For professional athletes, the glory days come and go. The majority aren’t able to hold onto their wealth and be a lucrative public figure like Michael Jordan or David Beckham. Once an athlete retires, he or she better hope a solid financial plan was put in place. If not, they may end up working a job behind a counter to keep the lights on. Here are some of your favorite former athletes in their new jobs. You won’t believe what some of them are up to.
Golden Boy Oscar
The former 10-time world champion in six weight divisions wasn’t done with boxing once he retired. With accolades like that, it would be tough for anyone to leave behind something they were so talented at. He had a tough and remarkable rivalry with Floyd Mayweather and the two are still competing but now with their promotional firms.
Oscar De La Hoya has Golden Boy Promotions Inc. (Golden Boy was also his nickname) where he promotes the fighters he has signed. It was established in 2002 and became the first Hispanic owned boxing promotion company.
The Mailman Doesn’t Work For UPS
Karl Malone or “The Mailman”, as many NBA fans refer to him as used to be the biggest thing in Utah. The power forward was so massive and strong he would flush home his dunks with power and that is how he earned his nickname because he was always going to deliver. But the only thing Malone couldn’t deliver was an NBA championship. Michael Jordan was good at stopping people from winning one.
Today, Malone gets timber from people’s properties for a low cost from time to time. He also worked on an ESPN radio show but refused to take a salary. He has a house in Alaska as well as a restaurant in Louisiana called The Teriyaki Grill.
Derek Jeter Founded A Media Company
Derek Jeter was once New York’s savior. He played for the Yankees his entire career and won five World Series. But even with his retirement, no one expected him to stay away from sports for long. After retiring in 2014, Jeter ended up founding The Players Tribune; a media company that allows athletes to speak out and connect with their fans all while having no filter. It is the same platform that the deputy publisher Kevin Durant showcased his essay “My Next Chapter”, revealing his choice to leave Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors.
Keep reading to see which athletes ended up as a cattle rancher and a Starbucks barista!
Reality Hits Owens
Terrell Owens wreaked havoc on and off the field. He was very polarizing, to say the least, but he always managed to get the job done on the field. His best years were with the 49ers but he also helped lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl during his time in Philly.
Since retiring, Owens has had a tough time with his money, and he sought out several ventures. One lane he tried to get in was reality TV. It didn’t turn out too well and neither did his attempt at investing in real estate. Luckily, he’s found some success with modeling.
Keeping Fit With Trish
Trish Stratus is a former model and WWE champion. When she first started out in the WWE, she was mainly only involved in sexually charged storylines like managing team T & A, but she slowly became recognized for her wrestling skills and not just her looks. Eventually, she became a one-time WWE Hardcore Champion.
In what was quite a change of pace, in 2008 Stratus opened a yoga studio in the suburbs of Toronto. It is called Stratusphere and is labeled as “Canda’s largest eco-friendly yoga studio”.
Mark Brunell is a College Prep Coach
Mark Brunell was a dependable quarterback. He wasn’t the guy who was a threat to throw 500 yards each game like Aaron Rodger or Tom Brady but he was for sure going to manage the game and make sure the right pass was thrown. Brunell led many of the teams he played for to the playoffs but it wasn’t until his time as a backup in 2010 that he would get his first and only ring.
He made a good amount of money while playing but ended up losing it all thanks to bad business decisions. He currently works as a coach for the Episcopal School of Jacksonville. He also has a little gig with ESPN.
John Urschel Loves Math
‘‘There’s a rush you get when you go out on the field, lay everything on the line and physically dominate the player across from you,’’ John Urschel wrote. ‘‘This is a feeling I’m (for lack of a better word) addicted to, and I’m hard-pressed to find anywhere else.’’ Urschel ended up retiring from the NFL at the young age of 26 over concerns of future brain damage and to pursue a Ph.D. in math at MIT.
His professor claims to have never had a student like the former Raven. On his bio on the MIT math department site, he says he spends most of his time thinking about machine learning and graph theory.
The Mamba Invests In His Future
Kobe Bryant was a great basketball player whose legacy will transcend many generations to come. You don’t shoot paper trash without yelling “Kobe!” first. The five-time champion was known to work hard all year and his hard work paid off in a big way. But since retirement, he has shifted his focus elsewhere.
Bryant is now a screenwriter and an executive producer. In fact, his poem “Dear Basketball” was turned into a short film and received an Oscar nomination. He is also trying to become an avid investor. Bryant says he is researching that field as if it were basketball because he wishes to have the same amount of success.
Vin Baker Lost It All, Got a Job at Starbucks
Vin Baker is a former NBA player that had quite the skill. But as you may know, former NBA players are not that adept at holding onto their money and Baker was no exception. He ended up losing $100 million in career earnings. He spent his last season in Seattle, after which the owner of the Seattle Supersonics offered Baker a job at Starbucks in Rhode Island, which he accepted.
Baker said, “When you learn lessons in life, no matter what level you’re at financially, the important part to realize is it could happen. I was an alcoholic, I lost a fortune. I had a great talent and lost it… I have to take the story and show that you can bounce back.”
Peyton Manning Endorses Everything
What can we say about Super Bowl champion, MVP, and record holder Peyton Manning? Manning was practically the perfect traditional quarterback. If you left him in the pocket too long you can bet he was going to find the open man and make a big play. He retired after winning his second Super Bowl and never looked back.
But if you watch TV with commercials then chances are you have seen Manning promoting pizza. Papa John’s pizza to be exact. Not only that, he is also featured in Nationwide commercials. So if he’s not talking about pizza then he’s talking about insurance. You don’t have to search far to find Manning.
Don’t Get Grilled By George Foreman
What’s interesting about George Foreman is that everyone born after a certain year knows him strictly as the guy who sells grills. But Foreman is much more than that. (Although his line of grills is wildly successful.) George had an incredible career as a boxer.
In 81 fights, he had 76 wins and only five losses. And that is just his professional career. If you throw in his amateur fights, that number is much higher. Today, the champion fighter provides us with the perfect grill for those who want a burger without all the fast food detriments.
Detlef Schrempf Works in Wealth Management
Detlef Schrempf spent the majority of his years as a Seattle Supersonic. He racked up three All-Star nods and basically retired with not much to complain about. And he always seemed to be ahead of the pack when it came to retirement. Almost as if he was preparing for it his whole career.
After the NBA, Schrempf used his earnings wisely and soon started a career in wealth management. He is now the business development officer for Coldstream Capital Management which is an independent wealth management firm. If you need some advice with your money, this is your guy to go to.
Magic has a New Role in the Game
Magic Johnson is regarded as the best point guard to ever play in the NBA. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers and won five championships with them. The flashy passer and great leader would end up retiring due to his HIV diagnosis. But with great treatment, the star is not only alive but thriving. As of 2018, he is the President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers.
It is up to him to decide who the Lakers draft, trade and many other responsibilities. All eyes are on Magic as he tries to bring the franchise back to its dominant form. Only time will tell if he’s doing a good job.
Fox Sports 1 With Kwan
Olympic Figure Skater Michelle Kwan is a fan favorite. Since winning the silver medal in 1998, Kwan has gained countless fans. (She won the bronze in 2002 as well.) Now retired from the sport, she admits she misses skating very much but doesn’t plan on competing again. Today she works as a sports broadcaster for Fox Sports 1. Her endorsements for brands such as Coca-Cola and Chevrolet have kept her bank account healthy as well. We may not get to see Kwan dazzle us with her moves but we get to hear her insight on sports. A healthy compromise.
Ranch Man Brant Reeves
Back before the Memphis Grizzlies were in Memphis, they were the Vancouver Grizzlies. And Brant Reeves had the honor of being their first ever draft pick. And as great as that sounds, it also comes with a lot of pressure. Reeves didn’t meet expectations but he had a decent career. Back injuries cut his career to six years before retirement.
But life after the NBA hasn’t been so bad. Reeves now owns a huge 300-acre cattle ranch in Oklahoma. It appears that cattle raising is his true calling and he is really good at it.
From Indy To TNT
Reggie Miller was the Steph Curry of the NBA before Curry came onto the scene. The man was automatic from the three-point line. He even scored eight points in nine seconds to create a comeback in the Playoffs. That almost sounds like a myth but he did it. Miller played all 18 of his seasons with the Indiana Pacers but never won a ring thanks to one Michael Jordan.
Now he isn’t shooting threes but he is calling them from the sideline. Miller is a broadcaster for the NBA on TNT. He sits alongside some very good analysts and other NBA legends from time to time as he commentates on the matchups of the week.
Romo Calls It How He Sees It
Tony Romo used to be America’s quarterback. When you play for the Cowboys that is the title you receive and with great power comes great responsibility. Romo had some incredible moments throughout his career but never was able to lead his team to the promise land. Not to mention he was constantly getting injured so he could never stay consistent with his playing time.
In his final year, he hurt his back and that is when rookie phenom Dak Prescott took over. Romo watched passively from the sidelines as he was recovering but the team was doing just fine without him. He announced his retirement that season and let fans know that he would be joining CBS as a commentator, which suits him well.
Shaq Takes His Talents To TNT
Shaquille O’Neal might go down as the most dominant center in NBA history. The only way any team could stop him is if they committed a foul on the big guy. Outside of free-throws, he was virtually unstoppable. The multi-talented entertainer could have done other big things outside of the NBA like acting or music but he chose to stay where his heart is.
After his retirement in 2011, he promptly joined the award-winning TNT Overtime crew consisting of Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson. The cast is constantly joking and O’Neal just makes it that much better.
The Denver Broncos Has John Elway
You couldn’t have imagined or thought up a better way to end an NFL career. For John Elway, it was fairy tale like. Elway would win two back-to-back titles and then walk away from playing forever. But he wasn’t away from the game for long. Afterwards, he had success in several other ventures like restaurants and car dealerships.
But Elway also made his way back to the game. He now sits as the Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos. He was the one responsible for landing Peyton Manning and ultimately winning another Super Bowl for the franchise.
Write It Down, Posada
Even before Jorge Posada’s career ended as the New York Yankees catcher, he was already an author. Posada released a children’s book titled Play Ball! in 2006. He played all of his games as a Yankee and had a career batting average of .273. And his total home run count was 275. Not bad for a catcher.
He also co-authored Fit Home Team which is a manual for family health, with his wife. He has a child with Craniosynostosis, which inspired him to start the Jorge Posada Foundation which helps raise funds and research for the condition.
Fletcher At The Restaurants
Bryan Fletcher was in a sport that combined ski jumping and country skiing. He won a bronze medal at the 2013 Val di Flemme for Team normal hill. Fletcher now works part time in restaurants in Park City, Utah.
Something else special about Fletcher is that he survived acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Due to that, he co-founded a charity that helps young people who survived cancer. A man with endurance and a a touch humility.
Kemp Opens A Bar
Do you remember the ferocious NBA player Shawn Kemp? He would humiliate opponents with his slam dunks and overall power. Kemp spent the majority of his career on the Seattle Supersonics before ending his career bouncing around other teams.
Kemp became well-known in the state of Washington after he opened a sports bar following his retirement. He called it Oskar’s. Sadly, the skyrocketing prices for rent in Seattle forced him to close up his bar.
Spike Dudley Will Handle Your Finances
Spike Dudley had an amazing career as a wrestler. He was a two-time tag team champion in the ECW and an eight-time Hardcore Champion in the WWE. Dudley became something of an icon. Then he traded it all away.
Dudley chose to become a financial adviser with a firm known as MassMutual. That is quite the career shift after jumping off rope and getting put into headlocks. It’s what he wanted so it’s what he does.
A Pitch Above The Checks
Brian Johnson created a name for himself while pitching in the MLB and spending around eight years with the San Francisco Giants. He had a big moment when he hit a home run in 1997 that sent his team to the National League West title game.
After he was done slugging and pitching, he took his talents to pursue a career as a banker with J.P. Morgan Chase. They say baseball and analytics go hand in hand, so maybe he’s a natural in the banking field.
Webber Is The Man With The Plan
These days, if you want to get your healthy dosage of Webber, all you have to do is tune in to either NBATV or TNT. After retirement, he ventured down many roads, but the one road that happens to be a great suit for him is an analyst.
He is just as good on the court as he is off the court. His commentary is always lively and he doesn’t fail to bring in a new perspective.
Marbury Making Business Moves In China
“It just added more legality part to being able to do investments,” Marbury told state media China Daily, “and to bring business here legitimately, and then to buy a house, and to buy a car, to do little different things in Beijing.”
If you remember correctly, Marbury already had his “Starbury” business back in America. Starbury was probably what was on his mind and with his Chinese connections, the brand could now expand in a different country.
Curling Champ Helps Lives
If you haven’t watched curling before, then we suggest that you give it a try. It’s a tactful sport that involves so much concentration, and Nina Roth was one of the sports better players. She’s won gold at the 2017 Olympic Curling Trials.
Now, she works as a nurse in Madison, Wisconsin. That’s a great way to transition from the Olympic sport. On average, registered nurses make around $68 thousand a year. Pretty modest but it gets the job done.
The Fastest Man Ever Starts A Restaraunt Chain
After you’ve earned the title of the fastest man in the world and won on the biggest stage possible numerous times, what else is there to do? Well, you can travel around the world, find a girlfriend, turn down offers from the NFL, and start a restaurant chain.
Bolt started the “Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records” chain which serves classic Jamaican dishes in the UK. “I’m happy to be able to share a taste of the Jamaica that I know and love with the rest of the world through the opening of these restaurants across the UK,” Bolt said.
Beckham Now Owns A Team
The former Manchester United and England legend David Beckham doesn’t play the field anymore, he owns it. That’s right, Beckham now has a football team in Miami, Florida. The league is in Major League Soccer and Beckham founded it in January of 2018.
“I’m excited to bring this great team to this great city – it has been a hell of a journey,” said Beckham. “I promise you the team we will bring into the league will be the best team.”
Kristi Yamaguchi Has Her Hands Full
Its unfortunate that some sports don’t receive the proper recognition as they should. One of those sports is ice skating. These athletes perform tricks and stunts that no average human would be able to pull off and Kristi Yamaguchi was one of the best.
The 1992 Olympic figure skating champion keeps herself busy post skating days. She now has four published books on top of being a fashion designer with her own clothing line! That’s quite the resume.
From Strokes To Tea
Who would have thought that having a good golf swing would translate to making one of the highest profitable teas in the world? Arnold Palmer won the last of his 62 PGA Tours back in 1973, but he didn’t have his most profitable year until 2013.
The Arnold Palmer line is a $200 million business. How’s that for a hole in one? The Palmer name is also licensed all over Asia and he has 400 stores over there that sell apparel with his name.
The Greatest At Hockey Is Still Thriving
When you’re the best at something, it’s pretty hard to retire and not become great at something else. It’s just not in your DNA to be basic. That’s why Wayne Gretzky continues to dazzle in whatever field he touches.
Post retirement, he started a wine company, and is also a marketing star. He signed deals with Fairfax Capital and Upper Deck recently to go along with his Samsung, TD, and Breitling and Bigelow deals. He can’t be stopped.
Another One Heads To The Restaurants
Few quarterbacks on this list fought as hard to stay in the NFL as Daunte Culpepper did. When no one would sign him, he attempted a comeback with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL. When the comeback failed he switched careers completely and entered the restaurant industry.
So far, Culpepper’s story doesn’t have a happy ending. His restaurant in Florida was forced to close down recently. He also was forced to sell one of his mansions in the process. Culpepper has fallen far since leading the NFL in passing touchdowns in 2000.
Grossman Goes Medical
Now that Rex Grossman is no longer slinging the ball down the football field his career has taken a complete left turn. He founded Florida Medical Staffing, a company that helps traveling nurses find employment in Florida. We have no idea how he ended up as a medical professional, but it’s working for him.
As a high round draft pick by the Chicago Bears, his NFL career did not work out. You can argue that he was the starting quarterback for Chicago in a Super Bowl, but the defense carried that team. He eventually lost the starting job to Kyle Orton, too.
Randy Will Get Your Good Side
You know when you’re watching NFL games and you see all those cameramen standing on the sideline? Sometimes, they get ran over by a player traveling at insane speeds. This kind of stuff happens pretty regularly, but we’re sure it isn’t that big of a deal to Randy Johnson.
Johnson stuck around the MLB for 22 years before calling it quits. These days, you can catch him on the sidelines of football and baseball games getting the exclusive shots.
Drew Bledsoe Is Good With The Vineyards
Drew Bledsoe may be overshadowed these days by Tom Brady but before the team’s new superstar QB took over, Bledsoe was drafted as the number one pick in the 1993 NFL draft. He quickly gained fame by becoming the youngest quarterback ever selected for the Pro Bowl. Bledsoe also brought his team to six straight playoffs after they missed the post-season eight years in a row.
After retiring in April 2007, Bledsoe started a vineyard business known as Doubleback, an estate focused winery that produces Cabernet Sauvignon from the Walla Walla Valley, Drew’s hometown. His family then built the Bledsoe Family Winery – a sister project to Doubleback. His wine empire continues to grow in 2018.
Locker Settles On A Farm
Jake Locker lives the simple life these days. Settling down with his wife and kids on a farm in Washington, the former Titans’ starter is happier than ever tending to his crops. He also enjoys hunting his dinner instead of running away from fans hunting him down for an autograph.
Of all the quarterbacks on this list, Jake Locker might have had the most potential. Drafted eighth overall by Tennessee in 2011, Locker was electric on the field. The problem was he couldn’t stay there. Over four seasons, he started a total of 23 out of 64 games because of injury problems.
Developing Games In The Stars For Schilling
Over his career, Curt Schilling built an amazing resume. He won three World Series’ and was a strong leader on the mound and in the clubhouse. That was a great part of his life, but he really wanted to lead a design team for an RPG video game!
Once he left the majors, Schilling became a video game developer. He lost millions of dollars in the process making a failed gamed called Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
Farve Loves Steak?
When Brett Favre retired it’s almost as though he was still in the NFL. Favre could still be seen endorsing Nike, Wrangler, MasterCard, and various other products, a trend that continues today. The Super Bowl-winning quarterback was always somewhat of a farm boy, even playing with the Green Bay Packers so it’s no surprise where his career has taken him.
Favre is currently the owner/operator of a steakhouse in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He also took a liking for appearances every Tuesday on the “SiriusXM Blitz” radio show. Favre even spent the 2012 and 2013 football seasons as the offensive coordinators for the Oak Grove High School’s football team.
Quinn Helps And Teaches
This one shouldn’t be surprising. If you watch FOX Sports on Saturdays or Sundays then you know Brady Quinn works as a full-time College Football and NFL analyst for the network. He also runs the 3rd and Goal Foundation, an operation dedicated to helping veterans find housing.
Drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2007, Quinn ended his career with 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. It would have been fair to call him on a bust after setting 36 Fighting Irish records for Notre Dame. Now with a successful post-NFL career, it’s impossible to call him a bust.