Kevin Glover played 15 NFL seasons, almost all of them as the starting center of the Detroit Lions.
He was a second-round pick of the Lions out of Maryland in 1985 and spent 13 seasons in Detroit, playing in 177 games and starting 161 of them. Glover finished his career with the Seattle Seahawks, where he started 15 games at center over two seasons. He made three Pro Bowls -- 1995, 1996 and 1997 -- and was a consistent presence in the middle of the Detroit offensive line during some of the Lions’ best seasons.
The 52-year-old Glover is now living in Maryland, where we caught up with him by phone. (Eds. Note: This has been edited for space and clarity.)
Q: What have you been up to since retirement?
Kevin Glover: I work at the University of Maryland, overseeing the alumni association in the athletic department. I’ve been on staff here for 12 years. Prior to that I was a sports agent and did that for a few years and was offered a job here and have been here ever since.
Q: What made you go from sports agent to the alumni association?
Glover: The alumni part, I’ve been in this position for three years. I was in a different position before in the athletic department. I always felt like when you have the experience you gain from playing in the league and other experiences I had during my playing years and prior to, there’s some obligation to share with others and help other people. That’s part of what I did the first eight-and-a-half years I was here. It was help some of our student-athletes prepare for the real world, whether it’s a life in professional sports or the working world or making proper decisions in life skills. Helping them in career networking. I really feel like what I’ve done in the first 15 years of my career prepared me for what I’ve been doing since then.
Q: What’s the most rewarding thing you think you’ve done?
Glover: When I first started working at the university, part of my title was player development and alumni relations and character development. I was the pro liaison between the university and the NFL. A little bit with the NBA but mostly with the NFL. I think one of the most important things I’ve been able to do is help a number of our student-athletes with the transition from college to whatever. College to real world, college to professional sports, helping them with decision-making and a lot of times you become very close and have to deal with their personal issues, which a lot of people have. Being able to be a listening ear and someone you can trust and sit down and talk about some of those challenges and reassure them that they’ll be OK and speaking about the importance of education is a huge part of what we all have to do here.
Q: You mention the transition, how did that go for you?
Glover: Talking to a number of people, I think mine went as smooth as it could. It’s never a perfect transition because you’ve been an athlete and in most of our minds we were considered top-notch athletes if you played in the NFL. All of a sudden, it’s time to move on to something else. It’s interesting. I won’t say any names, but when I was playing, there were three, maybe four of us that played nine, 10 years or more. We were all very close and we had all said when we retired we were going to take off and not do anything for a year. Maybe travel and relax. We had earned that right because we played. They all retired before I did and they all started doing something right away. I was like, ‘What are you all doing? We had this agreement to not do anything.’ They were all like, ‘You’ll see, wait until your turn comes.’ They were right. When you’re so used to being busy every day, whether it’s training during the offseason, rehabbing, lifting, running, practice, meetings. When you retire, you can’t just sit home. You kind of feel useless if you do that. I was fortunate that I was able to sit down and talk to them and they were able to tell me about the transition. So when I retired, I took the agent certification exam right away and became a certified agent. That was my way of easing the transition.
Q: Was that a bridge for you?
Glover: It was being able to have a positive effect on young people. I say that because when you become an older guy and eventually the oldest guy on the team, then players look to you or will come to you for advice and I kind of find myself enjoying that part of the agent business, being able to have a direct effect on some younger people and give them a heads-up or warnings about the ins-and-outs of the business.