Off-Season Learning at Stanford University Graduate School of Business

Many of you already know that I was training out at Stanford in the off-season. I guess when your job depends on someone else so heavily (the quarterback), it is a necessity to practice as much as possible together.

While I was out there, I attended the NFL Business Management & Entrepreneurship program at Stanford University. Each off-season there are opportunities for NFL players to attend “mini-camps” on topics that they are interested in after football. You’re now likely wondering, “There’s life after football?” Yes, and in case you haven’t heard the horrendous statistics on how awesome football players are at saving their money, there’s likely another job too.

One of cooler opportunities you have as an NFL player is to attend these boot camps in the off-season. They cost money up-front, but you can be reimbursed for everything except travel and lodging expenses later.

Anyway, I attended the Stanford BM&E Program this year. The participants were an eclectic group (to the extent that a group of NFL players can be), from long-retired pro’s to rookies.

The days started early at 7am with breakfast. The food was awesome. Everywhere I go, I wonder if the portions are going to be big enough… thankfully, this wasn’t an issue.

Each day would be filled with discussion of case studies (with the person the case was about). All of the speakers were awesome and extremely impressive.

  • We talked to Joel Peterson (I’ll save you some Googling, he is the Chairman of JetBlue Airlines) about some of his past investments both positive and negative.
  • Randy Hetrick from TRX came to speak with the program about building a business from the ground up, and the different avenues of sales.
  • Bill Reichert from Garage Technology Ventures spoke on giving a pitch.
  • Scott Brady of Slice spoke on the importance of getting the right team and making a great atmosphere.
  • Stanford GSB Professor Baba Shiv talked about the customer value proposition and the importance of emotion in decision making.
  • The co-founders of Waypoint Homes, Colin Wiel and Doug Brien, as well as Ali Nazar the CTO, and Charles Hayes (former Stanford football player and), Head of Chicago Operations spoke about changes in their market and the rise of competitors.
  • Dan Gordon, co-founder of Gordon Biersch, spoke about the restaurant industry.
  • In addition, Tracy Hughes, a Stanford alumnus, and Kevin Compton, formerly of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers (a Venture Capital Firm) joined the class to help groups of attendees on how to improve their presentations.

It was an awesome experience. Seeing all of the guys in that room, and learning that their ambitions went beyond football was exciting.

Odds and ENDS

1. I’m back in Indianapolis now, and thankfully there isn’t any snow on the ground. In fact, I think I brought the weather with me, as it was in the 70’s when I arrived.

2. If I have to see one more tweet about how Tiger Woods should be disqualified from the Master’s, I’m going to pretend to throw my phone out the window (I know one of you smartypants would have tweeted me intentionally had I said I would actually throw my phone out the window) and then yell really loud.

3. I don’t know if you saw, but I was training with Tiger Woods before the Master’s, so I should probably get some credit for what’s happening… Click the little birdie in the top right corner to see what I’m talking about.

After School Reading


  • Wow! A new way to think about heart disease. Think about the implications of overprescription of anti-biotics.


  • Make an app prototype in one hour. I don’t know whether it’s possible to do that or not, but I appreciate the creativity of the app.


  • Diamonds are bullshit. That said, I will be buying one in the future.


  • We used to sleep twice each night. 



The List of NFL Off-season Programs

NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy

-Learn the X’s and O’s, and how to teach others the X’s and O’s.

NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp

-Learn the basics of screenwriting, cinematography, directing, editing. Not sure if acting is involved, but that would be fun to watch.

NFL Business of Music Boot Camp

-An estimated 65% of NFL players think they are rappers or singers already. Why not give them proper training?

BM&E Wharton: Transitioning/Real Estate

BM&E Stanford: Evaluating Business Opportunities

BM&E Notre Dame: Investment for Impact

-Brady Quinn’s baby. At least that’s how it’s been explained by the media. Focus on “sustainable social ventures”.

NFL Franchising Boot Camp

-Learn about how to be a franchisee or franchiser.

NFL Hospitality & Culinary Management Workshop

NFL Sports Journalism & Communications Boot Camp

NFL Broadcast Boot Camp

-Studio analysis, play-by-play, field reporting, radio broadcasting introductions.

NFL Advanced Broadcast Boot Camp

-More of the above.


2 Replies to “Off-Season Learning at Stanford University Graduate School of Business”

  1. Hi Coby.
    I’m very impressed with your blog.
    Interesting reading!
    I occasionally work with Dr. Terrence Barrett.
    In fact, I’ll be seeing him this week.

    Good luck this season!,

  2. Hey Coby – I stumbled upon this post because I’m interested in Stanford. It’s actually really neat to learn about all the off-season programs offered and is reassuring to see smart people playing football :). I really liked this post and am happy you were able to participate! Good luck 🙂

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