Life, like sports, is not easy to predict no matter how hard you work. For some athletes who went a different direction after their career in sports, leaving the spotlight expanded their horizon. Some of them took a 9-5 job, and some dove into business ventures.
Exploring other industries is not as easy as it sounds. A corporate job still requires mental and physical stamina, after all. From football star Wayne Chrebet to quarterback Drew Bledsoe, here are world-famous former athletes who now work a regular job.
Anthony Eugene “Tony” McGee
Under Tony McGee’s belt are 14 seasons in the National Football League (NFL), including two Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins. The former professional American football player built his college football career at Bishop College and then joined the third round of the 1971 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.
McGee, known as “Mac the Sack,” also played for the New England Patriots from 1974 to 1981 and for the Washington Redskins from 1982 to 1985. He reached a total of 106.5 sacks throughout his career and played in 203 games, missing only one game. He was also nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.
When it was time to have a life outside football, McGee first opened a roofing company. But when he learned about shipping, he built his own freight company called HNM Global Logistics. Its first year of operation brought the former athlete over $1 million in revenue.
Myron Rolle is the brainy athlete on our list. After playing football at Florida State, Rolle was drafted by the Tennessee Titans at the 2010 NFL Draft.
But Rolle left NFL to attend the Florida State University College of Medicine. He became a neurosurgery resident at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital.
Former American football player Ricardo Silva began to show his athletic skills at Bowie State University. During his senior season, he recorded 74 amazing tackles, four interceptions, and 11 pass breakups.
Silva joined the practice squad of Detroit Lions in 2011 and became the active roster in week 12, sealing the season and playing primarily special teams. Silva was activated to the 53 man roster in the early weeks of 2012 after FS Louis Delmas got injured. His second season gave him 40 tackles, six starts, and one interception.
In 2014, Silva became a part of Teach for America as a geometry teacher at Ballou High School in Washington D.C. He said that he became a teacher because he wanted children to go to college. He is also working as an Account Executive at NewDay USA.
Dermontti Dawson played as a center and long snapper in NFL after his college football career with the Kentucky Wildcats. He became a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.
Unfortunately, Dawson got injured and had to retire in 2000. In Kentucky, he became a real estate developer.
Today, he serves as the vice president of sales at promotional products company Prime Time Plus.
After playing high school football at Garfield High School, Wayne Chrebet did not find himself qualified for NFL right away. He got a walk-on opportunity with the NFL’s New York Jets and eventually grabbed his biggest break. He played 11 seasons for the New York Jets from 1995 to 2005.
The former American football recorded 13 passes from different players, played for several head coaches, and worked for two different owners. Chrebet had a serious concussion in 2005. He was formally honored by the New York Jets on “Wayne Chrebet Day” in 2007.
Outside football, Chrebet ran two restaurants on Long Island near Hofstra University and transformed it into a sports-themed bar/restaurant called “Social Sports Lounge and Kitchen.” In 2009, Morgan Stanley welcomed the athlete as a financial advisor in its New Jersey office. In 2012, he became a financial advisor at Barclays Capital and an Assistant Vice President working at the New York City office.
Football superstar Terrell Owens was selected for the Pro Bowl six times and had first-team All-Pro five times. San Francisco 49ers picked him during the 1996 NFL Draft after playing college football and basketball at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
NBC Sports reported in 2013 that Owens has been modeling. He made several appearances as a celebrity, including R&B singer Faith Evans’ music video “I Deserve It” and “The Celebrity Apprentice 7.”
In 2017, the former football player joined the MTV reality series “The Challenge” titled “Champs vs. Stars.”
If you’re a wrestling fan, Tito Santana must be familiar to you. His real name is Merced Solis, and he became popular for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation between 1979 and 1993. He became the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion twice and received the WWF Tag Team Championship twice.
One of his wrestling achievements is the 1989 King of the Ring tournament. In 2004, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and in 2013, he was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. The wrestler still makes appearances on the independent circuit.
When he left the ring, he worked as a part-time salon owner and a Spanish teacher at Eisenhower Middle School in New Jersey. He also got the chance to coach Eisenhower’s boys’ basketball team. He said that he wanted to change a child’s life.
Another story of comeback is Vince Young, who participated in the NFL for six seasons. The former American football quarterback was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2006.
Young took home the Davey O’Brien Award for being the best college quarterback in the country. He was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year during his rookie season and became a part of the AFC Pro Bowl team as a reserve. He brought his team to a BCS National Championship in the 2006 Rose Bowl.
He failed to make a comeback in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2017. He reportedly lost $34 million of his career earnings. Today, he is working as a development officer at the University of Texas Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.
Keith Fitzhugh’s collegiate career at Mississippi State allowed him to showcase his skills, with 16 starts in the defensive backfield and 130 total tackles. Fitzhugh played in all 13 games in 2007, recording 58 tackles, 5.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 Sack, and 2 Interceptions.
The American football safety was signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2009. His tryouts with the Jets and Ravens did not pan out. He also decided not to join the Jets again after injuries to safeties Jim Leonhard and James Ihedigbo.
After football, he became a conductor for the Norfolk Southern Railway in Atlanta, and now, he is a terminal superintendent. He said he chose this career path because it gave him a stable income.
Football surely wasn’t the end for Eddie George, who used to play for Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys. After playing for NFL for nine seasons, he earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
As a college football player for The Ohio State University, he won the Heisman Trophy in 1995. He was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Throughout his career, he had over 600 rushing attempts and fumbled six times.
He entered theater after football and performed Shakespearean roles in local productions. In 2015, he appeared on the satirical talk-show “Comedy Bang Bang.” In 2016, he was lauded for his performance as Billy Flynn in the musical “Chicago.”
There are former athletes like Kareem McKenzie who may not be playing anymore but are active in the industry. The difference is they are performing a different role.
The former American football offensive tackle won Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI, twice against the New England Patriots as a member of the New York Giants. After joining the team as a free agent in 2005, he suffered a hamstring injury during the 13th week. He underwent counseling sessions as an NFL player.
Then, McKenzie decided to enter a career where he would help his colleagues in their retirement. He graduated with a Masters of Education in Professional Counselling from William Paterson University’s College of Education and is finishing his doctorate. He works as a sounding board and counselor to current NFL players.
Ty Law, who played 15 seasons in the NFL, was inducted into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame as its 20th member. He was also inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019.
His football career started at the University of Michigan. Drafted by the New England Patriots 23rd overall in the 1995 NFL Draft, Law became a five-time Pro Bowl selection, a two-time All-Pro, and a Pro Bowl MVP. His 53 career interceptions made a mark in NFL history.
Law built Launch Trampoline Park, a series of entertainment facilities featuring connected trampolines when he retired from the NFL. He is running franchised locations across New England. Law reportedly makes appearances at the site and joins games of trampoline dodgeball with customers.
Here’s an impressive upturn story courtesy of Drew Bledsoe, who played with the New England Patriots in the NFL for 14 seasons. He showcased his skills as a starting quarterback from 1993 to 2001.
In his retirement, Bledsoe opened a winery called Doubleback Winery, which became popular to wine experts in the state of Washington and other places.
His winery became successful, and his wine even placed 53rd overall in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines. He also works with different philanthropic organizations.
Bill Goldberg is famous for his appearances in the World Championship Wrestling (WCW). As an actor, he became a part of several TV shows and movies, including “Universal Soldier: The Return” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
Goldberg, who retired in 2004, worked as a commentator for the mixed martial arts promotion EliteXC. From 2009 to 2011, he became a host of Garage Mahal on the DIY Network.
Goldberg is a spokesman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Athletes like gymnast Kerri Strug are not easy to break. She joined the Magnificent Seven, a women’s gymnastics team, to represent the US at the 1996 Summer Olympics. She is known for performing the vault despite having an injury on her ankle and giving the US its first gold medal.
She returned to the US as a national sports hero after her Olympics win. She won a team bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics at the age of 14. She also had wins in the 1993 Nationals: 3rd in the all-around, 2nd on the uneven bars, and 3rd on floor exercise.
In her retirement, she became a correspondent for Yahoo! in artistic gymnastics. She studied communications and social psychology at the Stanford University. She worked as a second-grade teacher and then a grant manager at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
These athletes have shown dedication, skills, and hard work in sports.
Let’s hope they apply these values to any career path they will pursue in the future.