It was early in his coaching career when Tom Landry began searching for greater meaning in life at a weekly Bible study. He accepted Christ as his Savior and attended the 1962 FCA National Conference at Estes Park where he was inspired to share his faith publicly.
From there, he became a lifelong FCA supporter and spokesperson. Landry addressed numerous national conferences, banquets, state conventions, fundraisers, rallies, recognition dinners, and retreats. He also worked as a clinician at various FCA coaches’ conferences.
Landry’s career first took shape as a multi-sport athlete at Mission High School and then continued at the University of Texas. His collegiate playing days were briefly interrupted due to a yearlong call to duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Landry completed 30 combat missions and survived a crash landing in Belgium when his bomber ran out of fuel. He returned to Texas and starred on the Longhorns’ championship Sugar Bowl (1947) and Orange Bowl (1948) teams.
After playing professionally in the AAFC and the NFL, Landry embarked on a coaching career that had already started with a two-year stint as a player-coach for the New York Giants. In 1954, he became the defensive coordinator and was instrumental in the club’s three NFL championship game appearances over a four-year stretch that included the 1956 title.
In 1960, Landry became the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Over the next 29 seasons, he led the team to two Super Bowl titles (VI, XII) in five appearances, 13 divisional titles, and 270 wins. In 1990, Landry was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
From the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s, Landry served as a member of the FCA National Board of Trustees. During that time, Huddle groups for high schools and colleges were initiated. Junior high and female groups were also officially recognized. It was during Landry’s leadership when the FCA headquarters in Kansas City began construction.
In 1979, Landry received the FCA Coaching Award. He was an active member of the Greater Dallas FCA chapter and served as its Chairman of the Board. Landry hosted monthly executive meetings in his office while coaching the Dallas Cowboys. The Landry Chapel at the FCA headquarters and the Tom Landry Associates, a select group of FCA donors, were both created and named in his honor.