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  Mooney GOAT Kyle McCarthy ‘Stays In The Game’ As Top-Rated Sports Agent  
  March 24, 2022 Edition  
     BY GREG GULAS
      bnews@zoominternet.net
      As a former Cardinal Mooney High, Notre Dame and pro football standout, Kyle McCarthy fully understands competition.
      In his position as director of football for Athlete’s First, the premier football sports agency in the world, he’s just as competitive to ensure that his current and growing client list receives their best deal possible.
      Negotiations are just a part of the equation when he is representing a player or coach.
      “For those that I represent, I am helping them navigate the waters, either with the draft process, free agency or deciding what is the next best move for their future. It keeps me in the game,” he told the Curbstone Coaches during Monday’s meeting at Avion Banquet Center.
      McCarthy is a former Cardinal Mooney High state championship quarterback---he led the Cardinals to the Division IV state title in 2004--and baseball star, who went on to college and served as captain of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team his senior year He played in the NFL for the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders, and fought cancer to become one of the top football agents in the nation.
      He has had to scratch and scrape for everything that he’s ever earned.
      “I played for Coach [P.J.] Fecko and it was his first season after taking over for Coach [Don] Bucci. We didn’t have much success that first year but went on to win the state championship my senior year so it was great to be a part of the growth process,” McCarthy said, adding “I didn’t know it back then but going through the college recruiting process helped prepare me for my vocation today as a sports agent.”
      Social media wasn’t in full force back then like it is today so to get noticed, McCarthy purchased two VHS systems, made a highlight tape then sent out nearly 150 copies of that tape to college coaches around the country, hoping one might notice his play.
      “I went into my senior year without a scholarship offer and after we won the state championship, a few Mid-American Conference schools came calling but actually thought I might end up at an Ivy League school or the Naval Academy,” added McCarthy, who was inducted into the Cardinal Mooney Athletics Hall of Fame this past weekend. “That all changed when Jim Tressel, who had taken over at Ohio State University a few years earlier, called to offer me a scholarship.
      “I visited Ohio State with Ted Ginn, had a great experience and that is when everything took off. Northwestern, Boston College and Notre Dame then offered me, it came down to Ohio State, Notre Dame and the Naval Academy and being Irish-Catholic from the Midwest, I visited Notre Dame and everything after that went full speed ahead.”
      McCarthy couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity that former Fighting Irish head coach Charlie Weis provided.
      “I red-shirted because of a shoulder injury my freshman year, played special teams as a sophomore, started at safety as a junior then as a senior, served as team captain as well,” McCarthy stated. “I always respected coach Weis for giving me the chance to play at tradition-rich Notre Dame. As a coach, he was a consistent guy every single day and players respect that in a coach.”
      Upon graduation, McCarthy went undrafted and became a priority free agent for multiple NFL teams, choosing the Denver Broncos where he made the team as a rookie before blowing out his knee in Week 16 of the 2010 season.
      After rehabbing and spending another season in 2011 with the Broncos when they won the AFC West Division title, then spending time with the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders over the next couple seasons, he ended his professional football dream and returned to Notre Dame as a graduate assistant coach under former Fighting Irish head mentor Brian Kelly.
      In 2014, a stomach pain that he thought was a sports hernia became so severe that he had to see a specialist.
      A cancer diagnosis would eventually alter his career path.
      “That diagnosis certainly wasn’t what I expected but I dealt with it,” McCarthy noted. “Coach Kelly was always so supportive, I never missed practice and the energy with a college football program helped get me through those days. It also gave me a different perspective of my future.
      “I stayed close with my former agent, Brian Murphy, we talked about a lot of things during that time and because of my football background he offered me a job, on the spot, to work with Athlete’s First. I took a few weeks to think about it, talked it over with my wife, Kelsey, then took a leap of faith.
      “Seven years after moving from South Bend to Laguna Beach, California, things have been going great. I love working with elite players and coaches in the NFL and college, I love the advisory part of my job and I’m still close to the game that I love.”
      Next Monday, area high school winter state champions will be honored by the Curbstone Coaches organization.
 
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