NFL Agent Inspires Professional Athletes To Make A Difference
THE DOTTED LINE
Eugene grew up in a Korean-American family in Canton, OH. He attended Catholic school until 8th grade and then went to public high school. Eugene thought his GPA, extracurricular activities, SAT score and leadership roles in high school would guarantee acceptance in one of his choice universities: Harvard, Yale or Princeton. “I was humbled when I didn't get into any of those schools,” he says. Eugene's dad, on a whim, called the Director of Admissions at Notre Dame and inquired about a late application for admission. A few days later, they got word that Eugene had been accepted. As he started his freshman year in 1995, Eugene felt like he hadn't achieved what he set out to do. “There was a sense of a letdown,” he says. One night a few weeks later, Eugene felt the Lord tell him that he was where he needed to be. “I felt a sense of peace wash over me, and I knew Notre Dame was where I was meant to be. This was one of the earliest episodes of seeing the Lord work in my life.”
While playing pickup basketball, Eugene became friends with some of the football players who asked Eugene to represent them when they started their professional careers in the NFL. He graduated with a degree in Accountancy then decided to continue his education in ND’s law school. During his 3rd year, Eugene applied for his NFLPA (NFL Player Association) certification. Eugene accepted a job offer to practice law at a NYC firm upon graduation and practiced law for 2 top firms in New York. For 4 years, he lived an extreme, workaholic lifestyle but knew he was refining his skills in contract review and negotiation on behalf of his NFL clients. Eugene specialized in the practice areas of intellectural property, licensing, branding, outsourcing and information technology. Then he took the leap as a sports agent. “My legal skill set flowed hand in hand with the work I was doing for these NFL players and allowed me to excel,” says Eugene. “It was a perfect storm for a path for me to walk on.”
Eugene served as president of his first NFL player representation agency and worked to cultivate relationships with general managers, personnel directors and scouts for all 32 NFL teams. Eugene gained a reputation for having integrity, tenacity and expertise in his dealings with the NFL. He was the first NFL agent to negotiate 53-man roster salary for a client on practice squad. As a result of this groundbreaking negotiation, the NFLPA revised its bylaws and opened the door for other players to collect greater compensation while under contract to NFL teams.
MY BROTHER’S KEEPER
Eugene loves what he does. He works with young people to help them achieve a lifelong dream, provide for their families, make a difference in their communities and use their platform as a professional football player to enrich and uplift the lives of many people. “This is what I was born to do,” says Eugene. “To make a positive impact in the lives of these young men.” The best part is shining God’s light in the dark. “Life in the NFL is a tough business,” he says. “It’s my job to protect these men in their professional careers, inspire and advise them with integrity and faith to use their platform to make a difference, to witness to them and watch their backs at all times. To be my brother’s keeper.”
As a managing member for MBK, Eugene oversees a team consisting of 4 NFLPA certified contract advisors, a player development consultant (and former NFL manager) and 4 full-time employees. He’s trained his team in all aspects of NFL player representation including scouting and player evaluation, networking with NFL personnel, recruitment of prospective clients and contract negotiation. Eugene and his team have negotiated NFL player contracts totaling over $1 billion.