George Koonce Day Slated for October 15th
MURFREESBORO- Chowan University continues to pay homage to a rich athletic heritage as the athletic department will celebrate George Koonce Day on October 15th. Koonce will be recognized at halftime ofSaturday's football game against Virginia Union University. Kick-off is slated for 1pm in Garrison Stadium.
Koonce, the "Doctor of Defense" attended then-Chowan College from 1987-1989. He was known as one of the most notable football players to ever attend Chowan. Koonce had a break-out season for the then-Braves in 1988. He collecting a staggering 131 tackles at linebacker while guiding Chowan to a 7-4 record that same season. The team earned a spot in the prestigious East Bowl, where the Braves handedly beat Dean Junior College 50-7. Koonce concluded his career at Chowan with Coastal Conference Defensive Player of the Year and All-American honors.
Upon graduation from Chowan in 1988, Koonce received a football scholarship at East Carolina University. Koonce then spent one year with the Ohio Glory as part of the World League of American Football, now known as the National Football League Europe. The Green Bay Packers drafted Koonce in 1992, which ultimately led to a professional career as an eight-year starter. He made 102 career starts for the organization and was a starting member of the Super Bowl XXXI Championship team.
Koonce concluded his career with the Seattle Seahawks.
With his professional playing career behind him, Koonce committed himself to giving back to the sport that shaped him. A diverse career in both athletic and college administration, as well as broad educational experience allowed Koonce to make a name for himself off of the playing field.
After a ten-year professional playing career, including competing with the Green Bay Packers for eight seasons, one of the most storied fraternities in the NFL, Koonce continued to etch his name in the history books. Over 7,000 men have donned the Packers uniform, yet Koonce is one of only two men to ever wear the uniform and earn a doctoral degree.
He has served as Senior Associate Athletic Director and Director of Development at Marquette University, Athletic Director at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Director of Player Development for the Packers, and Special Assistant to the Athletic Director at East Carolina University. Most recently, Koonce serves as Vice President of Advancement at Marian University of Fond du Lac.
Koonce earned an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences at Chowan before earning a Bachelor of Arts from New York University at Regents in 1999. In 2006, Koonce earned a Master of Arts degree in Sports Management from East Carolina University and obtained a Doctor of Philosophy from Marquette University in 2012. His dissertation focused on the "Role Transition of National Football League Players: Using the Grounded Theory"; which led to national awareness of the struggle NFL players face after retirement. He is the co-author of the book "Is There Life After Football".
Koonce is a member of four different Hall of Fames including: National Junior College Athletic Association, West Craven High School, Chowan University, and East Carolina University. He has served on various college, community, and professional boards and panels and is the spokesperson for the Children's Service Society Family Finding Fatherhood Engagement program.