Everyone Will Go Pro in Life

About the Book

In 20 Secrets to Success for NCAA Student-Athletes Who Won’t Go Pro, the authors draw on personal experience, interviews, expert opinion, and industry data to provide a game plan for student-athletes through key transitions at each stage of their careers, from high school through college and beyond.

Modeled on Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this book provides a much-needed strategy for achieving career success. Readable and concise, it will be a valuable tool for students, parents, and sports administrators.





Mark Emmert, NCAA President

"This guide book amplifies the paths to success which college sports provides. The broad perspectives shared throughout the book demonstrate the perfect understanding of how important it is for student-athletes to give their talents to their sport and focus to academics."



Foreword by Oliver Luck

- Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at NCAA

"In this book, you will read about how being a student-athlete teaches you how to overcome your mistakes with a professional attitude and outlook. Instead of wallowing in my mistake, I sought advice and fixed it before any real damage was done. Being a student-athlete gives you the skillset to manage and prioritize time demands and like most student-athletes, you will go pro in something other than sport."


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Afterword by Pat O'Conner

- President of Minor League Baseball

"Transitioning from athlete to former athlete involves more than having your uniform taken away from you.  The very nature of your life will be altered at some level.  It is an exciting new beginning in your life and nothing more detrimental than a rite of passage to maturity as a person.  With a couple of caveats, successful transition is incumbent on you making smart decisions and committing to this new path with the same zeal and intensity with which you competed as an athlete."

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Jim Thompson

Founder and CEO, Positive Coaching Alliance

"Although this book is for college athletes who won’t go pro, even pro athletes will find, at the end of their professional sports career (which often happens very quickly), that they can benefit from the practical tools and advice in this book.  It is filled with insights and is an easy read.  I recommend it!"



Stan Wilcox 

Vice President & Director of Athletics - Florida State University

“Even at an institution that attracts the finest athletes in every sport, the vast majority of our student-athletes at Florida State University will never earn money as a professional athlete.  We talk to our student-athletes from their first day on campus about having a plan for their life after competition.  This book reinforces what those of us who work in the collegiate athletics industry understand and should be a required reading for everyone pursuing NCAA scholarships and all NCAA student-athletes.”

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Debbie Yow 

Director of Athletics - North Carolina State University

"Every student athlete and their mentors should read this book, without question. It brings into focus both the challenges and the opportunities inherent in being a collegiate athlete. Most importantly, it outlines a plenary framework for how to successfully navigate the landscape and develop an outstanding life plan."


Amy Huchthausen

Commissioner - America East Conference

"There are more opportunities today for student-athletes than ever before. While this can contribute to a rewarding experience, it also means there is often little time to truly focus on what comes next – after sports, after college. The authors provide terrific insight and practical advice on how to develop a roadmap for that “next” phase in your life and better prepare you for long-term success. I recommend this for anyone interested in learning more about the life of a student-athlete, but especially for aspiring or current student-athletes…it’s never too late to start thinking about what’s next!"

Richard Burton Bio:

Rick Burton is the award-winning David B. Falk Distinguished Professor of Sport Management in Syracuse University’s Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. At Syracuse, Burton serves as the University’s Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) to the NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and chairs the ACC’s Infractions and Sportsmanship Committee, is a member of the ACC Finance Committee and a member of the conference’s Autonomy Committee.

Prior to his appointment at Syracuse, Burton served as the chief marketing officer for the U.S. Olympic Committee for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics and directed the USOC’s marketing and sponsorship activation at the world’s largest sporting event. From 2003-07, Burton was the Commissioner of the Sydney-based Australian National Basketball League (a two-continent pro league with teams in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore) and responsible for every aspect of the NBL’s development and growth including securing lucrative TV rights fees, league-wide sponsorships, collective bargaining agreements and league profitability. 

Burton also operates the Burton Marketing Group working almost exclusively in strategic brand management and/or sponsorship and has been engaged by entities such as the NFL, NHL, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Japanese Pro Soccer league (J-League), the NBL, Professional Bull Riders (PBR), Visa, Fedex, the Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders and Point 3 Basketball.

During his varied career, Burton has written for the New York TimesWall Street Journal, Ad Age, Sports Business Journal, Sport Business International, Stadia and hosted his own sports business television show. A frequent conference host/moderator and dynamic inspirational/motivational speaker, some of Burton’s appointments have included clients such as NIKE, Sport Accord, Chip Ganassi Racing, the Association of Luxury Suite Directors, FINA, the International Cricket Council (ICC), AND Sponsorium. 

Burton’s first novel, a WWII/Cold War historical thriller called The Darkest Mission, was published in May 2011 by Long Reef Press (www.thedarkestmission.com). He also co-authored the 2015 textbook Global Sport Marketing: Sponsorship, Ambush Marketing and the Olympic Games (FIT Publishing) with Norm O’Reilly, the IOC’s Dick Pound, Benoit Seguin and Michelle Brunette. Another book, sports business unplugged (with Norm O’Reilly) was published by SU press in 2016.

Burton graduated from Syracuse with a B.S. in Communications from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications in 1980 and earned his MBA from Marquette University in 1991. He and his wife, Barbara, have three children and live outside of Syracuse in New York’s Finger Lakes region.


Jake Hirshman Bio:

Jake, a former student athlete, fresh from that experience is one of the drivers of this book project. Due to an injury, while playing D3 baseball, he had the opportunity to partake in many internship and practical experiences, while still being a teammate. Then, post-graduation, he witnessed many of his teammates having trouble with the transition to ‘regular life’. This experience was eye-opening for Jake and inspired his interest in this topic and this book.

Jake was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he attended Chaparral High School and was a part of two State Championship Baseball teams. He went on to the University of Redlands where he played baseball as a student-athlete and received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Jake worked for the Rose Bowl as a Concierge intern for the 2014 season, the Inland Empire 66ers for the 2014 season, and, during the fall of 2014, the Ontario Reign where he worked in the sales and game day operations departments.

In the summer of 2014, Jake worked with Special Olympics Arizona on creating a baseball program and curriculum that could be implemented. Jake also was a varsity and junior varsity coach for Redlands High School Baseball for the 2014-2015 season.

After graduating in just three years from Redlands, Jake completed his masters degree in Sport Sciences and Recreation at Ohio University. At Ohio, he was a student-athlete (baseball) during the fall of 2015, and then joined the coaching staff in the spring of 2016 working on analytics and with the pitching staff. While in graduate school, Jake has worked for the Arizona Diamondbacks as an Academy coach, and was a baseball analytics author for Scoutables Inc. Scoutables is a baseball analytics company that was founded in December of 2015.

Jake recently graduated with his second master’s degree from Ohio University in the Sports Administration masters program in the Spring of 2017. He worked in player development for the Seattle Mariners, worked for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and is currently working for the Arizona Fall League as the Special Events Coordinator. 


Norm O’Reilly Bio:

Norm O’Reilly is recognized as one of the leading scholars in the business of sports. He holds the Richard P. and Joan S. Fox Professor of Business and is Chair of the Department of Sports Administration at Ohio University’s College of Business. Ohio University is home to some of the world’s top ranked sport management programs, including its Masters of Sports Administration (MSA), Professional MSA (PMSA) and Bachelor of Sport Management (BSM). According to Sport Business International’s annual rankings, the MSA was #1 sport business graduate program globally in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, the PMSA #1 (distance graduate program) in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, and the BSM #2 in 2015.

Dr. O’Reilly has expertise in a range of business topics, including analytics, marketing, sponsorship, social media, sport finance, social marketing, tourism management, and management education. He has authored or co-authored seven books, 14 case studies in the Harvard/Stanford series, and more than 95 peer-reviewed journal articles. His books include the 2016 release Sports Business Management: Decision Making Around the Globe with George Foster and Tony Davila, and the 2015 book Global Sport Marketing: Sponsorship, Ambush Marketing and the Olympic Games, with Richard Pound, Rick Burton, Benoit Seguin and Michelle Brunette. At conferences, he has won 11 Best Paper awards and has more than 140 conference presentations to his credit. Dr. O’Reilly is the lead researcher on the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study, a highlight of the annual Canadian Sponsorship Forum since 2007, currently in its eleventh edition.

In 2015, Dr. O’Reilly was awarded the Career Achievement Award by the American Marketing Association’s Sport Marketing Special Interest Group.

Dr. O’Reilly works closely with industry. He was recognized in 2013 as one of the “Five to Watch” in sport business in Canada by the Globe and Mail and is a lifetime Research Fellow of the North American Society for Sport Management. In 2011, he was the recipient of the University of Ottawa’s Media Excellence Award (for media coverage of his research). For more than a decade, he has been minority owner and partner consultant Toronto-based agency, T1, where he has worked for clients including Nike, UFC, Nissan, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, and many more. He also acts as a specialist on legal cases and has sat on the boards of many sport organizations. Dr. O’Reilly was ‘Assistant Chef de Mission’ for the Canadian Paralympic Team headed to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil. Recently, his work was highlighted publicly in the media as part of the Canadian Hockey League legal case around player compensation.

Prior to coming to Ohio University, Dr. O’Reilly taught at the University of Ottawa, the David Falk Center for Sport Management at Syracuse University, the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, the School of Sports Administration at Laurentian University, and the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. He has previously held positions as school director, vice-dean and director of a research centre. In recent years, Dr. O’Reilly has taught courses in Athabasca University’s MBA in Ice Hockey, the graduate program at the Russian International Olympic University in Sochi, and with Ohio University in Mumbai, India.

Dr. O’Reilly holds a PhD in Management from the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, a MBA from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, a MA in Sports Administration from the University of Ottawa, and a B.Sc. (Kinesiology) from the University of Waterloo. He currently holds visiting/adjunct appointments in Canada, the United States and Australia, and also holds the CGA/CPA Accounting Designation.

Prior to joining academia, Dr. O’Reilly had involvement as an administrator, including senior policy officer at Sport Canada, team manager and office manager at Triathlon Canada, and event manager for the 2008 Toronto Olympic Bid. He has been a member of the 2004, 2008 and 2010 Mission Staff for the Canadian Olympic Committee at the Olympic Games, and attended the 2012 Olympic Games in a research capacity.


Andy Dolich Bio:

Andy Dolich brings over five decades of front office executive experience in the sports industry, including positions in the NFL, MLB, NBA & NHL 

As team COO, Dolich was responsible for the day-to-day business operations of the San Francisco 49ers. Dolich played a major role in the team’s improvements at Candlestick Park and the planning of a new state-of-the-art Levi's stadium in the Silicon Valley which hosted Super Bowl 50. 

Dolich runs a sports business consulting business in the San Francisco Bay Area and the co-founder of Virtual Reality firm "Vhere" He is senior advisor for (TBT) The Basketball Tournament on ESPN and Project Fanchise owner's of the first ever fan run sports franchise the "Salt Lake City Screaming Eagles." He is the Director of Career Development for the University of San Francisco's Collegiate Athletics Master's Program. usfca,edu/collegiate-athletics.

Prior to joining the 49ers Dolich served as President of Business Operations for the Memphis Grizzlies and played a major role in the planning and building of their new downtown arena FedEx Forum.

He led the marketing and business resurgence of the Oakland Athletics in the 1980’s and early 90’s. Dolich helped change the face of sports team advertising through the Clio Award winning “BillyBall” campaign and increased A’s attendance average from 800,000 to 2.9 million and improved the season ticket base from 326 to 16,000. He created the A’s business and marketing efforts in three consecutive World Series.

Dolich received his undergraduate degree in Government from American University and his Masters in Sports Management from Ohio University. He is an editorial contributor to Sports Business Journal and is the “Sports Business Insider” for Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area. His sports business column appears weekly onCSNbayarea.com. He teaches sports business at Menlo College and Stanford’s School of Continuing Education.

Heather Lawrence Bio:


Dr. Heather Lawrence is an Associate Professor of Sports Administration, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, and Robert H. Freeman Professor of Business in the College of Business at Ohio University. While previously serving as Director of the Professional Masters in Sports Administration program, the program earned the #1 Worldwide ranking by SportBusiness International in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Heather earned her Ph.D. from the University of Florida, and her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from Florida.


Prior to beginning her academic career, Dr. Lawrence worked in various administrative positions within intercollegiate athletics at Southeastern Louisiana University and the University of Florida. Her sport industry responsibilities have included working in NCAA compliance, facility management, construction/renovation management, general administration, event operations, and as a sport supervisor. 

Dr. Lawrence teaches in the areas of Event and Facility Management, Diversity and Sport, Intercollegiate Athletics, and supervises student consulting projects. She has also served as a visiting professor at Instituto de Empressa in Spain, taught in the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Program for Sports Leadership in Dubai, and been a faculty member for the UPG (India)/Ohio University Certificate in International Sport Management. Heather has received numerous teaching awards including the University Professor Award at Ohio University and the Outstanding Teacher Award in the College of Business at Instituto de Empressa.


Dr. Lawrence has published and presented extensively in the areas of intercollegiate athletics finance, gender and sport, intercollegiate athletics leadership, and premium seating. She is also co-editor of the textbook, Event Management Blueprint.


As a student-athlete at the University of Florida, Heather was an All-American diver, SEC Champion, Academic All-American, and SEC SAAC member. She was inducted into the University of Florida College of Health and Human Performance Alumni Hall of Fame in 2009.




Table of Contents

Foreword – Oliver Luck

Introduction – Part I – Succeeding as a Student-Athlete

1. “Create and follow your Student-Athlete Plan”

2. “Understand who a student-athlete is”

3. “Ride your Success Wheel”

4. “Acquire Life Skills You Need to Succeed”

5. “Be Balanced in Everything”

6. “Make Smart Decisions on the other stuff”

7. “Seek Support Everywhere”

8. “Your Major Really Matters”

9. “Take Nothing For Granted at Any Moment”

10. “Manage your Highs and Lows”

PART II – The Transition

11. “Face Reality in Sports and Life”

12. "Mentally Move On as a Senior"

13. “Identify Who You Are”

14. "Find Your Other Passions in Life"

15. "Prepare starting your sophomore year"

16. "Invest in Yourself, Your Health, and Your Future"

17. "Activate your student-athlete advantage"

18. "Create Your Brand"

19. "Be Fiscally Smart"

20. "Prepare for the Future"

"Your Road Map"

Afterword – Pat O’Conner


Alexis Pinson - Sales and Service at San Francisco 49ers

Anson Dorrance - Head Coach–Women’s Soccer at University of North Carolina

Azure Davey - Former Director of Academic Affairs and Membership at NCAA

Bill Shumard - CEO of Special Olympics Southern California

Billy Lavelle - Premium Service and Sales at Phoenix Suns

Bob Boland - Athletics Integrity Officer at Penn State University

Brett Fischer - Owner of Fischer Sports Institute, Physical Therapist for the Arizona Cardinals

Brian Sanders - SVP of Stadium Operations at Los Angeles Angels

Brooks Neal - Director of Corporate Partnerships at Cleveland Cavaliers

Chris Dawson - Associate Commissioner at Pac-12 Conference

Christa Mann - Manager of Communications at MLS

Christina Wright - Former Assistant Director of HR at NCAA, and Lecturer in Sports Administration at Ohio University

Colby Targun - Management Council, NFL Commissioner’s Office

Connor Hancock - Assistant Manager, Digital Sales Administration at NBCUniversal Media

Dan Butterly - Senior Associate Commissioner at Mountain West Conference

Danny White - Director of Student-Athlete Development at Virginia Tech

Dawn Buth - Associate Director of Sport Science Institute at NCAA

Drew Saylor - Minor League Manager at Los Angeles Dodgers

Eddie Gill - Former NBA player, Wealth Management Advisor at Wells Fargo Wealth Management

Erik Price - Associate Commissioner at Pac-12 Conference

Fred Claire - Former GM of Los Angeles Dodgers, Co-Founder of Scoutables Inc.

Garret Shinoskie - Former director of Athletic Performance at Zone Athletic Performance, now Real Estate agent

Glenn Schembechler - President at GES Advisory

Gracie Frizzell - Graduate student of Physical Therapy at Arkansas

Hallie Olson - Manager of Corporate Development at Chicago Bulls

Hillary Nelson - Partnerships Manager at Positive Coaching Alliance

Immanuel Kerr-Brown - Assistant Director of Development at Penn State University

James Biddick - Assistant Director of Graduate Management and Career Coach at Ohio University College of Business

Jamilah Ali - MSA Graduate Student at Ohio University

Jason Elias - Outreach and Sales Manager, IMG Academy

Jeff Rodin - Director of Community Outreach and Development at Arizona Diamondbacks

Jeremy Foley - Former Director of Athletics at University of Florida

Jim Kahler - Executive Director of AECOM Center for Sports Administration at Ohio University

John Nowicki - Senior Account Manager at ISC

Joni Lockridge - Former Director of Digital Strategy at PGA

JR Reynolds - Area Scout, Cincinnati Reds

Kelsey Cermak - Assistant Director, Championships & Alliances at the NCAA

Kevin Brice - Analytics Assistant at Los Angeles Angels

Kevin Hall - Physical Therapy Doctor at Mayo Clinic Hospital

Kevin Hurd - Assistant Account Executive at Team One

Kristen Brown - Associate AD–Administration at University of Maryland

Liz Woerle - Stewardship Coordinator at University of South Carolina Athletic Department

Louie Iglesias - Former Sales and Service for Dallas Cowboys

Matt Engleka - Owner of LEJ Agency

Matt Vansandt - Director of Championships at Big South Conference

Mattie White - Associate AD–Academic Services at Indiana University

Max Dittmer - Associate Business and Store Planner at Under Armour

Mike Doehla - President, Stronger U, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist

Nick Manno - Pro Scout at Seattle Mariners

Oliver Luck - Executive VP of Regulatory Affairs at NCAA

Pat O’Conner - President of Minor League Baseball

Peter Rovinelli - Owner of Elite Wellness Solutions LLC and Be Elite Performance LLC

Pim Thirati - MSA graduate student, Ohio University

Rob Smith - Head Baseball Coach at Ohio University

Rod Baker - Assistant Coach at Philadelphia 76ers

Ryan Sollazzo - Director of Sponsorships at Major Leaague Baseball

Scott White - Jacksonville Area Account Director at Super Fit Foods

Seth Etherton - Minor League Pitching Coach at Cincinnati Reds

Shauna Happel - MSA Graduate Student at Ohio University

Steve Cobb - Director of the Arizona Fall League

Steve Watson - Athletic Director at Loyola University Chicago

Terri Steeb-Gronau - Vice President of Division II at NCAA

Wally Ritchie - Former MLB Pitcher

Willie Patti - National Scout, NSCA