LEXINGTON, Ky. — National Football League players are more than just clients for UK alumnus Ed Berry. He works as an NFL agent and sees them as an extension of his own family.
“I don’t view it as my job,” said Berry, a native of Eminence, Ky. “It’s my life. I wake up thinking about these guys. I want the best for them. I want the best for their families. I want the best for their future, and I’m trying to help these guys make decisions that forever impact generation after generation for their life.”
We recently chatted with Berry about what makes his job so interesting and how college set the stage for his career.
UK: What is your current job?
Ed Berry: So, right after college I started working with guys that I had played with or played with at Kentucky for football. Now, I’m an NFL agent. And my passion and kind of what drove me to get into the industry is my faith. And so, for me, it’s all about helping the guys that I work with be better men, be better husbands, be better brothers, be better fathers, be better Christians. So, I’m super passionate about helping the guys that I work with just be better men.
UK: What’s the best part of your job?
Berry: I think the best part of my job is the relationships that I’m able to form. The guys that I work with, the Randall Cobbs of the world, the Avery Williamsons, they’re family to me.
UK: Did you ever picture yourself having such a cool job?
Berry: It absolutely is such a blessing. And when you sit back and think, “I have to go to the Super Bowl for work, right? I have to go to Disney World for the Pro Bowl in Orlando. I have to go to the National Championship.” It’s work.
My wife reminds me, often, of, oh, these things that you “have” to do. So yes, it is totally mind-blowing to think that a kid from Eminence, Kentucky, is now rubbing shoulders and working with some of the greatest athletes on the planet.
UK: How do you think your UK degrees have helped you in your career?
Berry: I think it was foundational, because the company that I work for in the industry — we get thousands and thousands of applications yearly to get a spot, to get the job, to get to the position to be able to work with these top athletes. And it’s Ivy League schools, it’s the Harvard’s, it’s the Dartmouth, it’s the Stanford, it’s the Yale. And I’m from Kentucky, and to me, I’m just as qualified as each and every one of them, simply because of what we did at the University of Kentucky.
UK: What were your classes like?
Berry: The teachers, and the faculty, and the staff at the University of Kentucky, unbelievable. I think back to Gordon Holbein in the Business School of Gatton, to so many teachers that impacted me and influenced my life, and honestly, decisions that I made that have impacted my future.
UK: How proud are you to be a University of Kentucky graduate?
Berry: If you can’t already tell, I am super proud to be a graduate of the University of Kentucky. I’m wearing it on my chest. I would wave a flag in New York City if I could. I have an accent, and I wear it as a badge of honor up in New York City. That’s where I live. That’s where I work. And so, every day, as soon as I open my mouth, people know that I’m not from New York. And I proudly tell them, I’m from Kentucky. I went to the University Kentucky, and I’m a Wildcat.
UK: What advice do you have for today’s students?
Berry: Get the most out of this experience. It’s such an unbelievable four years of your life, and my advice would be, do everything, try everything. Join a club, join a fraternity, do club volleyball, get into all these activities and sports. The University of Kentucky has so much to offer.