Athletes Who Are Great Entrepreneurs: Marques Harris

Former San Diego Chargers linebacker Marques Harris is just one of a handful of former undrafted free agents turned successful businessman in the history of pro sports. The road traveled by Harris and his fellow undrafted entrepreneurs is a path few have traveled. It’s also a very unlikely path given the fact that most players like Harris don’t make significant money during their playing career. Of course, there are exceptions to everything, but in Harris’ case he spent just five years in the NFL mostly as a special teams player. In his career he tallied 10 sacks in 60 games as a linebacker and is probably remember most for doing a backflip after sacking Peyton Manning. The video is actually pretty impressive, but not nearly as impressive as Harris’ post-football career in which he’s become a successful entrepreneur and motivational speaker.

Football Days

Playing his high school football in Colorado it seemed only fitting Marques Harris would become a Buffalo. From 2000-2003, he totaled 133 tackles, 10 sacks and two interceptions. He would play at the University of Colorado for 3 years before transferring to Southern Utah for his senior season. During his senior season he logged 68 tackles and 11 sacks, which earned him first-team All-Great West Football Conference honors.

Harris would go undrafted in the 2005 NFL Draft, but would end up signing with the San Diego Chargers that year. As mentioned above Harris played five seasons with the Chargers before signing with the San Francisco 49ers, which did not amount to a roster spot. Hanging in the league for five years as an undrafted free agent is no easy feat. The details of his career earnings are not fully disclosed, but one could speculate he was making around the league minimum which would have been around $275,000 per season at the time. Over the course of a 5 year career, Harris was able to build a foundation to spring board him into the next phase of his life.

Real Estate Entrepreneur

After his playing days, Marques Harris returned home to Colorado to start his second career in real estate. After obtaining his real estate license in the state of Colorado, Marques would start a few small businesses that focused on his trade. Among those businesses, he had ownership in the The Palms Tanning Resort, which was a half a million dollar business as well as an insurance agency. Today, Marques is the Founder and Operator of Pi Legacy Holdings.  Pi is a marketplace for accredited investors looking for opportunities in the short-term mortgage loan market. Harris runs the business with co-founder Joel Speckman, who founded All in One Contractors, a $50 million business. Harris’ specialty is really flipping houses and development. He has flipped close to 20 single-family homes and at present has four crews working on a $2 million project in the Denver area. The business, which was founded in 2018, and is running strong today as they add new projects to their portfolio.

Other Activity

Outside of his business the former San Diego Chargers’ linebacker focuses on philanthropy and public speaking. He is the founder of the Harris’ Kids Foundation, which raises money for underprivileged children to enable them to play high school sports and help mentor them toward future success. He’s also the president of Athletes for CARE, which is a community of athletes that use their influence to improve the global standards of health for athletes of all ages. At present, Athletes for CARE has a stable of retired professional athletes that use speaking engagements to advocate for research, education and compassion when addressing health issues. The organization is not-for-profit and does wonderful work advocating for more than 2 billion people worldwide who compete annually in sanctioned sports.

Harris is also an active public speaker as well. Most of his engagements are done via Athletes for CARE, however he does speak about financial matters, career development and real estate. Marques vision is simple,

I knew what it took to make it to the highest level and it’s take a team. My business specializes in helping people achieve their real estate and lifestyle goals with that same mentality.

Harris is just another example of a professional athlete that has made a successful career for himself after football. He did not rely on multi-million dollar contracts, but rather lessons learned in sports and required education. Many professional athletes-turned-entrepreneurs have the benefit of millions in the bank to help spring them into their next career. That wasn’t the case for Marques Harris. He build a successful career in real estate in the Denver area and parlayed that into a larger venture. The former NFL linebacker did this while also giving back to his community via his foundation and his position with Athletes for CARE. Kudos to Marques Harris for his efforts and being one of our focus athletes, who have succeeded at their own business after their playing days ended.

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