Family: Shane and Laura Bonham have been married 16 years and have two sons, ages 6 and 8.
Occupation: Owner TTJC- Tennessee Tai Kwon Do and Judo College, and is pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in Maryville.
One percent of college football players go on to play professionally in the National Football League. Shane Bonham was in that one percent.
But it was when he got cut from the NFL that he found real happiness.
Bonham played college football at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for two years and transferred to the University of Tennessee where he played his junior and senior seasons as a defense lineman for coach Phillip Fulmer in 1992 and 1993.
He left school 12 hours shy of graduating when the Detroit Lions drafted him in 1994 and was there four years. He played with the San Francisco 49ers in 1998 and 1999 before he was signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 1999. “I left there in January of 2000 after losing to the Titans in the playoffs. That was the year the Titans played St. Louis in the Super Bowl.”
It was later that year that Bonham’s life changed. He was living in Blount County with his wife, Laura. While they had attended church sporadically, on July 26, 2000, Bonham said he had a realization.
“We pulled into Buddy’s Barbecue beside the mall, to eat and I told Laura, ‘I need Christ. I just had a sudden realization I needed Christ. Why did I realize it? It was because of his grace,” he says.
Bonham was called to training camp with the Oakland Raiders a week later but was cut after the last pre-season game. He returned to Blount County and began training with Master Py Eun at Tennessee Taekwondo and Judo College in Knoxville. Bonham had a background in martial arts and Master Eun recruited him to teach at the Alcoa TTJC location. Not long after, Bonham bought the Alcoa TTJC and moved it to New Midland Plaza. He’s taught with TTJC for 10 years now.
Bonham says martial arts help young people pay attention, show respect and be focused. “At the end of the day though, they need someone to love on them and hug them.”
Here is Shane Bonham:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?
“I am most like my dad, Steve Bonham. Growing up in Alaska, I learned my work ethic from him. I would watch him work outside in minus 50 degree temperatures. Every job that he did, he always gave it his best effort and would not be satisfied until it was done right, no matter how difficult the task was. He instilled fortitude and determination in me.”
What is your favorite quote from TV or movie?
“From ‘Nacho Libre:’ ‘Chancho, when you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room. It’s for fun.’”
What are you guilty of?
“I am guilty of not treasuring Jesus Christ as I should. Guilty of finding satisfaction in the things of the world instead of the most valuable, most glorious, most soul-satisfying being in universe, namely, God Himself.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My Bible and my books on theology.”
What are you reading currently?
“The Life of a God-Made Man,” by Dan Doriani.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“When I was busting some sweet moves on the dance floor and knocked over the band’s microphone at the seventh grade dance.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“1 Go on a mission trip to an un-reached people
2. Get my pilot’s license.
3. Go skydiving.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I would like to change the sin in my heart such as pride and selfishness, but I cannot do that on my own. That is why I desperately need Jesus Christ and the transforming power of the Gospel.”
What is your passion?
“Preaching God’s Word.”
With whom, living or dead, would you like to have a long lunch?
My dad. He died in November of 2003 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 53, or my grandfather, Edwin Bonham. He died of a heart attack while picking me up when I was 3. We were in his garage, and he called me ‘Shaney boy’ and he picked me up. I remember my dad yelling at my older brother, and he ran into the house to get grandma . I remember the ambulance coming down the ally way. I remember him picking me up but I don’t remember him putting me down and falling.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“I would like to go back and see Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“I guess when I got a shotgun for my birthday when I was 8 years old. I always wanted a shotgun and one of my mom and dad’s friends went back to Pennsylvania to visit family and brought back a double barrel .410.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Make good grades and stay out of trouble.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“When I was younger it was my high school line coach Guy Lee. He worked with me for four years helping me train and encouraging me to do my best. When I went to the Air Force Academy, it was head football coach Fisher Deberry. He provided a Godly example. When I went to the University of Tennessee, it was coach Phillip Fulmer, who believed in me and gave me a chance to play. But I would have to say that the greatest influence has been my wife, Laura, who has always stuck by my side even though I did not deserve to have such a great mate. She has been a great example in the way that she really cares for others. I am by nature more of an inward person but Laura’s influences me to be more outward, loving and truly concerned for those around me.”
Do you MySpace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Laura set up my Facebook account and I check it occasionally but I don’t really get into it.”
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
“Our dog, his name is Rocky Bal-Bonham. My little boys love him.”
What is your theme song that best describes you?