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About Greg Bell and AFL

Retired NFL PRO BOWL PLAYER / AUTHOR

HUMANITARIAN / PRESIDENT OF ATHLETES FOR LIFE

Greg Bell is a former nine-year veteran of the National Football League, playing for the

Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Raiders. A 1984 first-round draft pick

for the Bills (#26 pick), he rushed for 1,100 yards and received his first visit to the NFL

Pro Bowl. His 1,000+ season marked the 11-time in NFL history that a rookie had rushed

for more than 1,000 yards in his first season. In 1984, Greg was a UPI Co-Rookie of the

Year, Seagram's Rookie of the Year, and selected Rookie of the Year by the Columbus

(OH) Touchdown Club.

 

After his playing career, present NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hired Greg to serve

as VP of Player Personnel for the World League of American Football (later named NFL Europe). During his tenure, Greg was the chief executive who landed and signed future NFL players Brad Johnson and Paul Justin and improved the overall success of the WLAF. He saw Fox World air the first-ever World Bowl from Frankfurt, Germany, to the United States. Greg was the first-ever uniform and enforcement director during his tenure with the NFL.

 

After leaving Europe and the NFL front office, Greg served as Fox Sports Network Football Analyst for two seasons. Here, he broadcasted the National Game of the Week (Big 12), working from the sideline and from the booth. During this broadcasting career, he served as the color analyst for Westwood One Radio and called NFL games on Sunday.

 

Today, Greg is the Athletes for Life Foundation (AFL) president. Through AFL, he oversees and hosts some of the largest camps of its kind, The Athletes for Life Summer Life Skills Camp. His daily responsibility is getting the faculties ready daily and handling the overall running scheme for the camp while giving individual techniques and mentoring to all participants. Athletes for Life also maintains a strong presence in the San Bernardino County Schools, serving as a county and state-approved after-school provider for the 21st Century and ASES Grants. Athletes for Life also maintains a special needs program based on the “PLAY 60.” Here, choosing good foods and getting active for at least 60 minutes daily will lead to a healthier and more productive life.

 

Greg has maintained a successful consulting and management business outside the foundation. In 1999, he worked for Wachovia Securities, earning his license as a series 6 and 66 financial advisor, insurance, and real estate license. Today, he maintains his own private consultant firm, Bell Management Services.

 

Greg graduated from the University of Notre Dame, where he completed his college education in Business Economics. While there, he competed in both football and track and was a 4-year letter winner in both sports. Greg completed his education at ND in 3 ½ years while being a standout sports performer, which speaks to the volume of his commitment to education and his passion for sports.

History on AFL

 

ATHLETES FOR LIFE has a more than 35-year history of success. Whether talking about our speaker's programs, after-school educational services, workforce development, or our 25-year life skills camps. All efforts and programs have been developed by the “Athletes for Life Foundation (AFL),” a not-for-profit 501 C 3 organization founded in 1989.

 

AFL’s mission has always been to help in the fight against drug abuse and drunk driving that was growing in inner cities in the 1980s. However, as societal imperatives changed, AFL’s mission expanded into additional areas of youth education. In 2006, we embarked on educational services, serving as the after-school providers for the Rialto Unified School District. Then expanding and providing the same services to the San Bernardino City USD and Moreno Valley USD. In 2002, AFL created the “AFL Summer Life Skills Camp” in California and Ohio. Here, our goal was to provide youth mentoring, preparation, and sports educational programs to help middle and high school athletes prepare for the future.

 

The “Summer Life Skills Camp” was created in California as part of AFL's youth mentoring and educational program to serve schools in Southern California. To further AFL’s mission, the campus's active and former NFL players, including numerous NFL Hall of Fame players such as Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, and Andre Reed, provide young men and women football and life skills training. The camp has been facilitated at California State University San Bernardino since 2006 and has expanded to other cities around the country. Our St. Paul's camp is hosted by Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison, who himself was a camp participant for seven years as a student while growing up in San Bernardino, CA. Vikings teammates and other current and past NFL and college players will join Alexander. AFL pays for the use of each college or high facilities. Additionally, and quite significantly, through fundraising, the camp will be free of charge to all students.

 

Camp Impact

 

The camp has a record of making positive contributions to its community in San Bernardino-Riverside, California, and after our stops in Boise and St. Paul's the past two summers, the same can be said there. The mission is to facilitate the camp in areas around the country where our alumni are now playing in the NFL and want to serve the communities where they play. The camp’s record of success is demonstrated in part by the fact that its St. Paul host, Alexander Mattison, is a camp alum, a seven (7) year participant of the California camp, starting in his childhood and continuing

through the time he was growing up in San Bernardino.

 

Over the past 23 years, the camp’s student participants have heard from ten (10) NFL Hall of

Famers and countless former NCAA coaches. More than thirty (30) former NFL players have

provided coaching, training, and life direction. The camp’s student participants go on to college

and have a 90% college graduation rate. Since the camp’s inception, more than twenty (20) of its

student participants have played in the NFL after receiving their first football training and

college application exposure from the camp.

 

Currently, four (4) of the camp alums are playing in the NFL, including Alexander Mattison (7 years participant), Kenny Clark (5 years), Nate Meadors (6 years), and Alex Mack (2 years). The current 2023 Heisman Trophy winner, Louisiana State University QB Jayden Daniels, is a 3-year veteran of our camps. These camps have played a significant role in both the professional and personal development of its student participants, including those who have never played professional football.

 

Beyond Football - Mental Health and Law Justice and Community Programs

 

AFL emphasizes that the camp is far more than just a football or sports camp; it is a multi-faceted educational and life skills camp with football as its drawing foundation. The Camp includes life skills and other educational sessions. The fundamental sessions include College Admissions 101 and NCAA Clearinghouse information sessions. The camp also includes special sessions on mental health facilitated by licensed mental health professionals. These sessions address issues such as depression and stress as they impact people of school age and allow students to voice their thoughts and provide input on these prevalent and impactful issues. Additionally, a Law, Justice, and Community program will be a part of the Camp, where students are brought together with local law enforcement community members. All school districts enthusiastically support and endorse both programs. This Law and Justice program is intended to advance student learning and afford an exchange of perspectives in a non-contentious academic environment under the auspices of law professors. Students, police officers, and the community should benefit from this discussion. Ultimately, the objective is to create an environment for civil discourse to advance mutual understanding in the community while students engage in a learning experience.

Support Athletes for Life Foundation

 

Please remember that your donation is tax-deductible and makes a difference in the lives of the youth we serve.

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