NFL pro Brandon Copeland on Chalk Talk
By Adam Petrus | October 06, 2022

Chalk Talk Episode #9: NFL Pro and Life Literacy Coach Brandon Copeland Wants Us All to Start Normalizing Conversations Around Money and Meet New People. Here’s Why.

He doesn’t want anyone to go through the personal or professional pitfalls he has, so he’s developing a “blueprint to life” that you can follow. Check it out.

I know we typically dive into the wide world of sports from a business and technology perspective on Chalk Talk. But, today, we want to focus in on the life of a professional athlete both on and off the field and, specifically, how athletes’ lives aren’t that much different from yours or mine.

Early last year, pro football player Brandon Copeland sat down with our colleague, Senior Director of External Communications, Therese Van Ryne, to talk about some of the lessons he’s learned since joining the NFL. You can check it out here if you missed it:

Beyond the Basics: NFL Pro Brandon Copeland Talks About What It Takes to Be a Winner, On and Off the Field

But one thing they didn’t discuss was the adversity that athletes face in their careers and lives. It’s easy for us to be envious of our favorite athletes, but just because they’ve “made it” doesn’t mean they always have it easy. Nor does it mean they don’t understand or appreciate the struggles that other people have. Most athletes are very young when they go pro – either still in or right out of school. They may not have a lot of life experience or certain life skills. They have to figure things out like the rest of us. 

That’s why we invited Brandon onto Chalk Talk today. As my co-host Hale Hentges points out, Brandon’s famous. He’s successful. But he also works really hard to achieve and maintain financial freedom, overcome physical health issues, protect his mental health, and be of service to others. Hale was spot on when he said that no matter who you are or what you do, there is something you can learn from him. 

So, grab your earbuds (or better yet, your friends, family or co-workers) and turn the volume up on this episode. You’re going to want to hear what Brandon has to say.

Chalk Talk Episode #8: Life 101 with Brandon Copeland

He talks about...

  • What it is really like entering the NFL as an undrafted player – and how it compares to being an intern in other career fields. (This is a shocker.)

  • How he ultimately proved he deserved to be in the NFL and earned a play-calling role on teams.

  • What has helped him grow – and grow up – on and off the field.

  • Why he wants you to leverage every opportunity given to you, even if it isn’t the opportunity you think you want.

  • Why he’s a firm believer that “everything happens for a reason” despite the tough situations he’s found himself in throughout life.

  • Why (the original) Space Jam movie is such a great representation of what it’s like for professional athletes to play with injuries.

  • Why we all need to figure out what our “do not disturb” setting looks like and turn it on often.

  • What motivated him to become a life literacy coach and help others gain financial freedom.

  • Why everyone needs business acumen no matter what they do in life.

  • Why it’s so important to normalize the conversation around money. (And why you should check out “Professor Cope’s” Life 101 course and share it with your kids like I did).

  • How exposure to people and places “beyond your block” will totally change your perspective on life – and the kindness, suffering and intentions of other people. (He shares a story that will have you saying “wow!”)

  • What it has been like being on equal footing with real estate bosses from Redfin, the Corcoran Group and more on the new Netflix show “Buy My House.”

  • What he’s doing to help young people – and those young at heart – chase their dreams, find new opportunities to grow and live the life of wealth they deserve. (And how he wants to connect with and help you, too.)


If you want to learn more about the good work Brandon and team are doing with the nonprofit Beyond the Basics – or you want to volunteer or make a donation – visit his website. You can also check out Brandon's financial lessons and eCourse online at



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Adam Petrus
Adam Petrus

Adam Petrus is currently the Business Development and Sales Lead for Sports & Entertainment at Zebra Technologies where he is responsible for growing Zebra’s hardware and software solutions across the world of sports and the entertainment industry.   Prior to joining the sales team Adam co-managed Zebra’s game day operation of the NFL’s Next Gen Stats program and served as the project lead for the NFL’s Equipment Tracking Program, Virtual Locker.  Adam has more than 15 years of experience within the sports and technology industry and has been working with Next Gen Stats since 2015.  Previously, he worked in the front office of an NFL Football Club, served within the United States Intelligence Community supporting special operations to include two and a half years in Iraq and was a licensed and certified sports agent.  Adam holds a bachelor’s degree from Baldwin Wallace University out of Berea, Ohio and attended the International Institute for Management & Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland where he earned a certificate in Business Management and Leadership.

As an active member of the community, Adam serves on the Baldwin Wallace University Carmel-Boyer School of Business Advisory Council, served on the Board of the Ponte Vedra Beach Rotary International Club and is a member of the Jacksonville JAXSports Council - a non-profit established to enhance and positively impact the quality of life and community pride, along with generating economic impact and growth through professional and amateur sports. An outdoor enthusiast, Adam enjoys running, paddle boarding, golfing and being an active parent alongside his wife Jenn to their daughters Olivia (7) & Peyton (5) and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Gunner and Nash.  

Fun Fact: 

"My first job in the NFL was at age 16 when I was hired by the Cleveland Browns Groundcrew.  This position then led to a promotion into the front office when I was in college and a full-time role upon graduation." 

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