As heard on Tunch & Wolf show, ESPN, 93.7 The Fan, TribLIVE Radio, KDKA, SB Nation Radio and more!
Our new book Steelers Takeaways – taking the best stories and quotes from over 400 Steelers interviews and breaking them down by topic and generation – is now available. Order via Amazon and Barnes and Noble!
See what these former Steelers and others have to say about the book!
First, tell us a bit about your new venture?
I’m working with a data company called Impellia. It’s actually a suite of platforms which makes it unique to help with injury prevention, sports performance, and the rehabilitation process for players. A lot of data companies are just one platform that regurgitates information. I chose to work with Impellia because it is different for two reasons. First, you can incorporate every platform you use and integrate them all into it. That allows you to get historical data. The second is its fully customizable. Instead of us dictating the information, you can make it what you want it to be to search for what you need to look for.
And the people. Rick, Charlie, and Dave – that’s a great cast of minds to join!
First, can you let us know what you’ve been doing with yourself since the NFL and how hard the post-NFL adjustment was for you?
I’m the owner of an investment practice. I’ve been in the financial services industry for seventeen years. Now, I provide retirement planning and investment services.
The adjustment,…it wasn’t an illustrious career – but I fulfilled a childhood dream. I was a bubble guy – not a superstar. It was a childhood dream but it comes to an end. It was difficult at first – difficult to figure out what I should do for the rest of my life. You get used to everyone taking care of you and then that dries up. That was a difficult adjustment. Then I got challenged financially, trying to keep up after the other guys.
First, tell me about your new career s a coach – what made you decide to become a coach?
I enjoy it – sports has been such a large part of my life. It shaped who I am today. That’s why I wanted to do it. It’s been great. When I retired I helped the basketball coach at Eaton and then the football coach asked me to help them. It’s a dream come true to be able to coach both sports.
First, tell me a bit about what you’ve been doing since your time in the NFL?
Now, I’m actually helping out at a local high school here in Miami – coaching their secondary. I’m coaching the varsity and JV team.
Also – me and my father-in-law also started a contracting business. I’m just trying to keep busy and get out of the house a bit!
First, can you tell us about your broadcasting career – how you got started any why?
When I finished with the NFL after playing for the Jets, I thought I’d find something that involved working with my hands. My dad was a NASCAR guy – he built race cars and was good with his hands. I had a friend who was a homebuilder. I figured I’d apprentice under him for a year. That was the plan.
But as I was about to do that I got a call from WPXI. They were interested in having me do their pre and post game shows for the Steelers and some preseason games. I thought about it and told them I’d be happy to do it for a year. But I demanded to do a feature story each week as well. If I did it I wanted to learn the business and do it right. I had no TV background so they were reticent but tried it for a year. Week in and week out I got better and better at it. I asked them for unfettered access to their news reporters so I could learn the business more. They were happy to allow that – they weren’t paying me more to do the extra work. I spent four-to-five nights a week with Sam Nover seeing how they put pieces together. Mind you this was before we had the twins. I’d do mock broadcasts to practice.
First, as the offensive line coach now for UCLA – tell me about about who has influenced you as a coach, and how?
It’s funny. Reflecting back, my dad was a huge influence. He coached me all the way up to high school in every sport – baseball, basketball…on the travel teams.. He influenced me. always wanted to coach – he was my first ever coach, from day one, since I was six.
Joe Hammond was my high school coach – hs a legendary coach in Maryland where I grew up. And of course I had Joe Walton and Dan Radakovich at RMU. Joe was a top fifty ballplayer at Pitt and coached for twenty-plus years in the league and in college.
First, tell me what you’ve been doing with yourself since you retired?
Well, I’ve been keeping things low-keyed. I’m not on social media – I don’t know what’s going on with anyone except for some of the guys I keep in touch with. The big thing is my family. I retired at thirty. My kids now are nine, six, and five. Taking care of them is a lot harder work – no days off. I used to look forward to the Summer – now it’s the hardest time of my life. But I love it.
I like having that – I didn’t have a father around me when I was younger. I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to be with my family. I played long enough to accumulate the wealth I needed so I can take care of my family, Now I can help my wife and be with the kids. Less is more.
First, tell us about your job as a Defensive Line coach at Snow College. How did you start your career as a coach?
Well I always knew I wanted to be a coach. Even before I stopped playing I was pursuing a career as a coach. I asked Coach Tomlin, LeBeau and all those guys advice all the time and wrote notes religiously. I was always surrounded by good coaches and players.
John Mitchell – there was a method to his madness. He was always mad. But I learned a lot from him. How to get players to match a coach’s personality – the toughness that he expected. You knew he meant business. But man, if you give the guy a glass of wine, he’ll sing for you.
First, tell us a bit about your work with III and Long – your foundation?
Well, I founded III & Long by myself, with four other people. My son has a rare disease that has plagued my family and cost us lives over the years. Sickle Cell Disease has touched so much of our lives – I lost many family members years do to Sickle Cell.
Personally, I just want to build on who I am as a sports figure and be more proactive in helping families fight against causes they can’t control.
First, let us know what you’re up to now?
Well, I’m training. Just waiting for a call. You know, the free agency process.
Has your agent told you anything? Any teams you are hoping for?
Just that I need to take it week to week. We’re just looking for a situation that works to get signed by a team. I’m not looking to get signed by any specific team really.