Academics // March 3, 2021

Chad Brinker credits his success as an assistant director of pro scouting/salary cap analyst for the Green Bay Packers to his relationship building skills and his ability to spot natural talent. The business is not for the faint of heart, Brinker explained during his visit to Freed-Hardeman University in November. He shared his story in chapel and in a sports marketing class.

“My challenge is to put together the best team possible to win championships, but there are 31 other teams doing the exact thing that I’m doing and my daily goal is to beat them,” said Brinker. He added that recruiting for the NFL’s winningest franchise taught him how to hire good staff and become a successful recruiter.

“In this field, I’ve learned that hard work does not guarantee success,” Brinker said. “You can’t do this alone, and you will only go as far as the people around you will allow because relationships matter.”

Before his career as a recruiter began, Brinker was the sixth all-time leading rusher at Ohio University and played briefly for the New York Jets and in NFL Europe. A career-ending concussion led to Brinker’s career change to medical sales.

“I had to figure out my identity after football, and a position with the Green Bay Packers fell in my lap,” Brinker said.

While talking with Vincent Mennino’s sport marketing class, Brinker shared that his favorite part of his job is successfully figuring out a player’s strengths, while the most challenging aspect is being away from his family.

Students absorbed Brinker’s stories about working in sports management, a field in which more and more students are interested, Mennino said.

“Careers in the sports industry are growing rapidly, and student interest in the field is growing faster than average,” Mennino said.

FHU’s program is in its first year, offering several courses as part of the sport administration major.

“We have nine students majoring in sport administration already and three students minoring,” Mennino said.