Four seasons as a linebacker at the University of Iowa provided A.J. Edds an athlete’s view of the Big Ten Conference.
Now he’s seeing the league from an administrative standpoint.
A former three-sport standout at Greenwood, Edds, 30, started his new job Monday as the Big Ten’s assistant director of sports administration.
Edds works at the league’s offices in Rosemont, Illinois, and reports to Big Ten associate commissioner Wendy Fallen.
“I’m very excited. This is about as perfect of an opportunity as I could have,” said Edds, who had moved to downtown Chicago in September 2016 to take a job as a regional manager at Rocksolid, a manufacturer of non-tackle football equipment.
“I started this week, and understandably a lot of information is coming at me at once. We all wear a number of different hats here.”
Among Edds’ responsibilities is serving as the liaison between the league and its 14 member schools in three Olympic sports: field hockey, women’s swimming and diving and men’s golf.
Edds graduated from Iowa in 2010 with a degree in management and organizations. He was named Academic All-Big Ten three times and was one of the Hawkeyes’ captains as a senior in 2009.
In June, he began pursuing a master’s degree in sports administration from Northwestern University.
From 2010-15, Edds played for five different NFL franchises, including the Indianapolis Colts, before injuries hastened his decision to retire.
Edds, who took part in more mainstream sports at Greenwood (football, basketball and track), is enjoying learning as much as he can about the sports now assigned to him, whether it’s rules or terminology.
His organizational skills and attention to detail helped him flourish athletically and academically, and they should help him adjust to his new job quickly.
“I feel my strongest points are being in front of people and connecting people,” Edds said. “In conjunction with being detail-oriented, it’s knowing no task is too small or too meaningless.”