Mason makes career change

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Glen Mason visited the homes of hundreds of recruits in three decades of coaching football, sitting down and giving a sales pitch that could equate to victories on the field - and job security in the long run.

So it's only fitting that Mason's new career takes advantage of his expertise in communications. The former Kansas University football coach now is in the corporate world as the vice president of business development for Marquette Asset Management. The small financial company in Minneapolis is a branch of Marquette Financial Companies, which is owned by billionaire and Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad.

"When you're a coach, it's more than just X's and O's," Mason said. "It's recruiting and developing relationships."

Mason did plenty of that during a 35-year coaching career, which included his most recent stops at Kansas (1988-96) and Minnesota (1997-2006). He's doing plenty of that now, too. In fact, his job description simply states his responsibilities as "developing and managing client relationships."

Mason is only about a month into the new job and admits it's an adjustment. So the question begs to be asked: Is the financial world a temporary profession until coaching calls again?

Without being definitive, Mason said no.

"I didn't enter into this endeavor thinking I'd be looking over my shoulder," Mason said. "I always thought the best job is the one I got. I'm enjoying the heck out of it."

Besides, football still is a part of his life. After being let go by Minnesota after the 2006 season, Mason landed a television gig with the upstart Big Ten Network. He spent some weeks on location as a color commentator in the broadcast booth. Other weeks, he was in Chicago as a studio analyst.

Mason said he had positive feedback and recently met with ESPN brass about the possibility of joining the cable sports giant. Nothing is finalized for this fall, though Mason plans to do television work somewhere.

Like everything in his professional life these days, television was a transition to which he finally has adapted. Mason still lives in the Minneapolis area with five children that either are grown up or about to be. Football is in his life enough, but the day-to-day immersion in it, for now, is in the past.

"I spent 35 years as a coach, and I'm a coach by nature," Mason said. "There's certain parts that I miss, but there's certain parts that I don't miss."