Laurier Grads Soar is a multi-part series that has returned for the 2017-18 year. The segment features former Wilfrid Laurier University athletes and student-leaders in the Athletics and Recreation Department, and the success they have enjoyed since leaving Laurier. Written by award-winning journalist David Grossman, different features will be released throughout the year that will emphasize the role Athletics and Recreation played in helping them achieve success.
Andrew Agro- Director of Corporate Sponsorship and Business Development with the New York Jets of the National Football League
Andrew Agro thrives on building relationships and living a happier life.
There’s authenticity to both his interest and knowledge in administration, and he’s created trust and earned respect in performing a valuable service throughout the community.
So, it makes perfect sense for the graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University to get involved in something that has a link to his achievements – football.
“As a kid, I always dreamed of playing pro football – but I was small in size and assumed the physical limitations would set me back,” he said. “I knew there would be something else that would come along.”
Indeed, it did.
Having made quite an impression on people throughout his high school and university education, Agro continues to do so in other areas. One of them is in the sports industry – something that is always in the public spotlight.
Raised in Burlington, part of the densely populated Golden Horseshoe region west of Toronto, Agro is Director of Corporate Sponsorship and Business Development with the New York Jets of the National Football League.
Not an easy task, but Agro, with no vagueness or obscurity in what he does, knows his stuff. He has been with the pro team, in the world’s iconic major commercial, financial and cultural centre, for the past 10 years.
“I never thought I’d be where I am today,” said Agro. “It’s fabulous – but it’s also something you work hard to get to and not sit back and wait for a job like this to be handed to you.”
After a brilliant football career with Laurier, which included a Vanier Cup National title, two Yates Cup Provincial championships, league all-star selection and some memorable touchdowns as a wide receiver, Agro took his great memories, and bid adios to a school that had been his home for four years.
“Those were some great years of my life,” said Agro, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Kinesiology) degree before adding to his education with more initials after his name courtesy of a Masters degree in both Business Administration and Sports Administration from Ohio University.
After Laurier, Agro didn’t entirely give up on playing football. In 2006, his sound athleticism and appetite for the gridiron game took him to Italy for a season in a semi-pro league.
Agro has come a long way since his days at St. Gabriel’s elementary school, then on to being one of the prize student athletes at Notre Dame Secondary, a place where his gridiron days started to flourish.
“Choosing Laurier was something special, everything the school pitched, when I first got there, turned out to be right,” said Agro, the recipient of Laurier’s prestigious Luke Fusco award given for combined academic and athletic excellence.
“At Laurier, you felt this family atmosphere. For me, it was also a family thing since my father and brother also went there. I remember going there for the first time – Laurier is where I grew up, got a sound education achieved success in sports and am grateful for a storybook career.”
Some say it was grad school that opened doors for Agro – especially getting an internship with the New York Jets. But Agro, said it all initiated at Laurier with acquaintances linking him to the President of the pro team.
“You have to make an impression on people and continue to grow in the sports industry,” he said. “One thing I will always remember is that people, all over, took time for me. Now, it’s important that I spend time to help and give back.”
David Grossman is a veteran award-winning Journalist and Broadcaster with some of Canada’s major media, including the Toronto Star and SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN, and a Public Relations professional for 40+ years in Canadian sports and Government relations.