It’s been an exciting week at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. Our Founder and CEO Chris Krause was inducted into the Chicago Area Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Thursday night at the Chicago History Museum. Chris – most often referred to as “CK” – was honored alongside nine other businessmen and women from the Chicago area.
CK was honored for his innovation and intuition to take the very real need of college recruiting help and match it with a digital database to bring coaches and athletes together. We were able to sit down with him for a quick conversation to hear his thoughts on building NCSA to the network it is today.
NCSA Blog: Did you always want to go into sports and business?
CK: I always wanted to be in sports, but I dreamt of studying sports medicine and becoming a trainer, team doctor, or orthopedic surgeon. When I started narrowing down my academic interests, I realized I didn’t have a real passion for science and medicine, and that’s when I discovered the Peabody School at Vanderbilt and began taking courses in Human Development, which soon proved to be my calling.
NCSA Blog:Who were some of your biggest supporters or role models that helped get you where you are today?
CK: My Mom, Dad, and grandparents have always had my back and have been the most positive and encouraging people a kid could ask for. I’ve had some incredible coaches throughout my career in football that made the sport not only fun, but taught me so many life lessons along the way. One of my best friends, Doug Mele, is an incredible guy and businessman and has really mentored me in starting and growing NCSA.
NCSA Blog: What has been your favorite part of building NCSA?
CK: Watching thousands of student-athletes get an education through sport daily. Playing football in college changed my life, and it also paid my tuition. Having the ability to help student-athletes realize this same dream every single day at NCSA is one of the most fulfilling and humbling experiences anyone could ask for. And the camaraderie and culture of Athleadership around the office is just really fun to be a part of. People genuinely enjoy being here and enjoy working together with the same core values and same mission – it’s a special, special place.
NCSA Blog:If you could give a high school student-athlete one piece of advice, what would it be?
CK: Write down your goals and know where you want to be. Have a vision and set long and short term goals to get there. Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals as you go along, but always be working for something. SMART goals are how I plan so many aspects of life and work – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Recorded, Timed.
NCSA Blog: If you could give an aspiring entrepreneur one piece of advice, what would it be?
CK: If you believe in it, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you it can’t be done. Also, learn as much from others’ wins and losses as you can to shrink your own learning curve.
NCSA Blog: What’s next for NCSA?
CK: Career Match.* Once in the NCSA network and family, we’ll by your side for life. We’re now entering a time where so many of our former student-athletes are out looking for jobs and to fulfill their passions and we’re here to make that happen.
*[Ed. Note: Look for more on Career Match, our system to help athletes beyond college and into the professional world, coming soon.]