Finding a new passion when playing days are over can be a rocky transition for a lot of football players. That has not been the case for Michael Rose-Ivey after his career at Nebraska ended following the 2016 season. He racked up 162 tackles and was an important member of the Huskers during his time with the team. Now he has a number of important roles in his native Kansas City.
Rose-Ivey is starting a football academy that incorporates all the elements an athlete would receive while in college. The academy will cover academic support, sports performance and also proper rehab training. That is in the works but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rose-Ivey is also doing defensive skills training. He is the defensive coordinator at Lincoln College Prep High School in Kansas City. In short, he is doing a little bit of everything. It’s all in the name of bringing something he feels is needed in the Midwest that other places around the country have up and running.
“I'm trying to bring some things so guys don't have to go far outside of Kansas City to get some exposure,” Rose-Ivey told Hail Varsity. “Obviously, if you want to be a nationally ranked recruit you have to go out on the road and go to camps but I think Kansas City is getting to be a little bit of a hotbed for recruiting, especially for these Midwest schools plus the Big Ten, Big 12 and even in the MAC schools as well. I’m really just trying to find a way to get these kids everything they need in order to be successful at getting to the next level. Then also excelling at the next level.”
There are a number of people who played or are still trying to play in the AFL and the XFL that are back in their communities helping high school kids. These former players have a passion for training but are fighting two things in the Midwest. First, the weather is always an obstacle. Second, the kind of mentality you get from Midwest kids is not the same as on the East Coast or a kid from the South.
“We are trying to give these guys a mentality,” Rose-Ivey said. “Like I tell guys all the time, the drills and the weight program stuff anybody can find on the internet. Anyone can put that together. It doesn't take much to do that. It's a matter of the mentality of how I'm attacking things or going about my day to day process. Whether it’s here at the facility or in school or in their community everything needs to be attacked.”
As Rose-Ivey transitions into a coach and mentor figure, there are moments where he reflects on his career. There are certain things he may have done differently. He thinks about how he could have been a better player for his coaches that would have alleviated stress for them. The new level of appreciation he has for his former coaches helps to fuel his desire to help kids along the way.
“There are kids that you see the potential, not just that little potential just a potential as a young man,” Rose-Ivey said. “You want guys to see that potential and then realize the potential. You want to help them with a plan forward. You got to appreciate those that helped because you're in the same business now. You're trying to get guys to realize their potential.”
“When you are dealing with some of the kids that I get to deal with coming from urban areas we're talking life and death when it comes to try and get these kids out of a bad situation. I'm not just saying all these kids are just getting shot at or caught up in the wrong situation. I feel these are the types of situation where we got to help these kids more than anything. We have to help them realize their potential whether it be academically or on the football field.”
The ultimate goal is to help young players get their education paid for while also continuing to play the game they love. Rose-Ivey hopes to be on the right track in helping change kids’ futures. There are players on his team who are on their way to playing college football. His story is also helping them to see the bigger picture beyond football.
“Sometimes guys out there, you think you got forever with the game until the game shows you that you are done,” Rose-Ivey said. “You then have to think about doing something different. Just not knowing when that last opportunity to be.”
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.