Catching Up With Tyjuan Hagler

Drafted in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft, linebacker Tyjuan Hagler spent six seasons with the Colts before retiring in 2011.

Now, he’s settled in Cincinnati.

“That’s home,” he says.

It’s also where he played college football, at the University of Cincinnati. And it’s where he continued his education after his playing days were over.

“I retired at the age of 29,” he says. “I went to Xavier and got my masters in sports administration.”

He now works for the NFL in player engagement.

“I knew I wanted to stay in sports. It was a process of doing internships and job shadows that I paid out of my own pocket to do. But it worked out in my favor and I was offered a job.”

He lives in Cincinnati, works in New York, and spends a lot of time traveling to visit different teams.

“We reach out to all of the guys and make sure we help them in any way possible,” he says. “We go through the directors of player engagement. We just try to empower them, help them, and be there if they need anything from us.”

It’s a position that didn’t exist – at least, not like it does now – when he was playing in the NFL. Hagler helps players come into the league, maximize their potential, transition out, and find their calling – much like he did.

“I’m a giver. I love to give back. And I feel like this is my way of giving back,” he says. “And it’s also my passion. I’m a league guy. So, just being back in the sport and always being a part of the sport – it’s awesome.”

Hagler joined his former teammates in Indianapolis last November to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Super Bowl XLI – his favorite memory from his time with the Colts.

Another favorite memory is the time he recovered an onside kick against the Jacksonville Jaguars and ran it in for a touchdown, helping to secure a spot for the Colts in the 2010 playoffs.

On Sunday, Hagler was back at the Colts facility again, helping his former teammates with a clinic for young linemen.

“It brought back childhood memories of when I used to do local camps at the high school and stuff,” he says.

For Tyjuan Hagler, football started out as a game and became much more.

“It builds character,” he says. “It changes lives.”

It changed his life.

Football took him from Kankakee, Illinois to Cincinnati, Ohio, Indianapolis, Indiana, and New York, New York. He built his life around the game. And the relationships he made playing it will last a lifetime.

“It’s a brotherhood,” he says. “We look out for each other.”

NFL Player Engagement helped Tyjuan Hagler find his way back to the game he loves.

Now, he’s paying it forward – helping other players find their game – on the field and off.

Football is a powerful game.

And Tyjuan Hagler is using that power to help change lives – one player at a time.