Join us for S2:EP10 of the Legacy After the Locker Room Podcast as Mike Dempsey, a former NFL athlete sits down with our host, Kayla Bradham to share his story and show resilience.
Mike Dempsey was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York attending Midwood High School and graduating from the State University of New York at Albany where he played both football and baseball. An Arena Football League opportunity ended prematurely for Mike with the first of two ACL reconstructive surgeries and he later was forced to abandon his professional football hopes and dreams after a failed rehabilitation and comeback with Tampa Bay in the summer of 1995. After an aborted attempt with World Championship Wrestling’s Power Plant training facility ended prematurely later that year, Mike then embarked on a brand new career direction in banking and risk management with investment banking firm Salomon Brothers in Tampa the following year while completing an executive MBA in finance at Nova Southeastern University with a 3.97 GPA graduating summa cum laude. Salomon Smith Barney relocated Mike and his wife Amy back to New York a few years later.
While working for Credit Suisse First Boston in 5 World Trade Center, Mike was injured and hospitalized at NYU’s Beekman Hospital on September 11th, 2001 while trying to escape the second Tower when the second plane hit the Tower directly over him at 9:03 am. Shortly thereafter, Mike became immersed in philanthropy and advocating for September 11th families and survivors through the WTC United Family Group and the Coalition of 9/11 Families. Mike leveraged his sports connections through the NFL alumni chapter groups and the New York Yankees to fundraise for the WTC United Family Group aka The September 11th Education Trust through Wall Street charity days (e.g. Cantor Fitzgerald Charity Day, BTIG Charity Day, etc). Mike led peer support programs such as the September 11th / Oklahoma City Family Exchange, which unites the September 11th community with the members of the Oklahoma City bombing community and is held each year in April and September.
Mike relocated with Credit Suisse to Raleigh, NC with his wife Amy and two daughters Kellie and Jenna in 2005. Mike’s risk management career continued to flourish as he joined the Federal Reserve as a lead examiner and team leader of large and complex bank organizations in Charlotte in 2010. Later that year, Mike joined KPMG as a practice leader in enterprise risk and regulatory safety and soundness traveling internationally all over North & South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia while he continued his philanthropic efforts and causes for the September 11th Education Trust and Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund as well as the NFL Alumni Association, Gridiron Greats, Hank’s Yanks, Mission Be, Voices of September 11th, Strength to Strength, the Johnny Damon Foundation, Tim Tebow Foundation, YCS, Marty Lyons Foundation, Heart of a Legend, Pro Athletes in Recovery, etc.
On Father’s Day June 21st, 2015; Mike’s baseball dreams came true when he was invited by the Yankees to play in an Old Timers Day in Scranton, PA with a sold-out crowd of 10,500 and his family in attendance to raise money for Parkinson’s disease while honoring Yankees 1978 World Series hero Brian Doyle who is battling Parkinson’s. Mike got a two-RBI single off 4-time World Series champ Jeff Nelson in the second inning and played right-field and centerfield for 6 innings while leading his Yankees Gray team (captained by Mr. October Reggie Jackson and Gene ‘Stick’ Michael) to a 12-5 win over the Yankees Blue team captained by Charlie Hayes and Roy White.
Over the years, Mike has also championed many causes to help special needs children and adults like his daughter Kellie who’s on the autism spectrum. Through his podcast ‘Dads & Daughters show” and its 24 episodes over 2 seasons, Mike and his daughters Kellie and Jenna tackled tough issues such as bullying/teen suicide, gun safety/school mass shootings, addiction, and recovery, as well as highlighting the inspirational stories and accomplishments of individual ‘superheroes’ with Downs Syndrome, Tourettes, etc. Mike is active as a leader in UNC’s Autism Fathers conference network and speaks at events, conferences, and roundtables all over the country reflecting on his own personal stories of resiliency and living his best life to serve others. Mike has also been honored with awards and recognition from the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame, Mission Be / The Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance, The Risk Management Association Mid-South Chapter, etc. See the spectrum news interview with Mike and his daughter Kellie as they describe her ‘superpowers’ living on the autism spectrum by clicking the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngxxxRxzZdk
One of Mike’s upcoming charitable causes is for Gerry Cooney’s YCS Fight Night 2022 where Mike aka “Baby Jack” will fight in a 3 round exhibition match (with his trainer Irish Micky Ward, Iran Barkley, and Johnny Damon in his corner) against former WBF cruiserweight champion and 2-time Welsh boxing champ, Dean ‘The Welsh Warrior’ Williams (with Larry Holmes and Michael Spinks in his corner) on January 8th, 2022 with Gerry Cooney as the special guest referee. See https://www.ycs.org/index.php/gerry-cooney-fight-night/
HIGHLIGHTS OF MIKE’S PODCAST
- 00:00 Introduction
- 01:10 Mike Telling His Story
- 56:25 Donate to Special Olympics
- 58:00 Mike’s Podcast, “Dads & Daughters Show”
- 1:02:02 A-Game Drink
- 1:03:30 Parting Words
SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS AND WEBSITE
- Website: themikedempsey.com
- Facebook: Mike Dempsey
- Instagram: @dempsey2829
- LinkedIn: Mike Dempsey
- YouTube: Mike Dempsey