Beyond Football -- Preparing for Life

Photo By: TBD   07-01-2014

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Oregon State University’s football program prioritizes success on and off the field. Beyond Football, a new initiative funded by an anonymous donor and OSU alum, is ensuring that the student-athletes succeed off the field, in the game of life.

Unveiled in 2013, the program aims to transform players into life-long leaders by identifying unique interests and skills of the student-athletes, connecting them with leaders, innovators and business professionals that may have otherwise been not accessible, providing real world experiences, and creating meaningful opportunities for businesses to engage and invest in OSU Athletics.

Focused on three tenants, ENGAGE, EMPOWER and PREPARE, the student-athletes are engaged with the program from the time they arrive on campus. To help acclimate the student-athletes to campus life, the student-athletes are involved with a number of eye-opening sessions covering such topics as effective organizational and study skills, decision-making, financial literacy, healthy nutritional choices, and personal accountability and responsibility. They are also encouraged to participate in a Career Exploration course made available to all OSU student-athletes.

Once the student-athletes are acclimated to campus, the program transitions to helping them develop skills related to landing a job and contributing to a successful workplace. A combination of courses offered by campus faculty and seminars expand student-athletes’ abilities in regards to resume and cover letter writing, networking, etiquette and interviewing.

“With an open mind comes endless possibilities,” said senior defensive end Lavonte Barnett, who participated in a recent Career Mentoring trip to Portland in May. “Beyond Football has helped me prepare to meet the future once my playing days are over.”

Head Coach Gary Andersen is committed to ensuring the growth and continued success of the program.

“We take care of our young men,” said Andersen. “When they commit to us, we make a commitment to them to ensure they are empowered to succeed athletically, academically and socially.”

In the minds of the student-athletes, Beyond Football reaffirms the decision to commit to the Oregon State University.

“Football is only one aspect of my life, said junior wide receiver Malik Gilmore. “The relationships I build with people are most important to me.  The Beyond Football program is awesome! I think Coach Andersen did a great job putting together a staff that has the player’s best interests at heart both on and off the field.”

Get Involved:

Alumni and community members can provide feedback or get involved in the program by emailing Scott Spiegelberg, program director, at, or Kayla Gross, program coordinator, at

Beyond Football is part of Oregon State’s larger effort to be recognized nationally as a trendsetter of compelling leadership programs that enhance the student-athlete experience.  To contribute to the cause, please contact Our Beaver Nation by following this link or calling 541-737-2370.

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