Trust Spotlights

Zak DeOssie

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Zak DeOssie, Trust Captain and Two-Time Super Bowl winner, talks about transitioning out of the League and supporting other Former Players in his role with The Trust.

For Zak DeOssie, a career in the NFL was not a far-fetched dream but rather a family legacy. DeOssie recalls that much of his childhood spent in North Andover, Massachusetts was spent idolizing his father, Steve, who had a twelve-year career in the League and won Super Bowl XXV with the New York Giants.

His dream of following in his father’s footsteps started to materialize when he became the first student-athlete at Brown University to be invited to the NFL Combine. Soon after his graduation, he was drafted by the New York Giants, where he spent the entirety of his thirteen-year career as a long snapper. Plus, “I played one more year than my dad—which is cool,” DeOssie laughed.

Super Bowl XLII marked more than just Zak DeOssie’s first Super Bowl win against the New England Patriots—his hometown team—but also the first and only time that a father-son duo both won Super Bowls for the same franchise. DeOssie vividly remembers the final minutes of the big game: as Tom Brady took the field in the last moments of the game, DeOssie recalls every player on the Giants’ sideline holding hands and praying.

Suddenly, however, he heard, “Zak… psst… Zak” coming from directly behind him, and when he turned around, he saw his dad, who was at the game doing the radio and television coverage for the Boston market. DeOssie recalls his dad sneaking down onto the field and whispering, “Do you think you are going to win?!” Right before history was made for the DeOssie family; “I think I tackled my dad after that,” he said, “we were both crying—it was the coolest experience I’ve ever had.”

Zak DeOssie went on to also win Super Bowl XLVI (also against the New England Patriots), which gave him bragging rights within his own family: “I also have one more Super Bowl than my dad,” he laughed again.

When it came time for DeOssie to retire, he recalls being “prepared and ready to make that next move professionally,” but still feeling emotional about transitioning out of the League. “Your whole identity is around football from a young age, and no matter how you walk away from the game, it’s still difficult because you sort of have that identity change,” he said.

The Trust allows Former Players to be together, reconnect, and trade stories. No one really knows what it’s like to suit up for a football game except for those who’ve done it.

Following his retirement from football, DeOssie entered the world of finance, briefly working at Goldman Sachs doing private wealth management before transitioning into his current role as the Director of Business Development at LO3 Capital. Today, he loves being able to assist in dispersing capital to help small businesses grow, and he is thrilled that he found a career he is passionate about.

Another passion for DeOssie is supporting other Former Players in his role as a Captain with The Trust. DeOssie served as a NFLPA Player Representative while playing—just as his father did before him— and was eventually voted onto the Executive Committee. “The Union is near and dear, especially as a second-generation football player,” DeOssie said, and “when I had the opportunity to represent the Giants, I just absolutely loved it.”

DeOssie describes his role as a Trust Captain as an opportunity to help Former Players learn about their earned benefits, which include mental health and wellness resources, financial resources, and assistance with professional development and networking.

It is important to build a sort of locker room mentality because when we leave the locker room, we miss it. But that is what The Trust does: it creates an opportunity for players to advance and get the resources they need.

“I realized that being a Trust Captain was a great way for me to be attached to the game that I love,” he said. He wants to use his wealth of knowledge about The Trust and the NFLPA to assist players during their transitions out of the League. As Trust Captains, “we try and wrap our arms around the recently retired players,” he said, which is a mission that DeOssie is honored to be a part of.

The Trust can do a lot for Former Players, no matter where you are in your post-football career transition.

DeOssie wants to remind Former Players that initial job uncertainty during their post-football careers is completely normal. His advice for others is to take the opportunity to learn about different industries and potential opportunities; “Do the research, get yourself out there, and meet people—it'll just broaden your horizons.”

To learn more about DeOssie and to connect with him and other Trust Captains, please visit here.

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