Many often wonder…where are they now?
Well, Ameritime Sports, Resource One® and all associated companies within Ameritime’s Integrated Financial Network® are pleased to provide that information to our readers with a series of verbal portraits featuring some of the most iconic local sports figures in the area. Our next installment highlights Coach Nathan Norman, a renowned Head Coach and decorated High School and Division 1 College Football star who even had a cup of coffee with the Carolina Panthers… but there is more to this enticing story.
Coach Norman, 44, is in his seventh-year coaching football at Lindbergh High School in St. Louis after manning the ship for six years at Cape Central High School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Natural athleticism and a mind for the game aside, Norman credits much of his success to those around him.
Norman grew up in Jackson, Missouri, following in his older brother’s footsteps with a passion for sports.
“When [My oldest brother] Brandon, he’s eight years older than me, went off to college at 18, I was only 10,” Norman said. “He ended up playing football at SEMO in Southeast Missouri, and I actually think that was the perfect age for me to tag along and idolize him and his friends. I went with them to some summer workouts and weight room sessions, and that’s where I really got hooked.”
Upon entering high school, Norman participated in football, wrestling and track and field. Through “talent and dedication,” Norman became an All-State three-sport student-athlete.
“The older I get and the more that I’ve coached, I realize just how lucky I was,” Norman said. “I can’t emphasize enough how fortunate I was to have good coaches and be lucky enough to have played on good teams. My coaches in High School were just phenomenal and were very good examples of hard work, discipline and toughness, and they cared about their kids and their teams.”
After graduating High School in 1996, Norman attended the University of Arkansas on a football scholarship, lettering four years as a fullback. Despite finding success in three sports during his High School athletic career, Norman chose to stick with football transitioning into college, as “football [was his] first love.”
“I wish everyone could experience what it’s like to move away from home, forced to meet new people, establish a new team chemistry, and work to accomplish that common goal,” Norman said. “The people that you meet in college and the relationships that you build with some of those guys — we were brothers. I am just glad, blessed, lucky, and happy that I had people that supported me at home and supported me at the University of Arkansas because the overall experience was life changing.” In 2000, Norman earned his undergraduate degree in kinesiology, which he playfully referred to as “a very highfalutin PE degree.” Following his stint playing football at Arkansas, Norman was “signed” as a free agent draft choice with the Carolina Panthers at fullback, where he participated in training camp that spring and summer before returning to the University of Arkansas to graduate again in 2002 with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree.
Norman kickstarted his coaching career back at Jackson High School, once again attached to three sports: football, wrestling and track and field.
“Like most young coaches, I was on the Junior High staff for a couple of years, and then I worked my way up to the High School staff and started off coaching three sports, which my wife didn’t mind at the time because we didn’t have kids,” Norman said. “But then, you know, you get older, you start having kids, and I drifted away from wrestling first and then track.”
When his old coach from Arkansas moved to the University of Mississippi, Norman followed, joining the college ranks at Ole Miss as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach working with the baseball, basketball and football programs in 2009.
“My wife’s a teacher, and we both quit our jobs at the time — we decided that if we didn’t do this now, we would regret it for the rest of our lives,” Norman said. “Aside from actually meeting my wife and having kids, it was the best decision we ever made as a couple. We just had to drop everything, quit our jobs, move away from home, move down to Ole Miss and try it, and we’re so glad we did it. It was just a great experience.”
In 2010, realizing that the life he was leaving as a high school coach was “better than the life [he] was getting into as a college coach” in regards to spending time with his growing family, Norman returned to coaching High School football. His return was with an 0-10 Cape Central Tigers squad in Cape Girardeau, Missouri to coach linebackers, running backs and serve as Offensive Coordinator. During his first year, Cape Central played for a District Championship, went 10-2 and Norman was promoted to Head Coach, a position in which he would serve for the next five seasons.
“[Cape Central] has been my most rewarding coaching experience to date,” Norman said. “It was a great turnaround; we weren’t very good when I first got there, but there were a lot of very good pieces. It wasn’t just because of me — the other coaches that were there and the players’ desire and determination to play — we got the kids excited.”
“My Assistant Coaches at Cape were phenomenal men who cared about kids, and the kids needed that more than anything. They needed that more than the weight room, they needed that more than football knowledge, and we gave it to them because it was what they needed. I was fortunate that all my Assistant Coaches were not only good coaches, but they were also genuine, strong-character men, and the kids just fell in love with us while we fell in love with them.”
At Cape Central, Norman and his staff not only earned a 41-23 cumulative record, but they also collected two Conference Titles, three District Titles, three State Semifinal appearances, and finished second in Missouri Class 4 in 2014. Norman was named SEMO Conference and MSHSAA District Coach of the Year several times and was honored as the 2014 Missouri State Class 4 Coach of the Year in his own right.
After his time at Cape, Norman moved to Lindbergh High School, where today he remains as Head Football Coach. Because Lindbergh does not have a Junior High football program, “the role of the Head Coach is larger [at Lindbergh High School] than it is at other places [he’s] been.”
“It’s taken me six or seven years to do so, but I’ve finally got [the program] organized to where if I were to leave, there would be some structure in place that the next person could keep going, and that’s my goal,” Norman said. “I try to lead by example: my coaching staff and I just treat the kids like we want to be treated, and we have a great relationship with our players because of that. We do have high standards and expectations and make those clear up front with the kids, but my experience is kids want that discipline, they want structure, they want to be coached.”
In addition to being the Head Coach at the high school, Norman helps out in the
Lindbergh community, too, by implementing a K-8 flag football league where he and his team volunteer with Sunday Night Lights, an organization designed to recreate the High School gameday experience for children with disabilities or illness.
With such a “daunting position” in the Lindbergh schools and community, Norman often looks to others for support: his wife, Audrey, some of his former football coaches and former Cape Girardeau principal Dr. Mike Cowan, to name a few. At the end of the day, however, it is Norman’s love for the game of football that keeps him going.
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“In some sort of way, everything I have acquired or achieved is related to athletics and the habits developed from playing sports, which is pretty cool,” Norman said. “It’s kind of silly to think about, but my whole livelihood is a result of playing and coaching football. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong that we emphasize sports so much in this country, but that’s the truth: everything about my life was a result of sports, football in particular, and I am so blessed to say that I get to help support myself, my wife, and my kids because of the game.”
Norman currently resides in St. Louis with his wife and two sons, Owen and Noah, who are both enrolled in the Lindbergh School District.
“[My wife and I] try to encourage [our kids], no matter what they do,” Norman said. “It’s hard being a Head Football Coach and not encouraging them in sports, but honestly, I really don’t care if they play sports. What I want more than anything is for them to be good human beings, find something they love doing, and give 100% effort.”
To give him more time to spend with his family and teams, Norman turned to Ameritime at the recommendation of several of his former coaches to help manage his finances and give him more control over his wealth.
Norman stuck with Ameritime for three reasons: the staff, the efficiency, and the Control Option Mindset, which “allows [him] to have access to [his] money while the money is growing and in a safe spot as a safety net for [his] future generations.”
“The staff, they are educators first,” Norman said. “They are non-confrontational, non-pressure people, they supply you with the information, and you do with it what you want. All of their resources are in one spot, and that’s convenient for me — I like to go in and know that if I need a bank loan, this group knows everything about my financial income, health care — they know it all. And they help you maximize the efficiency of your money and time; I would encourage anyone to meet with the Ameritime team.”
Football, and sports in general, put Norman on the path that led to Ameritime and all of its additional arms and legs. It was a game-changer for him, just like he has been to so many others throughout his illustrious career.
Learn more about strength and stability that Coach Norman has experienced through Ameritime and the Control Option® by visiting any of the helpful sites regarding the services we provide at: