Apr 26, 2017
Ryan Mundy, eight-year veteran of the National
Football League, Super Bowl champion, and angel investor at
Techlete Ventures, discusses leadership in football from his
father’s coaching in Pop Warner, through his high school, college,
and NFL achievements. Ryan is grateful for all the people who
helped him along the way, but he is most grateful for his father,
who taught him to be self-reliant, and to commit to his goals. Ryan
recalls the diversity of his NFL teams, and how he learned from
people of different backgrounds. He stresses the importance of
proper leadership on a team, and how it leads to success. Besides
being an angel investor, Ryan is on the board of the NFLPA, and is
solving problems athletes encounter as they transition from a
sports team to a business career.
[3:18] Ryan was recruited by the Pittsburgh Steelers
out of college, and played in (and won) the Super Bowl his first
year. After the Steelers, he played for the Giants, and then the
Bears. After eight years in the NFL, one day he began to think,
’Wow, that looks like it hurts!’ He saw that he had lost his drive,
desire, and passion, so he retired from the NFL, and completed his
[7:14] As a rookie, Ryan looked up to backup QB
Charlie Batch, a great locker room leader. Charlie’s even-keeled
demeanor demonstrated how to be a pro, on and off the field.
Charlie now runs the Best of the Batch foundation, unlocking
potential in communities. Charlie always performed when he was
called, and serves with the same drive in his post-retirement
[9:55] In business, a consultant is called in from
time to time, but in football, a backup QB is there all the time,
so he’s vested in the team. Even as a 10-year veteran, Charlie was
a great example to Ryan, who knew he had to stay in line, or be
[11:42] At the age of seven, Ryan’s dream was to make
it to the NFL. By his junior year in high school, he started
believing it could be a reality. Ryan tells of a setback in his
college football career that caused him extreme stress for months.
His responses to the challenge built up his courage, and the
confidence he could do what he wanted.
[17:13] Ryan is a self-starter and go-getter, and was
taught by his father to believe in himself. In college, he was a
model student athlete, setting the example in the classroom and on
[19:14] Ryan discusses some of the leadership
problems hindering the Bears since the ‘85 Super Bowl, and the
condition of the team, coaches, and management when he played for
the Bears. He contrasts that with the continuity of leadership
within the Steelers’ organization.
[24:22] Ryan’s father has been with him since the
beginning, when he coached him in Pop Warner football. He is Ryan’s
example. Others have helped along the way, but his father was a
constant guide. He had a plan, he was committed to the plan, and he
made sure Ryan worked out and did his school work.
[27:28] In the NFL, Ryan’s teammates’ backgrounds
were diverse. He appreciated the opportunity to get to know more
about the world and about people. Football gives you a window into
what sort of person somebody is. He developed greater
self-awareness and ability to interact with people.
[28:11] Ryan has great concern for transitioning
athletes, especially those who didn’t make much money, and don’t
have a degree. Most athletes are not rich. Ryan is a board member
on the NFLPA and is trying to solve for the problems of
[33:46] You need a level of passion and desire to be
elite, either in Special Forces, or in pro sports, and as you
develop, that passion becomes your ‘normal,’ which allows for a
balance between emotion and performance. You always have to be
aware and maintain that balance without losing your passion.
[38:11] Ryan recalls the feelings of being part of
the high-performance team of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and
would love to be part of such a team again. His aha moment is that
he knows what a high-performance team takes, and he has the power
to create it.
[41:18] Ryan is going on the Crucible, along with a
retired 3-star general who commanded Special Forces. This will be
Ryan’s first camping trip! He looks forward to the wilderness
experiences, and to connect with other high-performing individuals
across various fields. He loves hearing people’s stories.
LinkedIn: Ryan Mundy
Ryan Mundy, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, is an eight-year veteran of
the National Football League. He attended college at the University
of Michigan (Liberal Arts) for undergraduate studies and West
Virginia University (Athletic Admin) for post graduate courses.
Also, Ryan recently finished his MBA studies at The University of
Miami (FL). Drafted in 2008, Ryan spent five seasons with the
Pittsburgh Steelers (Super Bowl XL Champion), one season (2013)
with the New York Giants and two seasons (2014-2015) with the
Ryan is now an Angel investor, through Techlete
Ventures, in technology starts that focus on cultural shifts that
impact the way we live work and play.
Ryan currently resides in Chicago, IL with his wife
Jillian and daughters Ryan-Taylor (5) and Camryn (2).