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Pro-Files: Athletes Who Have Swapped Sport For Business

Professional athletes are some of the most well paid people in the U.S. for the time they are employed, albeit a relatively short time. When age and injury necessitate retirement, these athletes proved to be even more successful in their second careers.

    Former NFL QB Ron Jaworski has built a successful golf fiefdom through passion, hard work and knowing what players want.

    Pro Files: Ron Jaworski

    How a Super Bowl veteran built a chain of profitable golf courses—twice.


    During their three seasons as Miami Dolphins teammates, Dan Marino and Damon Huard often dreamed of starting their own winery. In 2010, they did just that.

    Pro Files: Dan Marino

    Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino is working with an old teammate to create a successful business a long way from the football field.


    Best known as the answer to a Super Bowl trivia question, Mike Lodish is tackling the food industry with his mom's peanut brittle recipe with Lodish's Champion Brittle.

    Pro Files: Mike Lodish

    After playing in a record six Super Bowls, Mike Lodish built a company around a family candy recipe.


    For over 16 MLB seasons, Todd Zeile played mostly third base or first base for 11 different teams, and some of the game’s most successful managers. Now, Zeile is an entrepreneur on the hunt for TV and movie projects.

    Pro Files: Todd Zeile

    After a 16-year MLB career, Todd Zeile is now an entrepreneur on the hunt for TV and movie projects.


    After completing the rarest trifecta in racing at the 1967 Daytona 500, the '69 Indianapolis 500 and the '78 Formula One championship, racing champion Mario Andretti left the track in '93 but he hasn't slowed down, launching several businesses to support his family and high-revving spirit.

    Pro Files: Mario Andretti

    The only driver to win the Daytona 500, Indy 500, and Formula One World Championship reflects on his career and explains how he transitioned into a life after racing.


    After a troubled childhood riddled with fear and poverty, Dan Goldie spent more than five years as an ATP pro tennis player and then used his sports career to springboard into a lucrative financial career and business.

    Pro Files: Dan Goldie

    Dan Goldie didn't wait for his tennis career to end to start preparing for life after it. The former pro has transitioned into a lucrative business career.


    Former Bengals tight end Tony McGee is still handling precious cargo and delivering it to the end zone with his business venture, HNM Global Logistics.

    Pro Files: Tony McGee

    Tony McGee had a successful NFL career, but without instant name recognition, he chose to make his post-football mark in the world of logistics

    Two-time heavyweight champion, current minister and entrepreneur George Foreman is still fighting and making his mark in the business world.

    Pro Files: George Foreman

    George Foreman conquered boxing's heavyweight division, and then put his name to work in the business world.

    With four Super Bowl blowouts and two titles on his resume, Denver Broncos' former quarterback and current general manager John Elway is sure he has another Lombardi trophy coming to him.

    Pro Files: John Elway

    John Elway was a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Denver Broncos before moving into a very successful role in the front office.

    Once a talented driver with Indy 500 dreams, Roger Penske took his love for racing and turned himself into a race-car titan and dominant sports owner.

    Pro Files: Roger Penske

    Roger Penske was a successful professional racer, retired early and became one of the most prestigious and successful owners in automotive-related businesses.

    Once a clumsy kid from Tuscaloosa, Ala., John Stallworth became a Hall of Fame wide receiver with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is now a tycoon, part owner of the team and a philanthropist.

    Pro Files: John Stallworth

    Former Steelers great John Stallworth didn’t follow the typical post-NFL path; he founded a defense-industry company and now devotes himself to philanthropy.

    After an unconventional career in baseball, David Eckstein has a surprising postplaying career as a business partner with his wife for their sci-fi clothing company.

    Pro-Files: David Eckstein

    David Eckstein has thrived as the quintessential underdog — first as an undersized baseball player and now as a business partner with his wife.

    Once the smallest player in the Big East, 5'3" Pookey Wigington is now standing tall in the comedy world.

    Pro Files: Pookey Wigington

    After achieving his dream of playing major college basketball, Pookey Wigington began an entrepreneurial career that has taken him to the top of the comedy business.

    A legend on the golf course, "The Golden Bear" is building on his nickname and celebrated career with a global empire spanning everything from water to wine.

    Pro Files: Jack Nicklaus

    Jack Nicklaus set the standard by which all other golfers are measured. Now he is turning his 'golden bear' nickname into a globally recognized brand in retail and course design.

    Earning both a Super Bowl ring and a MBA in the same year, this Chicago Bears safety took his fast, aggressive style of play into the business world.

    Pro Files: Gary Fencik

    Earning both a Super Bowl ring and a MBA in the same year, this Chicago Bears safety took his fast, aggressive style of play into the business world.

    After a brief and unlikely stint in the NFL, Alex Bernstein has turned himself into a major player in the tech world.

    Pro Files: Alex Bernstein

    After a brief and unlikely stint in the NFL, Alex Bernstein has turned himself into a major player in the tech world.

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    After a storied career with the Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken Jr. has found success in many different areas in the world of business.

    Pro Files: Cal Ripken Jr.

    The iron man of Major League Baseball, Cal Ripken Jr. has turned his 'Ripken Way' into a brand that extends into the minor leagues and across youth baseball.

    Former first-round pick Jonathan Bender goes from NBA to inventor with a revolutionary way to train and rehabilitate from injuries.

    Pro Files: Jonathan Bender

    As injuries were derailing his NBA career, Jonathan Bender began developing a product to help athletes like him rehab more effectively. That product became a successful post-basketball business.

    Junior Bridgeman has traded baskets for a large portfolio of restaurants after his playing career with the Milwaukee Bucks came to a close. 

    Pro Files: Junior Bridgeman

    When Junior Bridgeman finished his playing career in the NBA, he entered the business world by buying a few fast food franchise locations. Today his net worth is estimated at over $250 million.

    Gary Player won the first of his nine majors, the 1959 British Open, at 23, and the last at the 1978 Masters. Since then, the former golf star has made his mark as a business tycoon.

    Pro Files: Gary Player

    South African golf legend Gary Player has combined his success on the course with his boundless energy and enthusiasm to build a global brand.

    After a Hall of Fame career as the Dallas Cowboys' "Captain Comeback," Roger Staubach found a second career and a new moniker with his multi-million dollar real estate business.

    Pro Files: Roger Staubach

    After a Hall of Fame career as the Dallas Cowboys signal caller, Roger Staubach has continued his success at a second career in real estate.