Chad Lewis

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Chad Wayne Lewis is a former American football tight end in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes referred to as the Mormon Church.

Lewis was born on October 5, 1971, in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He grew up in Orem, Utah, and played football at Orem High School. Before attending college, Lewis served as an missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ for two years in Taichung, Taiwan, where he learned to speak Mandarin Chinese. Lewis was accepted to Brigham Young University and was a walk-on to the football program there. As a junior, he was an All-WAC first-team choice, and a UPI All-American honorable mention. He was a four- year starter as a tight end. While he played for LaVell Edwards, BYU finished in the top ten two times, with a rank of 10th in '94 and 5th in '96. Lewis is 6'6" (198 cm.) and weighs about 250 pounds (114 kg.).

Lewis signed as an undrafted free agent for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1997 as a tight end.[1] He played for the Eagles for two and a half seasons and then signed with the St. Louis Rams for a season. The Rams took the Super Bowl in 1999. Lewis then went back to the Eagles. He caught the game-winning pass in the 2005 National Championship. Lewis claims that playing in the NFL was easy compared to serving a mission for the Church, and that his mission most prepared him for anything he's had to do. His missionary experience helped him to protect himself against the various vices that surround NFL play and the individual lives of professional athletes. The NFL also puts pressure on athletes to perform. Lewis' mission prepared him for the rigorous schedule and taught him how to increase his spirituality when the pressure becomes too great.

In 2002 the NFL sent Lewis to Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand to promote the NFL. Since then he has visited China five times to give interviews and help with football clinics. He has also spoken at the Fourth of July celebration in China. He is the only person in the entire NFL—and almost in all of pro sports—that speaks Chinese, and this has opened up many more opportunities.

"I meet with government officials and business sponsors for the NFL, I put on clinics for students in universities throughout China and I do a lot of interviews, mostly in Chinese. And those interviews play on their main television, they play on their bus stations and train stations, and that’s been a lot of fun—to describe and explain football to the Chinese people." [2]

In November, 2009, Lewis' autobiography was published. Called Surround Yourself with Greatness, the book reveals the character-building relationships that have boosted Lewis throughout his life.

"We live in a world of relationships that are dynamic. We need each other. We need to choose, with conscious awareness, to open our eyes, heart, and mind to the great people who elevate life that are all around us." [3]

Lewis took a position at BYU in 2010—he is Associate Athletic Director. He continues to serve as the NFL's ambassador to Southeast Asia. He and his wife, Michele (former volleyball All-American and Cougar Club Hall of Fame member), have seven children and live in Cedar Hills, Utah.


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