Daron's Journey

Today, Daron is a best-selling author, KEYNOTE SPEAKER and angel investor.

His children’s book on empathy was selected to Oprah’s Favorite Things List. He’s an award-winning faculty member at The University of Texas. He’s the #1 Top Voice in Sports on LinkedIn. He’s launched two successful startups. But all of these accolades are the byproducts of doing hand-to-hand combat with rejection.

After being elected as Student Body President at the largest university in America (The University of Texas), Daron applied to Harvard Law School.

He was wait-listed.

He reapplied. Wait-listed again.

Finally after four rejections, Daron was admitted to the oldest law school in the United States. Life seemed to be back on-track.

But after volunteering at a summer football camp, he decided to become a football coach.

He wrote a letter to every NFL team.

31 teams rejected him.

One team said, “Yes.” The Kansas City Chiefs.

That gamble led to four coaching stints with three NFL clubs and one college team.

Daron’s non-linear journey provides a blueprint for his transformational leadership work with companies and executives across the globe.

The official bio

Daron K. Roberts is a former NFL coach and author of, Call an Audible and A Kids Book About Empathy. Call an Audible was named a #1 New Release and Best Seller by Amazon. Sports Illustrated selected the book as one of its “Best Sports Business Books of 2017.” A Kids Book About Empathy was featured to Oprah’s Favorite Things list.

Roberts served as founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation (CSLi) at the University of Texas. He created CSLi in the fall of 2014. The Center was the first university-based institute dedicated to developing leadership and character curricula for high school, collegiate and professional athletes.

Daron has moderated discussions with Mia Hamm, Lance Armstrong, Shaun White, Aly Raisman, Kevin Durant and Brené Brown. Roberts is also a lecturer in the Liberal Arts Honors Program and his research focuses on issues of resilience, rejection, failure management and leadership.

After graduating from Harvard Law School (2007), Roberts served coaching stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, West Virginia Mountaineers and Cleveland Browns. He holds a B.A. in Plan II Honors and Government from the University of Texas (2001) and an M.P.P. from Harvard’s Kennedy School (2004). In 2010, he launched a nonprofit football camp – 4th and 1, Inc. 4th and 1 has provided free SAT prep, life skills development and football training to over 500 at-risk youth in Michigan, Texas and Florida.

The Presidential Leadership Foundation – a joint venture between Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush – tabbed Roberts as a Presidential Leadership Scholar in the inaugural class.

Roberts has been featured in ESPN the Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek and Sports Illustrated and is a contributor to Forbes.com. His op-eds have appeared in Fortune, CNN and Time. Roberts serves on the SXSW Sports Advisory Commission and Coca-Cola Foundation Board.

He and his wife have five children and reside in Austin, TX.


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