Sports
579 voters

Athletes With the Coolest Post-Sports Careers

Updated May 21, 2020 5.4k votes 579 voters 60.8k views47 items

List RulesOnly their post-sports jobs, nothing before or during their career

Athletes with the coolest post-sports careers are those former professional athletes who after their playing days ended, went on to do some pretty amazing things. From those who went into politics to others who built business empires and even others who chose wacky careers, all of these athletes found fun new paths off the field.

Nearly any former athlete can find work after their playing career ends as a broadcaster or coach of their respective sports but how many can go on to be President of the United States of America? One did it, former University of Michigan football player Gerald Ford. While few will live up to that precedent, other athletes have seen success in politics such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, who served as Governor of California, and Jesse Ventura, who was the Governor of Minnesota.

Show business is another common landing place for retired athletes with the likes of Carl Weathers, Vinnie Jones and Jim Brown all seeing success on the field and on the big and small screens. Becoming a business executive would be another with former atletes making a name for themselves as the face of product lines, like George Foreman and John Madden, or even going on to own the teams in the sports they once played, like Mario Lemieux, Nolan Ryan and Michael Jordan.

While not all of the best athletes of all time will go on to find success off the field, these special athletes with awesome post-sports careers prove that with the right determination, retired athletes can go on to long and successful careers in many other fields.
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  • Arnold Schwarzenegger1

    BirthplaceThal, Austria

    NationalityAustria, United States of America

    Governor of California, Celebrity Apprentice host

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  • Roger Maris2
    164
    38

    Roger Maris

    Dec. at 51 (1934-1985)

    BirthplaceHibbing, Minnesota, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionRight fielder, Outfielder

    Beer distributiorship owner

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    #478 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#18 of 149 The Greatest New York Yankees Of All Time

  • John Madden3
    144
    53

    BirthplaceAustin, Minnesota, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionOffensive Lineman

    NFL video game franchise frontman 

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    #10 of 61 The Best NFL Coaches of All Time#1 of 63 The Best NFL Head Coaches to Have a Beer With

  • Gerald Ford4
    130
    58

    Gerald Ford

    Dec. at 93 (1913-2006)

    BirthplaceOmaha, Nebraska, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionLinebacker, Center

    President of the United States of America

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  • Shaquille O'Neal5
    113
    50

    BirthplaceNewark, New Jersey, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    TeamLos Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics

    PositionCenter

    Police officer

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    #9 of 256 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#1010 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • George Foreman6
    123
    60

    BirthplaceMarshall, Texas, USA

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Television infomercial small kitchen appliance frontman 

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    #8 of 65 The Best Boxers of the 1990s#10 of 207 The Best Boxers of the 20th Century

  • Dwayne Johnson7
    58
    8

    BirthplaceHayward, California, United States of America

    NationalityCanada, United States of America

    PositionDefensive tackle

    A-List Actor and WWE Superstar, after college football career (Miami Hurricanes).

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  • Curt Schilling8
    94
    46

    BirthplaceAnchorage, Alaska, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionStarting pitcher, Pitcher

    Video game mogul

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    #845 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#31 of 146 The Best Boston Red Sox Of All Time

  • Michael Jordan9
    111
    63

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    NationalityUSA

    TeamChicago Bulls

    PositionShooting guard, Small forward, Outfielder

    Charlotte Bobcats owner

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  • Carl Weathers10
    161
    109

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionLinebacker

    Actor

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    #350 of 1,017 The Best Actors in Film History#216 of 310 The Coolest Actors Ever

  • Michael Strahan11
    73
    31

    BirthplaceHouston, Texas, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionDefensive end

    Talk and game show host

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    #31 of 432 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History#8 of 96 The Greatest Defensive Ends of All Time

  • Magic Johnson12
    103
    59

    BirthplaceLansing, Michigan, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionPoint guard, Power forward

    Talkshow host and AIDS activist

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    #30 of 105 The Most Influential Contemporary Americans#2 of 55 The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked

  • Nolan Ryan13
    77
    40

    Nolan Ryan

    Age: 72

    BirthplaceRefugio, Texas, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionPitcher

    Texas Rangers owner

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    #29 of 207 The Greatest New York Mets of All Time#21 of 197 The Greatest Pitchers of All Time

  • Mario Lemieux14
    68
    45

    BirthplaceMontreal, Canada

    NationalityUnited States of America,Canada

    PositionCenterman

    Pittsburgh Penguins owner

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    #2 of 502 The Best NHL Players of All Time#21 of 1,427 The Best Athletes Of All Time

  • Jim Brown15
    58
    35

    Jim Brown

    Age: 83

    BirthplaceSt. Simons, Georgia, USA

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionRunning back, Fullback

    Actor

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    #13 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever#2 of 206 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time

  • Mike Tyson16
    77
    58

    Mike Tyson

    Age: 53

    BirthplaceBedford-Stuyvesant, New York City, New York, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Pigeon trainer

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    #1223 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time#95 of 157 Ranking The Greatest WWE Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Jesse Ventura17
  • Warrick Dunn18
    102
    126

    BirthplaceBaton Rouge, Louisiana

    NationalityUnited States of America

    TeamTampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons

    PositionRunning back

    Atlanta Falcons co-owner

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    #161 of 322 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame#3 of 81 The Best Florida State Football Players of All Time

  • Mike Golic19
    11
    10

    Mike Golic

    Age: 57

    BirthplaceWillowick, Ohio, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Radio personality ("Mike and Mike" on ESPN)

  • Dikembe Mutombo20
    21
    25

    BirthplaceKinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

    NationalityDemocratic Republic of the Congo, United States of America

    PositionCenter

    actavist

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    #9 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time#26 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

  • Jim Bunning21
    5
    7

    BirthplaceSouthgate, Kentucky, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionPitcher

    politician

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    #175 of 255 The Best Players in the Baseball Hall of Fame#272 of 582 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time

  • Charles Barkley22

    BirthplaceLeeds, Alabama, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    TeamPhoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers

    PositionPower forward

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  • Jack Kemp23
    20
    28

    Jack Kemp

    Dec. at 74 (1935-2009)

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    TeamPittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers

    PositionQuarterback

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    #23 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative#57 of 120 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time

  • Alex Karras24
    18
    28

    Alex Karras

    Dec. at 77 (1935-2012)

    BirthplaceGary, Indiana, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    PositionDefensive tackle

    Actor

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    #11 of 119 The Best Detroit Lions of All Time#11 of 83 The Greatest Defensive Tackles of All Time

  • Alex Rodriguez25

    BirthplaceWashington Heights, New York City, New York, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    TeamNew York Yankees

    PositionShortstop, Third baseman

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