Golden Nuggets: Preparing the Bears for a life after football

CalBearsOnline

What's better than a nice filet mignon while chatting to a Cal alumnus?

Let's take another look at some of the work Coach Sonny Dykes is doing off-the-field. Last week, we discussed the Faculty Fellows program, an endeavor to connect student-athletes with faculty and professors. The football program is also looking at life beyond the field by hosting current student-athletes and professional alumni at a professional dinner to provide an opportunity for our young Golden Bears to start networking and to pick the brains of these professionals. Sorry, Coach Yenser, but no In-N-Out was served.

"It's great for our players because these are the guys who have walked the path before them," Coccimiglio said. "They know now that they can get ahead of the game by getting different viewpoints, different experiences from people who have been there. A lot of these guys don't know where to start. We're giving them opportunities for work experience, networking opportunities, as well as the life skills that we are providing to them way before they are really on their own."

Our current Bears are huge fans of the opportunity, taking advantage of the wisdom of the elder Bears, and our Calumni have plenty of success stories thanks to the lessons and experiences they gained from this networking.

"It's such a great opportunity for all the athletes to meet somebody who has been successful in another field," Cal quarterback Austin Hinder said. "It makes guys start to think about careers outside of football, which is really important."

The professional round table program has helped numerous Cal football players throughout the years. Coccimiglio helped former wide receiver Sam DeSa find a temporary position in technical sales before he embarked on a summer trip. When DeSa returned, he knew technical sales was the field for him and was able to find a permanent job in the field.

"If I didn't have that two-month job, I wouldn't be with the company I am with today," DeSa said. "I have a lot of gratitude for (Coccimiglio) for introducing me and helping me get my foot in the door."

And, is this thing a beaut, or what?

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