Hall of Champions

Dan “Deacon” Towler


After six years in the NFL, “Deacon” Dan Towler abruptly ended his professional career and exchanged it for a life of ministry. Towler was a popular FCA speaker and also served on the FCA National Board of Trustees.

Towler’s athletic career began in western Pennsylvania where he scored 24 touchdowns as a senior and led Donora High School to a state championship. At Washington & Jefferson College, he led Division III in scoring as a junior, and went on to graduate cum laude. The Los Angeles Rams drafted Towler in the 25th round of the 1950 NFL Draft. He quickly earned the reputation as a spiritual leader and routinely prayed over the team before each game.

A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Towler had his best season in 1952 when he led the NFL in rushing and was voted All-Pro. In 1951, he led the Rams to the club’s only championship in Los Angeles. That same year, he was named Pro Bowl MVP.

In 1956, while still playing in the NFL, Towler earned his Masters in Theology from the USC School of Religion. Upon retirement, he was appointed pastor at Lincoln Avenue Methodist Church in Pasadena, Calif. In 1966, Towler left that post to become the campus minister and director of the Wesley Foundation at California State College in Los Angeles. During his time at Cal State, he served as a special assistant to the President and earned his Doctor of Education from USC.

Towler served on the board at numerous non-profit organizations including his role as president of FCA’s Pasadena area Huddle, and president of the Los Angeles County Board of Education.

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