College Football Riverview HS, Sarasota FL '91 Vanderbilt (walk on) '95

My Story

Pretty easy for me! In 2007 when the recession hit the housing market, my employer got bought and I was laid off. Marketing jobs were hard to come by during the Great Recession and so I did a total 180 and got my alternative certification to teach business and marketing in high school. I have been doing that for almost 12 years now.

My Advice

Understand that football is just a game and your time playing will end sooner than you think. Look at the numbers! Most athletes don’t play beyond high school, and the vast majority are finished after college. The best thing about being part of the Vanderbilt team was making bonds with people that time nor distance could break. Also, be sure to value these relationships.


Hey Richard, thanks for sharing. It takes a lot of humility to share what happened to you in life back when the recession hit. It isn't easy to be so transparent and so it is appreciated for others to learn from. Your story really sounds like many stories in life whether it be during athletics or not! We all go through life and there are many bumps both big and small that we have to go through. We can either lay down and quit or rethink of another way. This moment in life sounded as if it were your Check Your Game moment! You were going along pretty good, got a big bump in the road and instead of quitting, you changed direction 180 degrees, found another path and for over 12 years have been a teacher! Awesome story. It really is encouraging to see that there are so many unique stories like yours to help encourage others who a lot of times think it's only them that are experiencing what they're experiencing. Thanks again for your commitment to Vanderbilt Athletics. You were always out there with your team working just as hard as everyone else. Thanks again for your story. I really do appreciate it! -Gary Rogers

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