Not too long ago I had the opportunity to write a short memorial piece about former Dallas Cowboys kicker Danny Villanueva. In the piece I detailed how Danny went on to find great success in his post football career and how he became a self made multi-millionaire in the broadcasting industry. This prompted e-mails from several readers asking for stories about former players who found success beyond the gridiron.
Roger Staubach is an American icon. Heisman Trophy winner, Naval Officer, pro football player, and Hall of Fame inductee; that alone would meet with almost anyone's idea of success, but Captain Comeback made his real mark outside the world of professional sports. He became a leader in the Dallas real estate market.
Staubach actually started his second (or more properly third) career shortly after joining the league. With a wife and two children to support, Roger needed the extra income. The National Football League did not pay that well during the early 1970's so Roger took a position working for Dallas area real estate mogul Henry Miller. One of his eventual duties at that job was to show commercial properties owned by Miller to prospective tenants.
Roger spent several years working for Miller, and eventually earned himself a position as a Vice President of the corporation. With his professional career winding down, Staubach began to look for other opportunities. Rather than just showing properties that were owned by his boss, Roger saw an opportunity to serve as the agent for the tenants. This would allow him to show properties with different owners to companies looking to locate in Dallas. Eventually he founded The Staubach Company to follow through on his vision.
It was serving as the agent for tenants, not professional football, that made Roger Staubach a wealthy man. The Staubach Company expanded to include more than 50 offices around the country and he employed well over 1,000 people. Roger encouraged the entrepreneurial spirit within his staff; many of his agents went on to own their own offices within the company whenever a growth opportunity presented itself.
Staubach looked to expand his footprint beyond the borders of the United States. He accomplished this by selling the Staubach Company to Jones Lange LaSalle, now known globally as JLL, for in excess of $600 million. Over 80% of this was split among the employees who helped make the growth of his company possible. Roger remained on board as the executive chairman of JLL's American interests. He remains active in the business today, although he chooses to be primarily involved in client relations and leaves managerial responsibilities to others.
Today Roger Staubach is a very active and very busy 72 year old corporate executive and he is showing now signs of slowing down. His son Jeff says that his father is still the same hard-working businessman who built the Staubach Company from a start up with five employees and minimal cash flow and turned it into one of the most successful firms of its type in the world.
"He's not going to hunt. He's not going to fish. It's family and real estate. He has spent a lot more of his life in real estate than football. His success there is lot more rare than what he did in football too."
Roger Staubach was driven to find success, and despite finding it on the gridiron, he refused to be content. Moving on after the game, Roger became one of the most successful business men in what is a tough industry to survive; he defied the odds and prospered.