It is not unknown for retired athletes to start working normal jobs. Sometimes, this is because said individuals have some other passion that they can pursue because their retirement has provided them with the free time that they need to do so. Other times, this is because said individuals prefer doing something with their spare time instead of just idling in their retirement, which is a much more common sentiment than a lot of people would expect. Finally, there are plenty of retired athletes who need to work normal jobs because they need the income. Whatever the case, there are some rather interesting stories out there that can be found about retired athletes now working normal jobs.
Here are 20 examples:
Shandon Anderson spent about a decade in the NBA. He wasn't particularly memorable, seeing as how he never managed to carve out a place for himself in the hearts of fans. However, Anderson seems to have picked up a passion for food at some point along the way because he is now working as a chef at a vegetarian restaurant, which suggests a fair amount of skill as well as a fair amount of interest on his part. With that said, while his post-retirement career choice is unusual, it is not as unconnected as it seems. After all, athletes are encouraged to eat right to ensure that they can provide their best physical performances, meaning that it is not unreasonable that one would use said knowledge to make vegetarian dishes, which are sometimes promoted as being a way to eat healthier for members of the general population.
Being a backup can be rough. Being a backup for someone like Ben Roethlisberger can be even rougher because it means that a player will be put into more-or-less perpetual shadow. Charlie Batch managed to make something of a name for himself in spite of his position on the Pittsburgh Steelers, but in the end, he never made it into the spotlight. Since retiring from the NFL, Batch has taken up public speaking, which serves as a much-needed source of income considering his bankruptcy. On top of this, he has taken up broadcasting as well, meaning that he is still making a considerable contribution to football in his own particular way.
Urige Buta isn't someone with a lot of name recognition. For that matter, he didn't exactly come out of the Olympics with a particularly impressive finish, considering that he was 36th in the marathon that he participated in. With that said, the fact that Buta managed to make it to the Olympics was remarkable, seeing as how he lacked the benefit of either the expensive training or the expensive equipment that most people associate with Olympic athletes. In fact, Buta trained for the marathon by running in a sewer pipe, which is very far from the popular image indeed. As a result, while Buta might not have come away from his appearance at the Olympics with a particularly impressive finish, the fact that he managed to make it there in spite of the fact that he was a Norwegian janitor who had to train in a sewer pipe is nothing short of magnificent, meaning that he deserves a lot more respect than he has been accorded.
Adrian Dantley spent a total of 15 seasons in the NBA. He has never won a championship, but he has managed to make it into the NBA All-Star game on six separate occasions, which exists alongside a number of other awards and accolades. Since Dantley retired, he has been working as an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets, though he has spent a season as the acting head coach as well because of the cancer that was afflicting the actual head coach. With that said, what is most interesting is that Dantley is working as a part-time crossing guard as well, which is his way to giving to his community. On top of that, he has stated that he has a genuine fondness for the job, which is helped by the fact that he gets health benefits from it.
Currently, Matthew Jonathan Hyson is a financial planner. However, it is interesting to note that he used to compete in the ECW as well as the WWF/E under the name of Spike Dudley. In fact, he used to be rather well-known to pro wrestling fans, seeing as how he managed to win a number of championships over the course of his career. With that said, while Dudley no longer wrestles on a full-time basis, he does still enter the ring from time to time, with the latest occasion being a 2CW match in 2015. Besides his current career as well as his previous career, Dudley worked as the assistant to a grade school teacher, meaning that it is no exaggeration to say that he has had a rather wide range of careers under his belt.
David Eckstein was a pretty well-respected player in the MLB over the course of his career, as shown by the fact that he walked away with the World Series MVP Award in 2006. Since then, he has had a pretty significant chance of direction when it comes to his career of choice. In short, Eckstein currently works for his wife Ashley Eckstein, who started up a fashion brand called Her Universe that specializes in sci-fi-themed clothing for both girls and women. On the whole, this is perhaps unsurprising considering that Ashley Eckstein is actually pretty involved with the Star Wars fandom, seeing as how she is the actress who provides the voice for the recurring character Ahsoka Tano, who has popped up in more than one Star Wars show because of her importance in the Star Wars setting.
Brian Johnson spent eight years playing for the San Francisco Giants. In that time, his most memorable moment might have been a home-run that propelled his team to the National League West title game, which was a definite career highlight. Nowadays, Johnson works as a banker, which is not what most people would have expected from an ex-baseball player. Granted, baseball can see a fair amount of mathematics because of the focus on statistics for use in baseball analytics, but in more practical terms, one tends to expect to see that sort of thing from the coaches as well as other members of the staff rather than the baseball players themselves.
Vinnie Johnson is still remembered with fondness in Detroit for the simple reason that he was part of the Detroit Pistons that managed to win the NBA championship in consecutive years in 1989 and 1990. On top of that, his performance in those games were but part of his contributions to said team, which is why it retired his number when he retired, which Johnson considered to be a huge honor. Since leaving the NBA, Johnson has gone into business in the field of manufacturing. As a result, he continues to serve as the Chairman of what is now called the Piston Group, which is big enough that it employs something along the lines of 200 people in the Detroit region. Based on the name, it is clear that Johnson remembers his time with his team with great fondness, which is very much reciprocated by the team as well as the fans of the team.
Shawn Kemp is another excellent example of the basketball greats who faced down Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls at their prime. In particular, some NBA fans might remember 1996 when Kemp and Gary Payton brought the Seattle SuperSonics to the finals, where they fought it out to six games before losing to the Chicago Bulls. Something that was particularly noticeable at the time because it had been the first time that the SuperSonics had appeared in the finals since 1979. It is interesting to note that at one point in time in his retirement, Kemp owned a sports bar that was situated in Seattle, which bore the name of Oskar's Kitchen. Unfortunately, said establishment has since closed down, with its operations having been wound up in 2015.
Sometimes called the Flower because of his family name, Guy Lafleur was a famous NHL player from 1971 to 1991, so much so that he still manages to make lists of the 100 greatest NHL players on a regular basis. Since retirement, Lafleur has started up a helicopter rental company that operates in the city of Montreal, which is where he had his most famous moments on the ice. For those who are curious, said helicopter rental company specializes in offering its services to VIPs who need a more exclusive way of getting to as well as getting from the local airport. Besides this, Lafleur owns one of the chain of restaurants called Toujours Mikes, which started up in Montreal with the result that it is now situated throughout Quebec as well as the rest of what is considered to be Eastern Canada.
People who remember the Michael Jordan era should remember Karl Malone, who was one of the top names over at the Utah Jazz. In the end, he never won the NBA championship even though his team managed to make it to the playoffs in each season of his career, but he was on two of the U.S. teams that walked away with Olympic gold. Regardless, Malone has since had a fruitful career following his retirement from the NBA. Partly, he has become known for his basketball coaching, and partly, he has become known for his investments in various businesses. However, what might be most interesting is the fact that he has spent some time as a trucker who hauled lumber, not because he needed the money but because he genuinely enjoyed the experience of being a trucker.
Bryant Reeves grew up in a small town in the state of Oklahoma. As a result, he was quite impressed on his first time flying over the length of the United States, which resulted in one of his teammates at the time nicknaming him the Big Country. With that said, it should be noted that there was one other reason for the nickname, which should become obvious for anyone who has ever seen a picture of Reeves, seeing as how he stands at a huge seven feet in height. Since playing for the Vancouver Grizzlies, Reeves has gone on to become a cattle rancher at a cattle ranch that is situated very close to his hometown in the state of Oklahoma.
Jorge Posada was part of the New York Yankees team that dominated the MLB in the late 90s. As a result, while he might not be the most famous member of that particular team, he is nonetheless very well known because of it. Since leaving professional baseball, Posada has had the chance to indulge his authorial interests, with the result that he has published books for kids as well as a novel that was centered around the personal experiences of his son, who has a rare medical problem. Suffice to say that Posada's success in this new field is not just unexpected for a lot of people out there but also very impressive because it means that he is someone with talent in more than one field of human endeavor.
Tito Santana was the ring name of Merced Solis, an American who was born in Texas and raised in Texas. At one point in time, he played college football. Moreover, he was actually good enough at playing college football that he got signed to the Kansa City Chiefs, though he never actually managed to make it onto the field because he got cut during training. As a result, he spent some time playing in the Canadian Football League before heading into the world of professional wrestling, to which he had been introduced by one of his college football team-mates. Over the course of his career as a professional wrestler, Santana wrestled with various wrestling organizations, but in the end, he is best remembered for his stints in the WWF, which would be renamed the WWE after his time. However, while Santana saw various changes in gimmicks, one constant was the fact that he managed to remain a fan favorite throughout, with the result that his name was known to some extent even beyond the world of professional wrestling. As a result, it is particularly amusing to note that he went on to become a Spanish teacher, which must have been a rather interesting experience for those of his students who were aware of his professional wrestling experience. With that said, it is worth mentioning that he also teaches professional wrestling, which is in addition to his basketball coaching as well.
There are a lot of retired athletes who go on to become coaches of one kind or another. After all, coaching makes a lot of sense for retired athletes, provided that they have the skills needed to pass their expertise and experience onto other athletes in an effective and efficient manner. With that said, most of these individuals don't go on to coach high school students, which is the sort of story that seems more like fiction than fact. However, it is fact that one-time New York Yankees pitcher David Wells is now coaching at a high school in California. He might not be the most famous baseball player ever, but he has a number of impressive accomplishments to his name, with an excellent example being the time that he pitched a perfect game, which is not something that most pitchers can claim.
For each person who manages to make it as a professional athlete in the major sports leagues, there are a lot of people who never manage to make it past the minor leagues. Ali Williams was one of these individuals, who spent some time as a professional athlete but never managed to make it onto the stage. Never mind the spotlight. With that said, there are also plenty of people who refuse to let themselves be dragged down by their disappointments but instead make use of their accumulated experience to rise once more. In this case, Williams wound up running a shoe store, which happened to specialize in selling the kind of shoes that he had become more than familiar with as a result of his time as a professional athlete. Something that can certainly be called an excellent example of people making use of what they have learned from the past.
Kristi Yamaguchi has a rightful spot in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame because she was not just an Olympic gold-winning figure skater but also the winner of various other awards and accolades as well. With that said, what is most interesting is that her name has never wholly fallen out of the spotlight even though she has long since retired. After all, she has published four books so far, which are in addition to the fact that she serves as the fashion designer for her own clothing line. Moreover, Yamaguchi has even shown up on the TV screen from time to time, whether because of her role as a broadcaster for various figure skating-related events or because of her participation on a very recent season of Dancing with the Stars.
Jimmy Yang was one of the ring names of James Carson Yun, who has wrestled in WCW, WWF/E, and elsewhere as well. Since then, he has gone into business. Some of his businesses are fairly commonplace in nature. For example, he owns a school that teaches interested individuals about professional wrestling. Likewise, he owns a pest control business that can be found operating out in Cincinnati and its surrounding region. However, it is amusing to note that Yun also owns a couple of so-called "party buses" called the "Redneck Party Bus" and the "Princess Party Bus," which are very odd but at the same time very interesting. As a result, it is clear that Yun has been keeping busy since his retirement, though to say that he works normal jobs might be stretching the truth of things a bit.
There are a lot of expectations placed upon the people who are drafted earlier for the major sports leagues. Unfortunately, Vince Young was one of the ones who didn't quite manage to live up to those expectations, seeing as how he played for more than one team without ever really making a name for himself at any one place. However, he has more than managed to land on his feet following his time in the NFL, seeing as how he has become an ambassador for first-generation students at his old alma mater. Besides the fact that said position comes with a fair amount of respect, it should be noted that said position comes with a decent amount of money as well at around $100,000 on an annual basis.
While nowhere near as dangerous as football photography, Randy Johnson decided to put down the ball and glove and pick up a camera when he retired in 2009. Nicknamed “The Big Unit” by his New York Yankee teammates, he hung in for a total of 22 seasons in the MLB, which is an impressively long career for any athlete. Today he can be seen on the sidelines of many professional baseball and football games, and he’s garnered a bit of a following as a photographer. Many of his ilk go relatively unrecognized for their work, so it’s nice to see that at least one sports photojournalist has managed to make a name for himself amidst a pretty overlooked line of work.
Written by Garrett Parker
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