The NFL Player Who Left Football to Become a Tech Entrepreneur

Some people just seem to have the ability to bounce back from life’s most devastating experiences.

On a 2007 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, we heard the inspiring story of Isaiah Kacyvenski. As a little boy, Isaiah grew up in extreme poverty. His parents had a hard time making ends meet. At times, they were homeless. With five children, the family went long stretches without heat, hot water and, on occasion, even food.

To make matters worse, Isaiah’s father was an alcoholic with a short fuse. “I remember playing around the house and something would break. You know, it didn’t matter what kid it was; we all had to line up, drop your pants, and he would just whip us,” Isaiah said. “I remember not being able to sit for a week at a time, you know. I was in so much pain.”

Isaiah credits his mother with keeping the family’s spirits alive. By age 9, Isaiah was determined to turn his life around. By his senior year, he was an honor student and captain of the football team. Tragically, however, on the morning of his team’s big playoff game, Isaiah learned that his mother had been struck and killed by a truck on the roadside.

Yet, Isaiah persevered. He would go on to attend Harvard, where he graduated with honors, and to play in the NFL. After a series of injuries, Isaiah decided to retire from professional football and become a tech entrepreneur, going back to school for a business degree.

Here, Isaiah tells WhereAreTheyNow.Buzz about everything that’s happened since he decided to head in a completely new direction, including splitting with his wife after his NFL retirement—and then remarrying her six years later.

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