Darryl Richard, a star defensive tackle for the Yellow Jackets football team, plans to extend his career in sports far into the future.
At Georgia Tech, Darryl Richard got used to pushing himself beyond normal limits both on the football field and in the classroom.
A defensive tackle for the Yellow Jackets football team, he finished his BS in management from Tech in just three years, graduating in 2007. Within a year and a half, he'd also completed his MBA studies, completing Tech's full-time program in December 2008, a semester ahead of schedule.
"I'm not one of those guys who are good with down time," says Richard, who continued playing for Tech during the MBA program.
Award Winner in Academics
His excellence in both sports and academics won him the Atlantic Coast Conference's 2008 James E. Tatum Award, which honors the top student-athlete among the league's football players. "Hopefully, this can be an example to others that there does not have to be a tradeoff between academic and athletic success," says Richard, who was recruited to Tech from Destrehan, Louisiana.
He plans to extend his career in sports far into the future. Now preparing for the NFL draft this spring through intensive training, Richard aims for eight to 10 years of play on the pro field. Then he would like to earn his doctorate in sports administration and grow into a career as a team general manager or university athletic director.
Creating Value through Tech Education
He believes his undergraduate and graduate business studies at Tech have prepared him well to excel at the business side of the game. "I want to be seriously involved in sports as long as I can," says Richard, who completed an independent MBA study on building competitive advantage in sports. "I can use what I've learned in business school to keep creating value. That's what it's all about."
Richard focused his management studies on finance, interning twice at Manhattan Associates, but he also developed a strong interest in organizational behavior. "If you want to succeed at the business of sports, you better understand how people work together and how to help them perform well as a team," he says.
Despite his demanding schedule at Tech, Richard found time to serve the school and community in numerous ways. He acted as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board and also served on the search committee to name the next president of Georgia Tech.
In addition to speaking to several local schools about achieving success in college, he also participated in the Special Olympics Georgia Indoor Games, Habitat for Humanity, Think Pink Georgia Tech fundraising efforts, YMCA after-school program at Flowery Branch Elementary School, and a football clinic at KIPP WAYS Academy.
"Darryl is what a student-athlete should be about," says Paul Johnson, Tech's head football coach.