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"It's just about balancing."

When Blake Geoffrion’s NHL career was cut short by a skull fracture, he was glad he had earned his college degree.

In 2010, Geoffrion became Wisconsin’s first winner of the Hobey Baker Award, given to hockey’s most outstanding student-athlete. His team made it to the national championship finals that season.

For former University of Wisconsin-Madison ice hockey star Blake Geoffrion, hockey was life. His great-grandfather, grandfather and father all competed in the National Hockey League, and he and his brothers grew up playing the game. In college he, too, was drafted, but he stayed at Wisconsin to complete his bachelor’s degree. The decision paid off: After graduation Geoffrion became the NHL’s first fourth-generation player. However, his career was cut short by a skull fracture, and he retired at age 25. Today he works at Korn Ferry, placing top executives and coaches at professional sports franchises and colleges, and he is grateful he stuck around for his degree. “As a student-athlete, you think of sacrifice, passion, dedication, time management, adversity,” he said. “All things you face in life and in a job.” 


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Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.

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