NFL Player Getting His Kicks From VC

Quietly, Pacific Southwest Ventures has joined the likes of Gridiron Capital, Huntsman Gay Global Capital and HRJ Capital.

What the firms all have in common is that they have onetime pro athletes on their rosters. Without any fanfare, placekicker Billy Cundiff, who is currently listed as a free agent, joined Pacific Southwest as an associate in February.

Cundiff played four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and is best known for kicking a record seven field goals in one game on a Monday night against the New York Giants on Sept. 15, 2003. He has been signed and released by five other teams since 2005.

I found out about his involvement with Pacific Southwest Ventures just yesterday when Arizona State University issued a press releasing announcing that Cundiff had earned an MBA degree from the university’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

From there, it wasn’t too hard to find out what firm he was working at. What I haven’t been able to find out is what Cundiff’s involvement has been like at Pacific Southwest, an early stage tech investor formerly known as Finao Capital. I haven’t yet talked with Cundiff. And Managing Partner Craig Ballard did not return a request for comment.

Cundiff, who lives in the Phoenix area with his attorney wife, hasn’t shelved his NFL career. He most recently tried out with the Indianapolis Colts and the Cleveland Browns. He told the Phoenix Business Journal that he entered the MBA program two years ago because he wanted to plan ahead for a career post-football.

He also said that the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons released him while he was working on his degree.

“I’ve got to be the only guy in the MBA program who got fired from two jobs while in the MBA program,” he said.

Indeed, perhaps the novelty of a sports figure working in the investment community is passé. Ex-San Francisco 49ers QB Steve Young, who previously co-founded Sorenson Capital, is now a managing director at Huntsman Gay. Gridiron co-founders include a onetime Duke University football player and a former Cincinnati Reds player.

And the funds of funds manager HRJ Capital, of course, was launched by a trio of ex-49ers, including Ronnie Lott and Harris Barton, before it was bought earlier this year by a Swiss firm.

If you have a favorite ex-athlete working in the investment community, let me know.