Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

All It Took for Ex-Jaguar Don Davey Was a Little Taste of Sprint Triathlons

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

All It Took for Ex-Jaguar Don Davey Was a Little Taste of Sprint Triathlons

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Longenecker

"I rarely touched a football in my career." Don Davey retired to Neptune Beach after nine years as a defensive tackle for the Green Bay Packers and then for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"To me, football was about ramming heads with 300-pound men and sacking quarterbacks," Davey recently said of his place in the National Football League. He came to Jacksonville when he was signed as a free agent in 1995. Packers assistant coach Dick Jauron had been hired by Tom Coughlin and he suggested that Don come along.

Don was a third-round draft choice of the Packers and started the same year as Brett Favre, whose helmet sits in Don's Neptune Beach office. Don was ready for something else. He said NFL careers average only about 3.2 years. He said that, on the average, if one makes it to the third year, he goes to seven. He played for nine years.

"I had a very nasty knee injury. After surgery, the doctors told me I could continue to play a few more seasons. I was cleared to play, but doing so would have caused further damage to my knee. I always wanted to remain active after the NFL, so tough as it was, I hung it up, " Davey said of his decision to retire. He had played football for 25 years, from age 5 to 30.

Davey had earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His four NCAA Academic All-American medals sit in his office.

Davey started to manage his own money when he was playing after a bad experience with a major company. Help came from his engineering background, enhanced by skills gained with statistics and quantitative analysis. It all came together as he managed his stock and bond portfolio for about eight years, before he began to help other players.

"In the locker room, guys talk about everything, money included. I shared my approach with some of the guys. Several of them said, 'That's better than what I'm getting with my broker. Would you do this for me?' " he said.

His business became Disciplined Equity Management and is now an international company that does institutional money management. About 20 percent of his clients are from the NFL. The business is quietly based over Shelby's Coffee Shoppe.

Don had become interested in triathlons while still playing football, thanks to Jaguars trainer Mike Ryan. Mike would tell stories and show pictures of his offseason travels to compete in places like New Zealand.

While rehabilitating his knee, Don told Mike he wanted to do one within five years of retiring. Ryan laughed and joked he was too fat. Don's playing weight was 280 pounds. Now he's a lean 225. He entered sprint triathlons and was hooked.

"When I started, I felt like a fish out of water. I'm still usually the biggest guy in the races. It's a cool way to travel, an awesome sightseeing opportunity while on the bike. …

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