouthCrest Church are at the center of his life. His spirit impressed upon me in person and my hope is that you will experience his conviction for a godly life through Christ, his love for his wife and three children, and his passion for his calling through these words.
With all that established, his passion for playing, coaching, and learning from sports is genuine. He admits that if he’s not playing a sport or engaged in some type of physical activity, that he’s probably asleep. He and his wife of 15 years, Kasey, who played tennis at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City, have introduced various sports to their three children — Christian (12), Kaden (8), and Kylie (6). But the Hansons make a point not to force their children to play a particular sport or sports at all. And if their kids take a liking to a particular sport, Chris and Kasey make sure keep a Christian perspective involved with the activity.
God called Chris to a life of sports and he knows that without an ounce of doubt. He also knows that his faith in Christ, being a husband and a father, and working as a role model and leader for the students and faculty at Trinity Christian School are of way more importance. Chris shared that his favorite Bible verse on parental and mentorial responsibility comes from Proverbs.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Faith and Pigskin
Chris was born and raised nearby in Senoia, GA and attended East Coweta High School where he played football, soccer, and basketball — a sport for every school season. He was awarded a full football scholarship to Marshall University, playing there after graduating from EC from 1995 to 1999. After playing with the likes of Randy Moss and Byron Leftwich for The Thundering Herd, he began his long and fruitful 11-year NFL journey which included time with the Jacksonville Jaguars (5 seasons) and New England Patriots (2 seasons).
Hanson enjoyed his NFL career that included an All-Pro/Pro Bowl season in 2002 and a trip to the Super Bowl in 2008 (the year of the Patriots’ undefeated regular season). But it was his opportunities to witness and disciple fellow teammates that stand out as the highlights of his professional experience. He became known for being the guy who urged his teammates to join him and other team members at Bible study and for other forms of worship and devotion. Chris was especially proactive at engaging teammates when he noticed them going through a tough situation. The NFL locker room truly was Chris’s mission field. To this day, players and NFL teams call on Hanson to lead Bible study for them when they travel to Atlanta for a game. This league-wide reverence for Hanson and his faith is just one result of his 11 years of planting spiritual seeds.
“The more you see God get in the locker rooms, the more you’re going to see team transformations.” – Chris Hanson on the importance of evangelism in NFL locker rooms
Coming Back to Georgia
In 2009, Chris decided to hang up the cleats and “kick it” back down to Coweta County. It was his yearning for more time and closer fellowship with family in Georgia and more structure for his children that brought him back south to the Newnan-Sharpsburg area. The move back was a must-do in the Hansons’ minds. Toward the end of his NFL days with the Patriots, Chris and Kasey would move their oldest son, Christian, from a school in New England and enroll him in a school in Georgia at every Christmas break. Though this taught Christian how to adapt to new settings and make new friends, Chris and Kasey knew that they couldn’t continue shifting him around at that rate. Chris’s mother attended almost all of his NFL games and his children would get to see their family in Georgia over the summers but this simply wasn’t enough to fulfill Chris and Kasey’s desire for being closer to family.
In the Spring of 2009, God answered their prayers; they were coming home. Chris was given an opportunity to coach at The Heritage School under his old high school coach at East Coweta, Danny Cronic. After a year coaching under Cronic, he was hired as the Head Coach at Trinity Christian School in 2010 (he was named Athletic Director in 2014).
“Being able to come to work everyday 10 miles from where I grew up and 3 miles from where I went to high school … That’s a God thing.” – Hanson on coming home to Georgia and his opportunity at Trinity Christian School
Trinity Christian School
Chris’s faith and leadership have proven to be a good fit with Trinity Christian School’s mission: to prepare children for life: natural, spiritual and eternal. Hanson has grown into his role as Athletic Director both naturally and spiritually, noting that the main purpose of his duties is to prepare student-athletes for a disciplined Christian life beyond high school. In fact, he’ll have more help here this fall with the hiring a new Head Football Coach, Dan Matthews. This hire allows Hanson to focus solely on his duties as Trinity Christian School’s Athletic Director.
As far as sports, yes, the product on the field is important, but it’s not the focus at Trinity Christian. Hanson experiences intense joy when he sees a former student-athlete return to school with stories that exhibit their growth since graduating. Many alumni have visited during Chris’s short tenure, showing that the Biblical seeds sown into them have blossomed and produced fruit. This is bigger than sports. This is a sign of true Christian discipleship.
Learn more about Trinity Christian School at www.tcslions.org