Allentown
88° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds

Nazareth football team reunites for coach's 100th birthday

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 25 2013 05:07:30 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 25 2013 06:31:54 PM CDT

Decades later, Nazareth football team reunites to celebrate former coach's 100th birthday

NAZARETH, Pa. -

Inside Moravian Hall Square in Nazareth, it isn't rare for residents to live past 100.  What's not typical is the impact Ed Christman has had on people.  October 25th is Ed's 100th birthday, and dozens of friends and family came out to honor his milestone.

"They tell me it could be my birthday, but I think they're just coming for the food," joked Ed.

Back in 1913 the life expectancy was 53 years, and there were only 47 stars on the American flag.  Ed was born and raised in Nazareth.  He spent 37 years teaching and coaching a wide range of sports at the high school.  It was his way with the athletes that's his lasting legacy.

"I didn't realize it till the later years, but I looked up to him as my mentor as far as teaching me the right and wrong," explained former player Jack Woodward.

Jack was on the 1956 Blue Eagles Varsity football team.  It was Ed's first year as head coach, and he led the players to a league championship.

"This was the start if a new era in Nazareth High School football," shared Jack.

A handful of former players came out to celebrate, and let Ed know the way he's made a difference in their lives.  Funny, that's what he says about them.

"All these people in here, almost every one of them have helped me to get where I am today, I mean it, I'm serious, they've all helped me."

Ed has three children, six grand kids, nine great-grand kids and one great-great grandchild.  And he's definitely had a life well lived so far.  But according to Ed, there is no secret to making it to 100.

"How old do I feel?  Well, I don't know how I'm supposed to feel at 100," added Ed.

But he knows he would never have made it alone.  And underneath that strict coach exterior, a man who's 100th birthday was definitely a memorable one.