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Always Learning By Benjamin Gleisser


would you PursuE a dream that paid $4 an hour? Dave Gettleman ’72 did. After


earning a master’s degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University (Miami) in 1986, he became an intern in the Buffalo Bills’ scouting department. Taking home such princely pay was difficult for the newly married Gettleman, but he stuck with the internship because he wanted a career in professional sports. His hard work paid off. Now looking


he earned two master’s degrees: in physical education from Southern Connecticut State in 1978, and one in sports administration from St. Thomas. “My thought was to be an athletic


at his 27th year in the NFL, Gettleman very recently accepted the position of general manager for the Carolina Panthers. Most recently, he had served the New York Giants as senior pro personnel analyst. And he’s probably earning more than $4


an hour. “Yeah, it was unusual,” he remembers with


a laugh. “I was 35 years old and all the other interns were in their early 20s. But my wife, Joanne, was a huge supporter of my dream. I couldn’t have done this without her.” Gettleman, who played football as a young-


ster and in high school, originally wanted to be a high school physical education teacher and a football coach.


Then-senior pro personnel analyst for the Giants, Dave Gettleman, center, talks with Giants general manager Jerry Reese, left, and Giants director of Pro Personnel Ken Sternfeld.


“Life is about relationships,” he says. “I


wanted to be someone who could help young men looking for guidance and direction.” He chose Springfield College because he


liked its intimate feel, and was an offensive tackle on the freshman football team. The school was challenging, he says, “but it taught me how to be a professional. And I got a great, well-rounded education.” After graduating, he taught and coached


football at several schools, including kingston (N.Y.) High School where, in 1984, he led his team to a Section I Bowl berth. In addition,


director at a Division III New England school, so I could send my kids to college for free,” Gettleman says. “But the NFL had started an internship program, and [former Bills general manager] Bill Polian offered me an opportunity to come to Buffalo.” The intern earned a full-time


scouting slot. He later worked for the Denver Broncos before joining


the Giants’ scouting department in 1998. In July 2012, Gettleman was promoted to his current position. Over the years, he’s evaluated the skills of


hundreds of athletes. And what has he learned? “My motto is ‘Every man is my equal, in that


I may learn from him,’” he says. The quote, he adds, is from an All in the Family episode, where a young man with Down Syndrome teaches the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker that everyone is important. “Those words have stayed with me all my life,” Gettleman says.1


PHOtO by CHARL e S WeNze LbeRG


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