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NFL Alum Rob McGoverns Remarkable Career Not Over Yet

When four older siblings have attended a certain college ahead of you, there is a good chance that is where you are headed as well. That is not unusual.

However, what 57-year old NFL alum Rob McGovern has accomplished since he followed his family to Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts is extraordinary.

McGovern currently serves as the Chief of the Intelligence Law Section for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Arlington, VA. He originally joined the DEA in 2015 where he later served as Division Counsel for the Special Operations Division inside those same Virginia headquarters. He has been a private litigator, assistant district attorney, and a 20-year U.S. Army prosecutor both in the States as well as in Iraq and Afghanistan during his outstanding legal career.

“If there was one day that changed the trajectory of my life, it was 9/11,” says McGovern. “I went on active duty in the military within six months after that tragic day and to be able to serve post-9/11 was very important to me. I spent a total of 14 months in Iraq and Afghanistan advising military commanders on the rules of engagement and the laws of armed conflict and also prosecuting terrorists and foreign fighters in the Central Criminal Court of Iraq and putting them in Iraqi prisons. It was very meaningful.”

Let’s take a step back to Holy Cross. He was a standout linebacker for the college in the late 1980s. He earned first team All-America honors as a senior and the Chiefs selected him on the 10th round of the 1989 Draft. He played two seasons in Kansas City mostly on special teams and then a season apiece with the Steelers and Patriots.  As the late Chuck Noll would say, McGovern then decided to “get on with his life’s work.”

“I can’t say I thought I would make it in the NFL while I was in college,” McGovern recalls, “so I was always looking to see what career I would get into after graduation. Being a lawyer really appealed to me so I enrolled in Fordham University School of Law after my playing days. One of many things I learned from football was always to attempt something that on the surface appears out of reach. I have applied that idea throughout my career. You must have the confidence that you can achieve, and you do that by giving it all you got. The courtroom is like football. The two sides line up to oppose one another and one side wins and the other does not.”

McGovern’s military career has taken him from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to Guantanamo Bay to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He is a big supporter of the military way.

“When I first volunteered, I never dreamed I would be in the military for two decades,” McGovern says. “It’s been a very rewarding career. I admired the military when I was younger and I would recommend it to anyone to experience regardless how long they stay in.”

We at NFL Alumni very much admire our brother Rob McGovern and thank him for his military service. He is an outstanding example of a person who is able to reap the benefits of giving one hundred percent to every challenge he faces. Even Boston College guys should admire that trait in him!