Tarik's Next Season

Former Colts player keeping options open in pursuit of a Krannert MBA

Beyond the aches and painful reminders of a career in the National Football League is the reality that players retire when they are still relatively young men.

Even Tarik Glenn, a 10-year veteran of the Indianapolis Colts, has faced the decision of where to work after giving up the gridiron. Krannert’s Weekend MBA program is leading to the next season of his life.

Glenn, now 35 years old, helped protect Peyton Manning en route to the team’s pinnacle achievement of a Super Bowl championship victory over the Chicago Bears in 2007.

Tarik Glenn

Tarik Glenn (Photo by Andrew Hancock)

It’s not easy to walk away from a game where you’re literally in the trenches with teammates as an offensive lineman, says the former all-pro.

And giving up full Saturdays for studies wouldn’t be easy for anyone either, but Glenn says it was the best fit for his lifestyle and home life, where he’s a husband and father of four young children. He’s eager to see what that future brings.

“I thought the Saturday program allowed me to maximize my time,” says Glenn, who is still able to take family vacations in the summer and keep up with the gymnastics, baseball and basketball of his kids throughout the school year.

He’s more than halfway home through the three-year program, on course to graduate in May 2012. As for the coursework, he’s applying much of it to the nonprofit he founded with his wife, Maya. D.R.E.A.M. Alive, which helps Indianapolis inner-city youth through service-learning mentoring, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

“This semester I’m going to commit a lot of my time to help the leadership team move in a new and fresh direction,” Glenn says of D.R.E.A.M. (an acronym for Discipline, Responsibility, Education, Achievement and Motivation). “I want to use it as a case study to learn how to effectively manage people and relationships and be fiscally responsible with the money that’s been entrusted to our organization.”

Having grown up in Oakland, Calif., Glenn says he and his wife benefitted from similar after-school programs. “We were looking for families in communities that looked like ours,” he says. “We recognized that there was an inner-city Oakland in our backyard of Indianapolis.”

Purdue’s national reputation was another pull for Glenn to make the hour commute to campus. He also says there’s much to be gleaned from his new teammates — his Saturday classmates. “Krannert allows you to meet people from cross sectors and hear about their experiences,” he says. “It’s really helped to stir the different passions inside of me.”