At 29 years old, Johnny Quinn is still learning as a student-athlete
BY Johnny Quinn
As a 3-time member of the U.S. National Bobsled Team, I have been fortunate enough to travel the world and compete for Team USA. Early in my bobsledding career, I was led to a program through the United States Olympic Committee that allows athletes to earn a degree; which in my case would be a gradate degree. Due to my rank on the bobsled team, I was able to secure funding to pursue a graduate degree. Currently, I am a MBA candidate at the Keller Graduate School of Management, taking classes year round. At 29 years old, I am still a student-athlete.
Although awareness is getting better for Olympic sports athletes, what many still do not know is that we are self-funded athletes. In order to compete, practice and train, I have to raise sponsorships albeit corporate and/or private to afford each season. Going into debt is not an option in my book so I started a business to help offset bobsledding costs. I am the CEO and Founder of The Athlete Watch. TAW is a pro-active leadership course in college recruiting for all student-athletes, parents, coaches and counselors. The Athlete Watch is not a college recruiting service, rather a source of relevant and effective tools that help families avoid potential pitfalls in college recruiting. We help walk families on how to properly reach out to college coaches and provide e-mail templates and worksheets, teaching student-athletes how to properly write an e-mail to a college coach. It is safe to say, we are a leadership course that just happens to work in college recruiting.
As a business owner and student-athlete, the tools I am learning in the classroom are immediately transferred into the marketplace. I launched The Athlete Watch two and half years ago and our first family was a sophomore lacrosse player. TAW now has over 100 families on board and facilities that offer our product in Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Wisconsin and in the United Kingdom. The opportunity I have been given to learn business strategies and then to see them mature and reap rewards in my line of work is pretty awesome. I am thankful for the United States Olympic Committee and the Keller Graduate School of Management for allowing athletes like myself to continue to succeed in the classroom. Although I am not making the big bucks (yet), I am earning a graduate degree debt free and learning knowledge that will last a lifetime!