As a former college and professional athlete, Joshua Norman earned his spot on the field. Now, the same grit that defined his playing career has planted him in Oklahoma City where he is coaching against the odds at John Marshall High School.
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It has been almost two decades since the University of Oklahoma won the college football national title game.
In 2000, the Sooners became champions in a close 13-2 victory over the Florida State Seminoles. OU’s leading receiver for the game was All-Big 12 receiver and human Swiss Army knife, Joshua Norman.
In the years since that legendary Orange Bowl win, Norman the player has switched roles to become Coach Norman.
After spending a couple of seasons in the NFL catching touchdown passes from Drew Brees, Norman stepped away from playing and turned his focus towards coaching.
Some of the most impactful mentors in Norman’s life were coaches, so it felt natural to step into this new role. It’s here at John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City that Coach Norman found an even deeper connection with the game.
Many of Coach Norman’s student-athletes come from traumatic backgrounds and are lacking positive role models or consistent adult supervision to help cope with challenges no young student should have to face.
Without parents or a stable environment to develop and grow, the odds of graduating and attending college are often stacked against them.
But Coach Norman knows what it’s like to defy the odds.
Before earning his starting spot at the University of Oklahoma, Norman played special teams as a freshman and four other positions as a sophomore.
After winning a national title, earning multiple awards, and recording over a thousand receiving yards in college, Norman still went undrafted. But that didn’t stop him from earning his way onto an NFL roster.
Lessons like these transfer directly into the message Coach Norman delivers to his players.
Husbands. Fathers. Community Leaders.
Norman understands that less than one percent of athletes will make it to the pros. It’s the other ninety-nine percent that Coach Norman is most concerned about.
He wants to instill lifelong lessons into his players so that they can defy the odds and become the husbands, fathers, and community leaders their community needs.
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