He’s a Super Bowl Champion, a highly-sought public speaker, and a member of the Frog Fam. A native of Corpus Christi, Clint Gresham joined the TCU Football program after spending a year playing for Bob Stoops at Oklahoma - which just happened to be 2005, when the Frogs shocked the Sooners on their home field - a season that he refers to as “a really miserable experience”. Gresh matriculated to Funky Town in 2006, and was a key member of teams that went 31-8 from 2007-2009, winning two bowl games and putting together an undefeated regular season his senior year.
Gresham gives a lot of credit to his success, both on and off the field, to his time as a Horned Frog - the balance of being a student athlete (he was a business major), the opportunity to play for Gary Patterson, and being a member of the football program at that time when the expectations were truly just beginning to mount.
“I didn’t understand what hard word, determination, and consistency meant, and had I not had those seasons at TCU, and have the privilege to be sitting under one of the greatest football coaches in college football history, I don’t know if I would have an understanding of what the real world is like.”
While at TCU, Gresham didn’t focus on just football, but took advantage of the opportunity to get his education, enrolling in the Neeley School and earning a degree in business from the prestigious program. He doesn’t take that for granted, and believes it has a lot to do with his success once he left Fort Worth.
“I attribute a lot of where I am today, with so many of the lessons about hard work and stuff, to being in the Neeley School and obviously being with Coach Patterson. They’re called student athletes for a reason, because you’re a student first. And you have an obligation to the University to take care of your school work so that you can take care of your job on the field. Thankfully, the athletic department has such incredible resources there where they really help guys - you kind of have to try to fail because there is so much support around you to make sure that you’re going to be eligible and have an education from an incredible University. It’s only a few short years that you have to invest in yourself enough so that you can be valuable to whoever you’re going to try to get a job from.”
The only long snapper invited to the NFL Combine, Gresham expected to be drafted by the Houston Texans, because, as he put it, he “made himself too available” and was too eager to be drafted. Learning how much of a business football is, from college to the pros, was a big part of his post-graduate education.
“I had several teams that were interested in me, but the team I felt like I was supposed to go to was the New Orleans Saints. So I go to New Orleans, I have a horrible time there - it kind of reminded me of the year that I was at Oklahoma - I ended up getting cut, and 24 hours later, I get a call from Seattle. I stayed there for six years - I always tell people, had there been no New Orleans, there would have been no Seattle.”
And that’s what Clint is so good at... finding the positive in otherwise challenging situations. Maybe he doesn’t end up at TCU were it not for his OU experience. He might not have had the Seattle opportunity - and the two Super Bowls he played in there - were it not for the Saints. And while getting cut shortly after winning a Super Bowl and signing a lucrative deal wasn’t the way he wanted his career to end, it’s opened so many doors for him now. Including, Becoming.
“After a while, the intensity of the game wore me down. But it forced me to really have to lean in to the community that I had around me, to lean in to my faith, the mentors that I had in my life; I had some really key people that held my arms for me when I was struggling. I learned some really valuable lessons about all kinds of stuff. It was insanely intense, the challenge at the time, but it also forged something in me that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. I think that all of us are going through some type of storm in our lives, all of us have challenges. If we can keep that perspective that it is through our challenges that we grow and get things we wouldn’t otherwise have, it can make getting through those challenges a little bit more palatable.”
And that’s what Becoming is all about. From Amazon:
For most of his life, Clint Gresham, like many if not most of us, experienced the world through the lens of outcomes: Academics. Behavior. Sports victories. Career. Relationships. Material success. The underlying message? When the outcomes are good, you are good. When the outcomes are bad, you are bad.
Becoming unfolds a gripping and inspirational reality check, reminding us all that the point of life is not the destination, but the journey. Each of us is in the process of becoming who God designed us to be. While the journey can be painful, it is also necessary―a process that must be fully embraced if we are to experience wholeness of soul. By ﬁxing your heart on God’s process, the outcomes take care of themselves.
Step back. Breathe. Stay in the moment. And take the long-term approach. Your ups and downs are a beautiful story God is telling through you. We are all Becoming . . . something incredible.
And while he is doing what he loves, it wasn’t easy.
“The writing and speaking were always something that was in my heart. I always intended to write a book and to speak, but in a way, the Seahawks releasing me gave me the bandwith emotionally to pursue this stuff and open up my heart to people and share with people my life and my story. More than anything, if no one reads the book, it was a gift to me to be able to process the death of my own identity that I had in football. The book is my own story of journeying through that and equipping people to protect themselves against the false fathers we look to for identity and comfort.”
Clint will be at TCU on Saturday, October 7th, signing copies of his book at the TCU Bookstore the morning of the TCU vs West Virginia game. He comes back to campus a very changed man.
“It is emotional, I feel like I have grown a ton since my time at TCU. I’m excited, I think people are going to like the book and like the content - it’s very vulnerable and close to my heart.”
Listen to the full interview, including his thoughts on the Clemson and Utah games his senior year, getting ‘jammed’ by the BCS, the courage it took to write this book, and what he hopes people will take away from it.
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You can buy “Becoming: Loving the Process to Wholeness” on Amazon. And be sure to join Clint Gresham Saturday, October 7th at the TCU Bookstore to have your copy signed!