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Awards / Honors

CSU Sports Hall of Fame inductee Chris Adsit

October 4, 2012
by Ryan Moulden

The CSU Sports Hall of Fame honors former Ram and Aggie athletes, coaches and administrators for their achievements and contributions to the University. The banquet to commemorate these outstanding athletes will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom.

Chris Adsit runs in snow at a 1971 track meet against Air Force.The CSU Ram Alumni Athletes Association and the Department of Athletics are proud to induct Chris Adsit into the CSU Sports Hall of Fame.

The all-around athlete

Adsit was born in Topeka, Kan. in 1951. His family moved frequently for his father’s work at the Federal Bureau of Investigation; by high school, Adsit had lived in Kansas, Indiana, Maryland, Alaska, Alabama and Colorado. Adsit attended Wheat Ridge High School for half his junior year and his entire senior year, graduating in 1969.

Adsit’s athletic career began during his sophomore year in high school in Alaska when he and a group of friends decided to try out for football, and Adsit made the team. He found immediate success as a defensive end, despite his lanky frame; he was 6 feet 1 inch and weighed 145 pounds. “When I turned sideways, I would disappear and no one could block me,” Adsit says, laughing.

Varsity athletes at Adsit’s school were required to play a sport year-round, “to keep the kids in shape and so coach could keep a finger on you,” Adsit said. This policy led him to play basketball, wrestle and join the track and field team. At first, Adsit saw track and field – specifically hurdling – as simply a way to stay in shape for football in the offseason.

As Adsit moved to Alabama and eventually Colorado, football and basketball took a backseat to track. During his senior year, Adsit placed second in state of Colorado for the 180 yard low hurdles and fourth in state in the 120 yard high hurdles.

Becoming a CSU Ram

Despite a highly successful senior year, Adsit received no formal scholarship offers for track and field. However, he was able to create a bond with CSU Athletics legend, Jack Christiansen. In 1969, Christiansen briefly served as a consultant to Colorado State Athletics, which is when he and Adsit met. Adsit says coach Christiansen told him that CSU would eventually have money for him. “Jack believed in me; he sparked something in me,” Adsit said.

Before long, Adsit was living in Fort Collins and running for the Rams.

Ram legacy

Through new track coach Del Hessel’s guidance and training, Adsit excelled as a hurdler. From 1969 to 1973, Adsit won two conference championships in the 400 meter hurdles, took fourth place in the 400 meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships and secured a seventh place finish at the 1972 USA National Championships. Adsit set CSU records in the 60-meter, 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles, and the record he set in the 400 meter hurdles still stands.

Adsit is quick to point out that his experience at CSU transcends track and field. He was a successful biology student, involved in many organizations, including the CSU Navigators program, a faith-based student group.

Life after graduation

Nine months after graduation, Adsit began working for Athletes in Action, an athletics-based ministry group led by Campus Crusade. He also switched from running hurdles to competing in the decathlon. During this time, Adsit was able to continue training for several months with his mentor and coach, Hessel, and after placing 7th in the 1975 USA National Decathlon Championships, Adsit set his sights on the 1976 Olympics.

In the spring of 1976, Adsit pulled his abdominal muscles, and the three-month recovery time caused him to miss the Olympic trials. Adsit says this injury marked the beginning of a pattern in which “an injury would happen every spring.” Just before the 1980 Olympic trials, Adsit was injured again. “I would never get to compete at a high level again after that injury,” Adsit said. “But the qualities God built into me during that season of my life are invaluable.”

Adsit ultimately traded in his uniform to return as an administrator with Athletes in Action. Through his work with Athletes in Action, Adsit was able to host a variety of clinics for high school and college students. “We taught athletes to compete mentally, physically and spiritually – all three components are important,” he said.

Adsit’s career with Athletes in Action spanned 15 years. He would later spend 15 years with Disciple Makers International, write two books and travel. Eight years ago, Adsit and his wife began working with Campus Crusade’s Military Ministry, helping veterans returning from overseas, specifically focusing on treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Family life

Adsit says his family is the most important thing in his life, and he and his wife, Rahnella, have been married for 34 years. “She is the inspiration in my life,” Adsit says.

Four years into their marriage, Rahnella suffered a near-fatal brain hemorrhage; she has since experienced many related difficulties. Adsit says he has been constantly amazed by, “her endurance and fighting spirit.”

Adsit and Rahnella have four grown children: Jessica, Mary and twin boys Jonathan and David. “All four of them are great heroes who could have been great athletes but chose to go another direction,” Adsit says.

When he is not serving in his new ministry to the military, “Branches of Valor” or spending time with his family, Adsit enjoys hunting, fishing and racquetball. He also loves staying in shape and riding his Kawasaki Nomad motorcycle up the Oregon coast.

Back to his Ram roots

Adsit returns to Colorado each year for Campus Crusade’s national staff conference held on CSU’s Campus. “Being able to stay in the dorms and seeing some old friends are the highlights for my visits back to Fort Collins,” Adsit says. “It’s amazing to see some of the new sports facilities on campus.”

Adsit says he looks forward to returning to Fort Collins in October. The Ram Alumni Alumni Athletes Association and the Department of Athletics welcome Chris Adsit into the CSU Sports Hall of Fame.

Register to attend the banquet.

Contact: Ryan Moulden
Phone: (970) 491-4601