Lincoln and Lisa McIlravy
Last night I checked into the Comfort Suites in Coralville Iowa owned by Lincoln and Lisa McIlravy. And tonight we had dinner together at Outback. I have known Lincoln since he was a three-time NCAA wrestling champion from Iowa (after being a 5 time--you read that right, state champion). He subsequently placed twice at the world games and was a bronze medalist in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. After serving on the US Olympic wrestling coaching staff in Colorado Springs, Lincoln changed professions in a big time way. He moved his family back to Coralville, Iowa and secured the land and finances to build a Comfort Suites Hotel--an excellent property.
The reason I am writing about this is that Lincoln broke out of the wrestling world, reinvented himself and went into business. It was hard and grueling and the learning curve was steep but he did it! Having been around the wrestling community for many years I have observed that many athletes are unable to capitalize on the dedication that made them great on the mat to anything else. A coveted spot for ex-grapplers is often an assistant coach at some obscure campus in the rust belt. The top of the ladder is a head coaching job with a modest salary. A couple weeks ago Cael Sanderson--the only undefeated four-time NCAA champion and Olympic champion just accepted the head coaching job at Iowa State. This is a good job for Cael but how many Cael's are there? So I'm very proud of the way that Lincoln has leveraged his dedication to really build a sustainable business in a totally different field.