My Career Change: Dave Zastudil’s Career After the NFL
When a professional athlete’s playing days are over, many do not realize that athlete’s career in another field is often just beginning. As part of VIKTRE’s dedication to drive interaction between athletes and their fans, our Career team made it a priority to show how successful many athletes have been since their playing days ended in a feature called “My Career Change.”
In this installment of “My Career Change,” we interviewed former NFL punter, Dave Zastudil. Most know Zastudil from his collegiate days at Ohio University, and in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals.
What sport did you play?
Ohio University – 1997-2001
Baltimore Ravens – 2002-2005
Cleveland Browns – 2006-2009
Arizona Cardinals – 2010-2014
What industry did you change careers to?
Insurance – Commercial/Personal
Broadcasting/Analyst – Cleveland Browns
How did you get into your new career?
A friend of mine was the President of AMER Insurance Agency and had over 30 years experience in the industry. When I was released from the Arizona Cardinals, he called me up and asked if I wanted to grab dinner and talk about my post career.
Cleveland Browns analyst – I spoke with Andy Baskin, Sports Director for Channel 5 in Cleveland. He offered me a position on the Browns pre-game show while I was staying in shape hoping to get a call from an NFL team the fall of 2015. I now do the post-game show.
What was the biggest challenge you faced making your career change?
Choosing the right career path moving forward. Also, missing out on the competition of the NFL and leaving behind great relationships that were built over the years.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your new career?
I think proving to myself and others that football did not define me. It was a game that I was blessed to have a strong talent at, but it didn’t define me as a person.
So far sales has allowed me to use my personality, my creativity and my dedication to keep learning to improve in this new career path everyday. I would list my greatest accomplishment, but I do not want my competition to have any advantages lol.
What advice do you have for athletes making their career change?
It’s never too early to start thinking about plan B. Look into internships, utilize the NFL’s 2nd career opportunities and connect with people in areas or industries you are interested in. Also, make sure you are always discussing financial plan management with a trusted financial advisor. Lastly, get involved with something that you have a passion for.
How can other athletes learn more about your business or your career change?
AMER Insurance – Amer Insurance Agency (A J Amer Agency Inc.) has been servicing our client’s insurance needs for years. We are built on the principles of providing superior customer service and quality insurance solutions for our customers. As an independent agent, we work with select insurance companies that have proven their performance over the years.
Vice President Commercial/Personal Sales
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Akron, OH 4433