NFL Alumnus John Wade Is Busy Carrying On The Family Business
ll of us make certain decisions in life and others are made for us.
NFL alumnus John Wade (above right), a Virginia native, always planned to return to his hometown of Harrisonburg after his football days were behind him.
Wade, a 12-year NFL offensive lineman, did return nearly a decade ago and then tragedy struck. His father, Bob, died unexpectedly in 2011 less than a year after his son’s arrival.
The younger Wade decided to carry on his father’s legacy as owner/operator at Bob Wade Autoworld, which has been a fixture in Harrisonburg for four decades. His mother Kathy also is a regular in the car dealership that now has 50 employees.
Wade attended and played his college ball at Marshall University which is 300 miles west of Harrisonburg. It was one of those decisions that was made for him.
“That was an easy one,” says Wade, who was a college teammate of future Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss. “Marshall was my only big-time scholarship offer. We were Division 1-AA national champions in 1996. A lot of NFL teams most definitely came to see Randy. I started my last two seasons at Marshall but probably got more looks from pro scouts than I should have because of the attention on Randy.”
The Jaguars drafted Wade on the fifth round in 1998 and he played there for five seasons. He moved southwest to Tampa Bay in 2003 for five more years and then finished his career in 2009 when he was injured in his second season on the Raiders.
Wade now is putting his Marshall business-management degree to good use in the family auto agency. The job requires long hours, especially during these COVID-19 pandemic days when car sales around the country are slow.
However, Wade like many of you NFL alumni has the right attitude for his second career. “The NFL was a bonus,” he says with a smile.
We at NFL Alumni wish John Wade and his family only fast-moving inventory sales and many satisfied customers in the years ahead.