Chad Lewis has traveled the world promoting the sport he loves. On Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, he stopped in Morgan to sign photos and discuss football with fans. He brought a stack of photos he happily signed for a steady stream of visitors to the Browning Outlet store.
Whether it was a 6-year-old with a book of professional football collector cards or a 60-year-old lifelong BYU fan, Lewis listened intently and answered every question with genuine interest and excitement. Lewis is currently Brigham Young University’s associate athletic director, but also played for the Y before his career with the Philadelphia Eagles and the St. Louis Rams.
While many players reaching his level of success have huge egos, Lewis’ unpretentious demeanor makes all who meet feel at ease discussing the sport.
Twelve-year-old Zach Ferrin confidently talked football with the legend. Ferrin discussed his experience and positions. Lewis told the young player the secret to being great is to go out and play. He suggested that football players who want to succeed should play every chance they get. When Lewis was young he would throw and catch the ball any minute he could, including at recess, after school and on weekends.
Lewis brought along his own 12-year-old and 8-year-old sons to the signing. The happy boys wondered the store as their father signed autographs and posed for photos with many adoring fans.
Michelle Carnesecca brought her children to visit with Lewis, although this was not their first time meeting the football star. The Carnaseccas were good friends with the Lewis family when they lived in Cedar Hills prior to moving to Morgan several years ago.
Besides accepting complimentary posters of Lewis, visitors brought in copies of Lewis’ book, “Surround Yourself With Greatness,” which he gladly signed. The book encourages readers to seek to be around good things. “That’s something that I felt very strongly about, how important it is for all of us to surround ourselves with good people, good music, good movies, good everything because if we surround ourselves with skunk, we’re going to stink.”
The massively successful athlete has forged a relationship with Browning through fundraising efforts for the BYU Athletic program. BYU has established an impressive Sportsman’s Auction that is big enough they only hold it once every four years. Several years ago Browning was invited to participate on the fundraising committee.
This auction brings fans of BYU athletics and outdoor enthusiasts together for an unprecedented evening. While Lewis refrains from boasting about his own abilities, he feels quite comfortable boasting about this fundraiser. He listed off a number of auction items he guarantees you can’t buy anywhere else. Faithful fans will be outbidding each other for the opportunity to fly with the team to the all-important game at Notre Dame. True outdoorsman will vie for the once-in-a-lifetime prospect to go on a private fishing trip with Johnny Miller or hunt on a private range for a trophy red stag.
The Sportsman’s Auction will take place on March 15, at BYU.
Diane Carver, Browning Knife and Light Product Manager, was chosen as Browning’s representative for the BYU fundraising committee. Initially leery of the long drive to Provo every couple of weeks to attend committee meetings, Carver quickly agreed when she learned who the other members of the committee were. Among the dozen members, Robbie Bosco led the committee the first year. Carver had been a fan of Bosco from his days playing for BYU and taking the national title. Since then Carver has worked alongside other notable BYU alumni such as Ty Detmer and Lewis. While it is still a long drive to make, she feels it is worth it to work alongside the people she has come into contact with, as well as for the cause. The committee has found Carver to be a great asset as well.
During an interview aired on the Eagle 101.5 FM, Lewis told radio host Keith Stubbs, “I’m happy to be with Browning, Diane Carver and the good people up there that are doing so much good in our community.”
“The mission of the BYU athletic department is the same as the church,” Lewis said referring to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that runs the school. He says both are aimed to do good things throughout the world. The BYU athletic department goal is not only about winning games, but about treating people right. He wants to promote winning both on and off the field.