Andrew DiFranco, '17, can't sever his involvement in football.
The Albion College center who graduated magna cum laude with a degree in accounting in May, thought his involvement in football ended when the Britons ended the season on the field at Kalamazoo College in November.
But in December he jumped on the opportunity to travel to Mexico join Team Stars & Stripes, a squad of American college players, against a Mexican team in the Tazon de Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars).
DiFranco's involvement in football will continue into the run up for the 2017 season as he will participate in the National Football Foundation's first Campbell Trophy Summit. The program, scheduled for Aug. 24-26 at Stanford University, will be a gathering of Campbell Trophy participants, entrepreneurs and CEOs designed to share powerful concepts while exchanging ideas to foster personal growth and empowerment.
The speakers list includes Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and former National Football League players Charlie Batch (founder of the Best of the Batch Foundation), Ronnie Lott (CEO of Lott Auto Ventures) and Steve Young (co-founder and managing director of HGGC).
"I have learned to grow my network through any way possible during my time at Albion," DiFranco, who noted his concentration in the College's Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management exposed him to professional recruiting events and visits with professional firms, said. "Making professional connections is always a positive.
"The Campbell Summit is the crown jewel for me," he added. "I'm going to meet professionals from all around the country with a leadership driven and winning mindset. I'm going to meet people who are aggressively focused on winning, aggressively focused on leadership, and I hope to learn some valuable insights from them. I also hope to engage in some great discussions and gain professional connections along the way.
"I am always excited to hear what advice successful people give to younger people aspiring to be in a similar place one day," he continued. "Learning never stops, even if you have already graduated. I'm excited to grow my knowledge base in a different way at the summit."
DiFranco will miss his relationship with football after he returns from the summit. A College Sports Information Directors Association of America Division III Academic All-American and two-time Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association pick, DiFranco won't be returning to campus in preparation for the season. Instead, he will launch his accounting career as an associate with Ernst & Young.
"It's going to be a wakeup call not going to practice every day," DiFranco said. "However, I'm excited to wear the block 'A' and represent Albion as a young alumni for the first time."
"Head Coach Craig Rundle is one of the most important people in my life," DiFranco added. "He's been a role model to me, not only in terms of football, but in the things he's taught me off the field about life – being a decent person, what it means to be a man and what is means to be committed to something, not just a participant."
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