Kenny Jenkins ’82 finds his niche after the glory of the gridiron
When Kenny Jenkins ’82 was an acclaimed running back at Bucknell, all he thought about was graduating on time and getting a good job.
“At no point [at Bucknell] did I think the NFL was in play, but then I got a chance to go to the Philadelphia Eagles’ training camp, and I thought, ‘Why not? At least I can always say I was there,’ ” says Jenkins, a member of Bucknell’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
Jenkins, still living in his hometown, Washington D.C., is a senior adviser at NFP, the fourth largest privately held insurance brokerage in the world. He relished his five years playing for the Eagles, Lions and Redskins but knew that the NFL stands for “Not for Long.”
“You learn quickly that you have to reinvent yourself and find another place to fit in,” he says. “What I didn’t realize was how many times I had to do it before I found a home at NFP.” In many ways his professional career mirrored his NFL experience as a multipurpose running back, receiver and special teams standout.
“I credit my Bucknell education with giving me the confidence to quickly learn new skills as the business landscape changed,” says the business administration major. “I’ve been a sports reporter, banker, software salesman and now a senior adviser of corporate services at NFP.
“My NFL career was full of extreme highs and lows, and that prepared me for the roller coaster of life,” he says. The recession almost destroyed my family. If it wasn’t for my most incredible wife, Amy, we would’ve been doomed. Like every great team, we battled together and came out victorious.”
In fact, that’s the only thing he misses about the NFL: “Preparing all week with teammates for a Sunday afternoon slugfest in front of 80,000 screaming fans was the ultimate rush. It’s the ultimate team game, and so is life after the game.”