Where Are They Now: Four Former Super Bowl Champions Who Have Found Second Careers
Sunday, February 4, officially marks the end of the 2017-18 NFL season with Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The matchup features the reigning champion New England Patriots and the “underdog” Philadelphia Eagles in a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX. The perennial contender Patriots, lead by the ageless Tom Brady are seeking the organization’s sixth Super Bowl ring, and third in the last four years. On the other side of the field, the Eagles look to capture their first Super Bowl title, in the organization’s third trip to the “Big Game” and first since 2004.
In a battle of two of the NFL’s best teams for nearly the entire season, the only thing on the minds of members within each organization is becoming a champion. An estimated 110 millions viewers will be glued to the game, whether they are a fan of either team or just a fan of the commercials. But what happens when the game ends, the players are out of the spotlight and their playing careers have come to close?
In honor of the Big Game and the VIKTRE Career Network’s dedication to providing career transition content and inspiration to athletes, here are four former Super Bowl Champions who have found success and happiness in another career after hanging up their cleats.
Aaron Ross, Super Bowl XLII & XLVI Champion – Owner of Ross Elite Chauffeur Service
Ross was the 20th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft after a highly-touted career at the University of Texas. In his final season for the Longhorns, he not only won the team’s MVP award, but also the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back and was a stalwart in the defensive backfield helping the Longhorns win the national championship in 2006.
As a rookie in the 2007-08 NFL season, Ross and the Giants made it to the Super Bowl against the highly-favored and history-chasing New England Patriots who were sitting on an 18-0 record. In case you don’t remember, this happened…
During his career, Ross suited up for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Giants (again), the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. In his second stint with the Giants he played in the sequel against the Patriots, ultimately capturing his second Super Bowl championship.
After retiring in 2015, the 35-year old two-time Super Bowl champion has found himself back in Austin, Texas, where he runs Ross Elite Chauffeur Service. He and his wife, Sanya Richard-Ross, who, oh by the way is a four-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field, run the company together. The idea came from his days sitting in traffic to and from East Rutherford for games and practices.
Isaac Bruce, Super Bowl XXXIV Champion – Owner of Bruce Zone Gym
Bruce was selected by the then (and now back again) Los Angeles Rams in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft out of Memphis. He was a member of the “Greatest Show on Turf” offense with Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner and Torry Holt that took the league by storm.
Bruce and the Rams took on the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, in which he caught six passes for 162 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter to give the Rams the lead and ultimately the title. In the Rams return trip to the Super Bowl against the, you guessed it, New England Patriots (Super Bowl XXXVI) he made five receptions but it was not enough as the Patriots won their first title.
Fast forward to present day, the 45-year-old Bruce is fifth on the NFL’s all-time receiving list (15,208 yards) and 12th with 91 receiving touchdowns. He opened the Bruce Zone gym in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after developing a passion for personal training and injury avoidance/rehabilitation. Additionally, he runs the Isaac Bruce Foundation which focuses on providing educational opportunities and promoting fitness and healthy lifestyles. He has also volunteered as a wide receivers coach at his alma mater, Dillard High School, in Fort Lauderdale.
Kevin Faulk, Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX Champion – Director of Player Development, LSU Football
Faulk was a member of the 2001 Patriots that not only took down Isaac Bruce and the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, but also began the dynasty that has become the Patriots organization. The LSU-product was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft and stayed with the team for the entirety of his 13-year NFL career.
In 2017 he became the 25th player (and only third running back) to be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. For his career, he tallied 31 total touchdowns (16 rushing, 15 receiving) and 12,349 all-purpose yards. A member of the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team, Faulk hasn’t strayed far from the football field. He has served as the offensive coordinator at his alma mater, Carencro High School in Lafayette, Louisiana, and was recently named the Director of Player Development for the football program at his alma mater, Louisiana State University.
He returns home to Baton Rouge where he is the school’s all-time leader in rushing yards (4,557) and rushing touchdowns (46). In his new role, he will “work with LSU’s football student-athletes on their academic direction, social development and overall quality of life with the goal of enhancing their development in the classroom, the community and on the football field,” according to a school release.
Jermichael Finley, Super Bowl XLV Champion – Business Investment, Gyms and Physical Training
Finley was a third-round pick of the Green Bay Packers out of Texas in the 2008 NFL Draft. After redshirting as a true-freshman, he broke the school’s freshman tight end record for receptions (31) for 371 yards and three touchdowns in his first season suiting up for the Longhorns.
As a rookie in 2008, he won the battle to become the starting tight end for the Packers. His career was looking bright, especially after becoming a Super Bowl Champion in Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
His career was unfortunately cut short due to a bruised spinal cord injury he suffered during the 2013 season in a game against the Cleveland Browns. After collecting a $10 million insurance policy, he decided to focus on a career after sports.
Now, the 30-year-old Finley is involved in the fitness industry, bringing a D1 sports training facility to a small town outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. For more on his career transition, check out his “My Career Change” interview here.
If you are a former athlete who would like to tell your career transition story now that your playing days are over, please contact our editorial team here! We would love to share your story with our audience.