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Kenneth Coffey

Trust Spotlights

Kenneth Coffey

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Kenneth Coffey's connection to football runs deep in his veins. Raised in the legacy of an all-state football player in Tennessee and amidst four brothers who pursued college football, it seemed destined that Coffey was born for the gridiron.

Surprisingly, football was not his initial passion; as a young child, Coffey was initially drawn to baseball. However, witnessing the success of those around him in football shifted his perspective and ultimately changed his heart.

“Football was clearly the goal and vehicle,” Coffey said. “There’s something that’s fundamentally wild about you and your teammates fired up and going crazy. There’s the pageantry of a pep rally, there’s a fight song. There’s a whole experience, it just made it fun.”

While he started his football journey as a wide receiver, it was during his time at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) that a coach recommended Coffey make the switch from wide receiver to defensive back. Coffey recalls his coach telling him “You got good hands; you can play receiver..., [but] if you’re a really good defensive back, you’ll always have a job.”

That rang true for Coffey as he saw success in his senior year, where his team won the national championship. From there, he went on to play in the NFL for five years as a safety for the then Washington Redskins.

“To go from not winning any games, not having a scholarship, to winning the conference, to winning a national championship, to winning a Super Bowl,” Coffey said. “It teaches you a lot of lessons about committing to something and not letting the circumstances drive how you think.”

Before playing the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, Coffey recalls hearing a man yelling out his name. It was at that moment Coffey knew he had made it.

“Wow, I’m in the big leagues,” Coffey said. “They know my name,”

Like many other former players transitioning out of the league, Coffey did not end on his own terms.

“I didn’t know it was going to be my final time, my final season, but I did know that every year I played, I’d been hurt,” Coffey said.

Given the circumstances surrounding his previous knee injury, which ultimately cost him his career, he received a license as a stockbroker during his last off season and a few months later, Washington released Coffey. With the help of his stockbroker license, Coffey’s transition became smoother than most as he turned his career into a great business.

“It’s life, it’s what you do with the situation,” he said. “I was going to be okay whether I was playing in the NFL or whether I wasn’t going to be playing in the NFL.”

I think sometimes you just do what you have to do; it’s kind of like working out. I don’t want to go and buy a new wardrobe, so I’m going to work out. I don’t want to have heart problems or other health issues, so I work out.

With the help of The Trust, Coffey successfully tapped into resources like the Brain and Body assessment as well as networking events like different golf tournaments. This not only enhanced his overall well-being but has also facilitated meaningful connections with fellow Former Players across the nation. In fact, during a golf tournament last year that former teammates of Coffey’s provided him with a health reality check.

With the help of The Trust and Exos, Coffey received a personalized training plan and lost twenty pounds since then. Whether it’s to utilize different programs or check in with a program manager, Coffey believes that The Trust offers a lot of various resources for Former Players.

“They put together all these great programs. How could you not sign off on that?” said Coffey. “Whether I needed them or not right now, the fact that I can unveil myself to The Trust, it means a lot. The fact that somebody will pick up the phone and give me a call and just check-in and see how I’m doing, that means something; to know that someone cares to do it.”

What I also appreciate about The Trust is you have the ability to look to the person to your right and look to the person to your left and know they have in all probability experienced what you’re going through right now so you can lean on them for advice. There isn’t necessarily a vehicle to communicate all that. The Trust is now that vehicle to communicate that.

Coffey’s one piece of advice for players ready to transition out of the league is to “take the experiences that you had in football, good and bad, and now apply it to the corporate world or whatever endeavor you’re going into next. How can I define myself in this new endeavor?”

The Trust is here to support you.
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