My athletic career opened a world of possibilities for college attendance that would otherwise not have been available to me. I was athletically recruited by some of the most elite academic institutions in the country, not to mention, some of the largest and most successful football programs in the country as well.
But my path would take a turn when I suffered a catastrophic injury at the onset of my senior year, causing me to miss much of my last football season. Thanks to the resources provided me by my high school, my health insurance, and my family, I was able to make my comeback to the field, and preserve my chances at an athletic scholarship.
I went to Western Michigan University where I played and studied. It was an excellent developmental time for me. Repeated injury caused my love of the game to fade and after several seasons, I decided to hang the pads up for good. I had to find a new identity for myself without those pads. I was a young man now faced with deciding what I wanted to be when I “grew up”, as opposed to an athletic machine with a single-minded focus. I learned some. I had a lot of fun. And probably made decisions I can look back on now and hope my children don’t make.
The best thing to happen to me out of my time at Western was my chance encounter with Chrysler’s ex-CEO, Jim Holden. That fateful day, when I decided to invite myself to a faculty only engagement just so I could meet and introduce myself to the man who sold Chrysler Motors to then DaimlerBenz in one of the largest corporate mergers in American history.
It started a chain of events in motion that have landed me where I am today.