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October 26, 2001

In recognition of

Excellence in


And exemplary contribution to

Church and community

Ben Norton, a native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, grew up in India where his parents served as missionaries. He graduated from Morrison Academy in Taichung, Taiwan, and enrolled to Fresno Pacific College in 1969. He played soccer for the (then) Vikings and was selected the team’s most valuable player before graduating in December, 1971. He married Janice Wiebe before returning to FPC as soccer coach in 1974. In 16 seasons, from 1974-89, he compiled a record of 156-140-32 for a .522 win ratio. In all, his teams won one SCIAC championship (1978), three NAIA District Three championships (1980, 83, 85) and earned three trips to the NAIA National Championship tournament (1983, 84, 85). He twice guided the Sunbirds to second place in the NAIA National Championship (1984, 85). On both occasions the Sunbirds fell in the championship match in sudden death overtime. Four times (1978, 80, 83, 84) he was honored by his peers as the NAIA District Three coach of the year. Nine of his players earned a total of 14 NAIA All-America honors and two more gained NAIA All-America Scholar Athlete recognition. He completed a master of arts in missions at the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in 1977, and followed with a masters degree in physical education from California State University, Fresno, in 1981. In addition to his coaching duties, Ben also served FPC as a faculty member and athletics director. In 1990, he returned to Canada where he helped plant a church, served as an ambulance and bus driver and also wrote a novel. In 1997 he moved to Beirut, Lebanon, where he served four years as teacher and athletics director at the American Community School. He currently serves as vice principal at the International Christian School in Hong Kong, China. He is a devoted husband and father of Seth, Marc, Dana and Kari. He has affected the lives of many as a dedicated teacher, coach, administrator, churchman and missionary.