5 Pro Athletes With Accounting Degrees

Professional athletes in general are not noted for their excellence at managing money. Many athletes earn millions of dollars over their professional careers, and yet still end up broke within a few years of retirement. The following professional athletes might not have that problem–they all earned degrees in accounting.

Craig Counsell, Baseball, Milwaukee Brewers
Craig Counsell retired from the Milwaukee Brewers after the 2012 season, wrapping up a fifteen year career in major league baseball. Counsell attended the University of Notre Dame where he played baseball all four years, in addition to earning a degree in accounting. Over his career he played all infield positions except pitcher and catcher, and was moved to the outfield during his last season. In addition to playing for the Brewers, Counsell spent time with the Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Bart Oates, Football, San Francisco 49ers
Bart Oates played football at Brigham Young University and graduated with a degree in accounting in 1983. In addition to an accounting degree, Oates earned a law degree from Seton Hall University in 1990. He played center for the New York Giants from 1985 to 1993. He played his final two seasons, 1994 and 1995, with the San Francisco 49ers. Since his retirement from professional sports in 1995, he has pursued a career in law and has recently spoken out to promote awareness of the long-term effects of concussions on current and past football players.

Chuck Liddell, Mixed Martial Arts, UFC
Known to loyal fight fans as the “The Iceman,” Chuck Liddell received a degree in accounting from California Polytechnic State University in 1995. During his career in the UFC, Liddell amassed a record of 21 wins, 8 losses, and 0 draws. Since his retirement from fighting in 2010, Liddell has maintained a connection to his sport while finally having the chance to put his university degree to work—as an executive vice president for the UFC.

Stacy Lewis, Golf, LPGA
Stacy Lewis graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2008 with a degree in Finance and Accounting. Lewis began playing golf at age eight and overcame severe scoliosis in her teens. She played as an amateur golfer throughout college and turned professional in 2008. In 2012 she played 25 events, netting 15 top-10 finishes. She was named 2012 Player of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America.

Ray Wersching, Football, San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers seem to attract accountants to their ranks. Ray Wersching is another former 49er who also holds a degree in accounting. Wersching played football for the University of California-Berkeley and began his career in professional football as a placekicker with the San Diego Chargers in 1973. He joined the San Francisco 49ers in 1977. He is one of only a handful of players to score over 1000 career points. Since retiring from professional football, Wersching has worked as a CPA in California. He was accused in 2009 of embezzling millions from a former business venture. He took a plea bargain to a lesser charge and received probation.

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Having worked years in accounting, Nora Phillips has used her experience to pen helpful articles on the topic of accounting and money management and also contributed to The Accounting Degree Review, a resource for people looking to further their education for a career in accounting.

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