Bill McCartney, the former college football coach who forged Promise Keepers into a formidable men's movement, has come out of retirement to lead the evangelical Christian group. McCartney, 68, has returned as chief executive officer and chairman of the ministry he co-founded. McCartney replaces Tom Fortson, who resigned voluntarily, according to Promise Keepers general counsel Ed O'Brien. The announcement was made last week.
Promise Keepers has struggled to find an identity since its heyday in the mid-1990s. In 1996, the group drew 1.1 million men to 22 stadium conferences; 10 years later, 18 conferences attracted some 132,000. Tax forms also show steadily declining gifts, grants and contributions to the Denver-based group from $15 million in 2002 to $9 million in 2005, the most recent year available.