Kareem McKenzie is considered by many to be one of the greatest free agent signings in New York Giants history.
Over a decade after hanging up his cleats, the 43-year-old is preparing for a new career as a licensed professional counselor as he is set to receive his Ph.D. in counseling and supervision from Kean University on May 16.
“From a mental standpoint, I’d say counseling is more difficult,” McKenzie told Kean’s website. “Football, it’s just a matter of doing the work and making sure you’re prepared on Sunday. With counseling, you can’t actually prepare for who walks through that door. Football is pretty simple, either you win or lose. As a counselor, every day you’re dealing with someone who’s in crisis.”
The former offensive tackle signed with the team prior to the 2005 season. He went on to spend the next seven seasons with the Giants where he started 105 regular season games and 11 postseason matchups at right tackle, including both of the team’s Super Bowl wins over the New England Patriots.
“It was a surreal experience to make it to that level of play,” the two-time Super Bowl champion said of his NFL career. “The first distinct recollection I have of the Super Bowl is the opening ceremony and kickoff. I remember watching Super Bowl kickoffs on TV as a kid; to see it in person on the sidelines was like a dreamscape. To realize you’re really on this world stage.”
After retiring following Super Bowl XLVI, McKenzie began studying for graduate school and eventually earned his master’s degree in counseling at William Paterson University in 2016.
Source: Kean University