Accomplished NFL player alumni
Joe Browne is the NFL’s longest-serving employee ever, retiring in 2016 after 50 years with the league office. So in this 100th season, it was a natural for Sports Business Journal to ask Browne to compile a list of 100 former NFL players who have had successful post-playing careers, and to tell their stories.
“It was difficult to reduce all the success stories to a list of just 100,” Browne said. “More than 20,000 guys have played the game and so many have moved on to productive second careers. I hope I don’t lose too many friends for not including them.”
Many NFL observers believe Browne knows the second-career paths and current location of more NFL alumni than anyone else in pro football.
“I was fortunate during my career to have commissioners [Pete] Rozelle and [Paul] Tagliabue allow me to include in my responsibilities our joint program with United Way,” Browne said. “We produced more than 1,000 TV vignettes that were shown during our game telecasts. I met hundreds of then-active players through that program and have remained friends with many of them to this day.”
One thing that concerns Browne is the perception — or misperception — that the majority of former players have a hard time making the transition after their playing days and that some never get to a second career.
“The opposite is true,” Browne said. “We have so many players who were in the league for a short period of time and then moved on with their lives. Others began working in the offseason while still active. Some fans may not remember all their names but they have become teachers, coaches, businessmen, salesmen, doctors and entrepreneurs. It’s great to see. At the same time, the league owners, NFL Alumni, and the NFL players union have programs and benefits to help those who may be struggling. Unfortunately, it’s that latter group that often gets media attention.”
Browne is president of the eponymous New York-based Joe Browne Agency, a communications firm involved in entertainment, sports and politics.
PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM HONOREE
The year 2018 was a pretty significant one in the often-remarkable life of Pro Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach. He retired as executive chairman of JLL Americas, the financial and professional services firm with nearly $8 billion in revenue.
Prior to his JLL role, Staubach was executive chairman of The Staubach Co., a global real estate advisory firm he opened in Dallas in 1977 and expanded in subsequent decades.
In November, President Trump awarded Staubach the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Even Redskins fans would have a hard time arguing that the Naval Academy graduate, Vietnam veteran, successful businessman and two-time Super Bowl champion was not deserving.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
Former Titans receiver Kevin Dyson is known to most NFL fans for his role in the 1999-2000 season Music City Miracle playoff win over the Bills, or for being tackled on the 1-yard line on the last play of Super Bowl XXXIV in the Titans’ heartbreaking loss to the Rams.
However, to the students at Grassland Middle School in Franklin, Tenn., he is known as Dr. Dyson, the school’s principal.
Dyson’s educational credentials include two master’s degrees and a doctorate he received in 2018 from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville. His dissertation was on the benefits of an online literacy program for ninth grade students in his school district.
“Receiving that doctorate was a greater accomplishment than being drafted in the first round by the Titans,” says Dyson. “It really was my Mount Everest.”
NATIONAL GUARDSMAN, BLACK HAWK CREW CHIEF
It’s safe to assume that former Packers offensive lineman Daryn Colledge did not wear his Super Bowl XLV ring when he recently deployed with the military to Afghanistan.
After his nine-year NFL career ended in 2014, he enlisted in the Idaho National Guard.
“Joining the Guard was a two-part decision,” says Colledge. “I wanted to remain in Boise but also, as a pilot in my civilian life, I also wanted to fly in my military career.”
Colledge considered joining the Army out of high school but instead accepted a scholarship to play at Boise State. He explained why he ultimately became a Black Hawk crew chief rather than a military pilot.
“Crew chiefs have the chance to wear so many hats: mechanic, door gunner, assistant to the medics, conduct hoist operations and sling load operations,” he said. “The constant change is a great challenge and keeps you working and honing your skills.”
PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM HONOREE
When Alan Page was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony last November, he was officially recognized for “his athletic accomplishments and his lifetime of public service and philanthropy.”
That was the abridged version of Page’s extraordinary career. Page played 15 seasons (1967-81) with the Vikings and Bears after an All-Academic career at Notre Dame. The Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle earned his law degree from the University of Minnesota in 1978 while still an active player.
He and his late wife Diane created the Page Education Foundation in 1988 to assist minority high school students in Minnesota. A school was renamed the Justice Page Middle School in that state in 2017. Page served as assistant attorney general in Minnesota on his way to becoming the first African-American associate justice of the Minnesota State Supreme Court in 1992. He served on that court until his mandatory age 70 retirement in 2015.
Page was born in Canton, Ohio, near the future site of pro football’s shrine. It was a harbinger of his Hall of Fame life— both on and off the field.
CEO, PRESIDENT AND GM
Dustin Lyman played tight end for five seasons (2000-04) with the Bears before retiring 15 years ago. He stayed in the Windy City and earned an MBA from the University of Chicago but wasn’t sure of his next move; he just knew he wanted to do something different from football.
Lyman became vice president of finance for Mrs. Fields Famous Brands and, three years later, was elevated to CEO in the corporate office in Lyman’s home state of Colorado.
Although he enjoyed tremendous success with Mrs. Fields, Lyman knew he had at least one more career move. In 2018, he became president and general manager of Copper Mountain in Colorado and plans to make the snow resort a year-round family destination.
ISAAC SOWELLS AND JASON HILLIARD
Offensive linemen in football often talk about their common bond. They belong to the same fraternity regardless of team and years they played.
One example of that camaraderie exists in Louisville, Ky., where former Browns tackle Isaac Sowells and one-time Giants tackle Jason Hilliard work together … as officers in the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department. They joined the department separately and only met in the police academy in 2012. Sowells is a Louisville native, while Hilliard played his college ball at the University of Louisville. They both were criminal justice majors in college.
Both men want to make police work their career. Sowells aims to be a sergeant, while Hilliard’s focus is on becoming a detective.
MECHANICAL & AEROSPACE PROFESSOR
Matt Miller played four seasons on the Browns offensive line before he realized there might be a less stressful side to life than blocking Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain defense.
Miller joined the faculty at Cornell University in 1994 and currently is a full professor there in the Sibley School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and associate director of the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source. Miller is interested in solid mechanics and the mechanical behavior of metals, engineering alloys, composites and semiconductors. His honors include Outstanding Teacher in the Sibley School in 1996.
“Let’s just say I am definitely a better professor than I was an NFL lineman,” he says modestly, “but my time in the NFL helped shape the work I do now. I wouldn’t trade either of these careers.”
Even “Mean” Joe Greene would be impressed with Miller’s post-NFL achievements, which include a Ph.D. from Georgia Tech.
INVESTMENT TRUST PRESIDENT
NFL playing careers can vary from 20 years — like Tom Brady — to only a season or two for many special teamers. However, one similarity for those same players often is long post-NFL employment.
Randy Kinder, who took over last spring as president of the multibillion-dollar AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corp., did not have a lengthy NFL career. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Green Bay in 1997 and played mostly special teams before being waived midway through his rookie year. The Eagles picked him up for the remainder of that season but Kinder knew he needed to get on with his life.
“I began working for the AFL-CIO Trust in a marketing and client relations role,” he recalls. “We use union pension dollars to create jobs and secure retirement for our workers.”
Using his Notre Dame education, Kinder continued for 17 years to be promoted at the trust. Kinder never played in the Super Bowl but he did ultimately make it to the president’s corner office.
DR. MIKE MORTON
DENTIST, GAME OFFICIAL
Former NFL linebacker Mike Morton (1995-2001) has led a multifaceted life. He starred on the field and in the classroom — first in high school in Kannapolis, N.C., and then he earned All-ACC Academic honors while playing linebacker at the University of North Carolina. The Raiders were so impressed that they selected him in the fourth round of the 1995 draft.
Morton played four seasons in Oakland before signing with the Rams in 1999 and earning a Super Bowl XXXIV ring.
After his playing days, Morton enrolled at the UNC School of Dentistry. He became a father of quadruplets the day before he took his final live-patient dental exam.
The new Dr. Morton opened an office in his hometown in 2007. Everything seemed to settle down (for a few hours, at least) and then he was attracted to a new vocation — football officiating. He began working JV high school games, which has evolved into him working ACC games.
“The funny thing is I used to really dislike officials,” says the dentist-linebacker-father of (now) five. “I thought all they did was not call holding on my opponents while they were calling stupid penalties on me.”
AIRLINE PILOT & CEO
Nine-year NFL veteran Pat Terrell (1990-98) wanted to use his football career as a springboard instead of a last chapter.
“Flying had been a passion of mine,” Terrell recalls, “and in my rookie year with the Rams I got my pilot’s license. I also started getting involved in a construction company.”
After his NFL career ended in 1998, Terrell moved full time into aviation. He initially flew corporate planes and then became a captain-rated Boeing 757 pilot with then-ATA Airlines. He literally flew round the world. Terrell also piloted more than 1,000 U.S. and allied troops in and out of the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He stopped flying a dozen years ago when he and wife Beth realized that their five children were growing almost as fast as his planes were flying. Terrell now is president and CEO of Terrell Materials, a heavy highway construction company in Chicago where one of his projects included building a runway at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
Pro sports executives
OLIVER LUCK (Oilers; 1982-86) is an attorney, former athletic director at West Virginia, NCAA executive vice president, and currently commissioner and CEO of the XFL.
MARK MURPHY (Redskins; 1977-84) is an attorney, former AD at Colgate and Northwestern, and currently president and CEO of the Packers.
BEASLEY REECE (Cowboys, Giants, Buccaneers; 1976-84) has been a national TV network analyst and local TV sports anchor, and currently is CEO of NFL Alumni in Mount Laurel, N.J.
JERRY RICHARDSON (Colts; 1959-60) is a businessman, philanthropist and founding owner (1993-2018) of the Carolina Panthers.
DOUG WILLIAMS (Buccaneers, Redskins; 1978-82; 1986-89) was head football coach at Morehouse College and Grambling State and currently is senior vice president of player personnel for the Redskins.
KYLE BRADY (Jets, Jaguars, Patriots; 1995-2007) is an attorney at Ginn & Patrou and a certified financial planner at Summit View Capital Management in Jacksonville, Fla.
GLENN CAMERON (Bengals; 1975-85) is an attorney and partner at Cameron, Davis & Gonzalez in West Palm Beach, Fla.
RANDALL GAY (Patriots, Saints; 2004-10) is an attorney in Baton Rouge, La.
CHRIS GODFREY (Jets, Giants, Seahawks; 1980-88) is an attorney at Godfrey Law Offices in South Bend, Ind.
BART OATES (Giants, 49ers; 1985-95) is an attorney and president of NFL Alumni in Mount Laurel, N.J.
JIM SKOW (Bengals, Buccaneers, Seahawks, Chargers, Rams; 1986-92) is founder of the Skow Law Firm in Daytona Beach, Fla.
LARRY SMITH (Rams, Redskins; 1969-74) is a real estate attorney at Hill Ward Henderson in Tampa.
BOB STEIN (Chiefs, Rams, Chargers, Vikings; 1969-75) is former CEO of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and an attorney at Bob Stein LLC in Minneapolis.
RICH STRENGER (Lions; 1983-87) is an attorney at the Law Offices of Rich Strenger in Lake Orion, Mich.
MICKEY WASHINGTON (Patriots, Redskins, Bills, Jaguars, Saints; 1990-97) is an attorney and founder of Washington & Associates in Houston.
WILLIE DAVIS (Browns, Packers; 1958-69) has an MBA from the University of Chicago and has been longtime president of All-Pro Broadcasting while serving on numerous Fortune 500 company boards.
GERALD IRONS (Raiders, Browns; 1970-79) earned an MBA from the University of Chicago during the offseasons of his NFL career and now is senior vice president of business development with Conine & Associates, Commercial Real Estate Advisors. The Gerald Irons Junior High School is named in his honor in the Conroe (Texas) school district.
RON JAWORSKI (Rams, Eagles, Dolphins, Chiefs; 1974-89) owns Business Clubs America and six golf courses, and is majority owner of the Philadelphia Soul in the Arena Football League.
DON SHULA (Browns, Colts, Redskins; 1951-57) is the NFL’s all-time winningest coach and his family of Shula’s restaurants now includes more than two dozen locations.
JOHN STALLWORTH (Steelers; 1974-87) is a partner in Genesis II and a part-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
DWIGHT STEPHENSON (Dolphins; 1980-87) is founder and CEO of D. Stephenson Construction in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
BILL ARD (Giants, Packers; 1981-91) is senior vice president of wealth management at Morgan Stanley in New York.
HARRIS BARTON (49ers; 1987-98) is founder and managing director of H. Barton Asset Management in Menlo Park, Calif.
SCOTT BRUNNER (Giants, Broncos, Cardinals; 1980-85) is executive vice president and partner of Net Worth Management Group in Morristown, N.J.
COURTNEY HALL (Chargers; 1989-96) has a JD/MBA degree from the University of Chicago and is co-founder and managing director of Hillcrest Venture Partners in New York.
RICHARD TODD (Jets, Saints; 1976-85) is managing director at JPMorgan Securities in Atlanta.
REGGIE WILKES (Eagles, Falcons; 1978-87) is senior vice president at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Philadelphia.
DICK ANDERSON (Dolphins; 1968-77) owns Dick Anderson & Associates in Miami.
CURT WARNER (Seahawks, Rams; 1983-90) owns the Curt Warner Agency in Portland.
High school coaches / administrators
MIKE ALSTOTT (Buccaneers; 1996-2006) is head football coach at Northside Christian School in St. Petersburg, Fla.
KIMBLE ANDERS (Chiefs; 1991-2000) is athletic director and head football coach at Ball High School in Galveston, Texas.
KENNETH DAVIS (Bills, Packers; 1986-94) is AD at Bishop Dunne Catholic School in Dallas.
JOHN HOLECEK (Bills, Chargers, Falcons; 1995-2002) is head football coach at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill.
NAPOLEON KAUFMAN (Raiders; 1995-2000) is head football coach at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland.
BRUCE KOZERSKI (Bengals; 1984-95) is head football coach and teaches calculus at Holy Cross High School in Covington, Ky.
CHAD PENNINGTON (Jets, Dolphins; 2000-10) is director of football at the Sayre School in Lexington, Ky.
College athletic directors
BRAD EDWARDS (Vikings, Redskins, Falcons; 1988-96) is the former AD of Newberry College and Jacksonville University, and currently is assistant vice president and AD at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
PAT HADEN (Rams; 1976-81) is an attorney, Rhodes Scholar, and former AD at USC.
TOM HOLMOE (49ers; 1983-89) is the former head coach at Cal-Berkeley and currently is AD at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
LYNN SWANN (Steelers; 1974-82) is a former TV sports analyst and currently the AD at USC in Los Angeles.
GARIN VERIS (Patriots, 49ers; 1985-92) is an attorney and former AD at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, Mass.
JOSH WHITMAN (Chargers; 2001) is an attorney, former AD at Wisconsin-La Crosse and Washington University, and currently the AD at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
LARRY WILLIAMS (Browns, Saints, Patriots; 1985-93) is an attorney, former AD at the University of Portland and Marquette University, and currently is AD at The University of Akron in Ohio.
BOBBY ABRAMS (Giants, Cowboys, Browns, Vikings, Patriots; 1990-95) is principal at Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery, Ala.
DOUG ALLEN (Bills; 1974-75) was assistant executive director of the NFLPA, executive director of the Screen Actors Guild and recently retired as professor at the School of Labor Studies & Employment Relations at Penn State University.
FRANK BEEDE (Seahawks; 1996-2000) is assistant principal at Freedom High School in Oakley, Calif.
LEM BURNHAM (Eagles; 1977-79) is assistant chairman and associate professor in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences at Wilmington University in New Castle, Del.
TODD FRANCE (Eagles, Buccaneers; 2005) is an assistant professor of engineering education at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.
REYNALDO HILL (Titans; 2005-08) is the founder of the Premier Academy School in Coconut Beach, Fla.
DOUG JOLLEY (Raiders, Jets, Buccaneers; 2002-06) is an economics and pre-calculus teacher at Brewer High School in Fort Worth, Texas.
BRIAN JOZWIAK (Chiefs; 1986-88) is a science teacher at North Port High School in Sarasota, Fla.
JEROME SALLY (Giants, Colts, Chiefs; 1982-88) is assistant principal at the David H. Hickman High School in Columbia, Mo.
Real estate executives
SCOTT CAMPBELL (Steelers, Falcons; 1984-90) is owner and president of Brownstone Real Estate in Hershey-Lebanon, Pa.
HOWARD CROSS (Giants; 1989-2001) is senior director of Cushman & Wakefield in New York.
SYD KITSON (Packers, Cowboys; 1980-84) is chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
ROBERT SHAW (Cowboys; 1979-81) is the CEO of Columbus Realty Partners in Dallas.
DERWIN GRAY (Colts, Panthers; 1993-98) is founding and lead pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land, S.C.
ROB SCRIBNER (Rams; 1973-76) is senior pastor of the Lighthouse Church in Santa Monica, Calif.
AENEAS WILLIAMS (Cardinals, Rams; 1991-2004) is pastor of the Spirit Church in St. Ann, Mo.
DR. MARK ADICKES (Chiefs, Redskins; 1986-91) is an orthopedic surgeon who serves as chief of sports medicine and an associate professor at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
DR. TOMMY CASANOVA (Bengals; 1972-77) is an ophthalmologist in Crowley, La.
DR. KIP CORRINGTON (Broncos; 1989-90) specializes in family medicine in Oak Ridge, N.C.
DR. DAN DOORNINK (Giants, Seahawks; 1978-85) practices internal medicine at Memorial Cornerstone Medicine in Yakima, Wash.
DR. SIMON FRASER (Browns, Falcons; 2005-08) is a surgical resident at Doctors Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
DR. DAVE GALLAGHER (Bears, Giants, Lions; 1974-79) recently retired as an orthopedic surgeon (and fourth grade youth football coach) from Southern Indiana Orthopedics in Columbus, Ind.
DR. NATE HUGHES (Jaguars, Lions; 2008-12) is a first-year resident at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
DR. JIM JURIGA (Broncos; 1988-90) is a veterinarian and senior consultant at Six Rings Consulting in Batavia, Ill.
DR. MATT MAUCK (Broncos, Titans; 2004-06) is a dentist at D’Amico & Mauck in Aurora, Colo.
DR. KEN MACAFEE II (49ers; 1978-79) is a dentist and oral surgeon in Waltham, Mass.
DR. JOHN MICHELS (Packers, Eagles; 1996-99) is a physician partner at Interventional Spine & Pain in Dallas.
DR. PAT O’NEILL (Patriots, Bears; 1994-95) is an orthopedic surgeon in Sarasota, Fla.
DR. BRIAN RATIGAN (Colts; 1994) is an orthopedic surgeon at South Bend Orthopaedics in South Bend, Ind.
WARRICK DUNN (Buccaneers, Falcons; 1997-2008) has an MBA from Emory University, is a limited partner of the Falcons and his Warrick Dunn Charities has built 170 homes for single-parent families.
JEFF FAINE (Browns, Saints, Buccaneers, Bengals; 2003-12) is founder of the Faine House youth group home in Orlando.
ANTHONY FASANO (Cowboys, Dolphins, Chiefs, Titans; 2006-17) is managing partner of the Next Chapter addiction center in Delray Beach, Fla.
BRIAN GRIESE (Broncos, Dolphins, Buccaneers, Bears; 1998-2008) is founder and board chairman of Judi’s House for grieving children and families in Denver.
DICK AMBROSE (Browns; 1975-83) is a judge in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas in Cleveland.
TIM IRWIN (Vikings, Buccaneers, Dolphins; 1981-94) is a juvenile court judge in Knox County, Tenn.
ED NEWMAN (Dolphins; 1973-84) is a criminal court judge in Miami-Dade County, Fla.
BOB THOMAS (Bears, Lions, Chargers, Giants; 1975-86) is a justice on the Supreme Court of Illinois.
DWAYNE WOODRUFF (Steelers; 1979-90) is a judge in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pa.
COLIN ALLRED (Titans; 2007-10) is in his first term as a U.S. congressman (D-Texas). He earned a law degree from California-Berkeley after retiring from the NFL.
ANTHONY GONZALEZ (Colts; 2007-11) is in his first term as a U.S. congressman (R-Ohio). He earned an MBA from Stanford University after retiring from the NFL.
STEVE LARGENT (Seahawks; 1976-89) was a four-term U.S. congressman (R-Oklahoma) from 1994-2002. He later was president and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association in Washington, D.C.
JON RUNYAN (Titans, Eagles, Chargers; 1996-2009) was a two-term U.S. congressman (R.-N.J.) from 2011-15. He currently is vice president of policy and rules administration in the NFL office in New York.
HEATH SHULER (Redskins, Saints; 1994-97) was a three-term U.S. congressman (D.-N.C.) from 2007-13. He later was senior vice president of federal government affairs for Duke Energy in Washington, D.C.
JOHN CANNON (Buccaneers; 1982-90) is an EMT and firefighter in the Tampa Fire & Rescue Department.
ERRON KINNEY (Titans; 2000-06) is the former fire chief of Mount Juliet (Tenn.) and currently is the chief of the fire department in Sherborn, Mass.
CHARLES TILLMAN (Bears, Panthers; 2003-15) is an FBI agent.
Note: The list includes only individuals who are still living. NFL players such as former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron “Whizzer” White, HUD Secretary and former congressman Jack Kemp, businessman and Hall of Fame member John Mackey and many other deceased players are not included.
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