If there’s one word that could describe Sean Stellato, it would be grit.
Stellato is a former professional football player, and now works in the National Football League as an agent. He has clients all over the NFL, including running backs Shaun Draughn and Alfred Morris, and New England Patriots Nate Ebner and Punter Ryan Allen. On top of his sports deals, he’s negotiated with Dicks Sporting Good, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, NBC Sports, and more.
On top of all of this, he’s written a book. The book is called “No Backing Down,” which chronicles the inspirational story of the 1994 Salem High School football team. During this season, there was a teacher strike in Salem. Legendary coach Ken Perrone continued to coach the kids through the strike, leading to his termination, despite his 37-year tenure at the school. During that season, Stellato earned the QB position against all odds.The team went undefeated that season before losing in the regional Super Bowl.
Stellato says his size was always a battle, but his perseverance is what got to him to the high levels that he is at today. When he was nine years old, he used to have to wear suspenders to hold up his jock strap. He was simply a kid with a ball and a dream.
From high school, he went to The Gunnery private school in Connecticut. Stellato recalls learning proper time management in life, and stresses that there’s only 24 hours in a day and it’s important to get the most out of it. From there, he committed to Marist College, where he was recruited to play quarterback. Stellato remembers showing up to camp and realizing there were 15 other quarterbacks vying for the starting job, so he quickly moved positions to wide receiver. In the offseason, Stellato would also play basketball for Marist.
After graduating cum laude, the speedy wide receiver pursued a career in professional football. He signed his first contract in the Arena Football League (AF2) in 2002 with the Florida Firecats. He bounced around the league playing also for the Louisville Fire and Memphis Xplorers. In his speech, Stellato recalls players would say what school they are from, and that he was the only one from a small school, many guys had never heard of Marist.
When his career came to an end, Stellato says, “in my mind, I was never ready to hang up the cleats…football and sports brought so much passion, and gave me so much knowledge.” After he did hang up the cleats, he quickly moved right to the shark tank of sports agents.
He stressed that getting to where he is now was not easy, citing the seven years he worked for firms making next to nothing. He even called an agency called “SportsStars,” saying he could do anything, including simply just being the guy to get coffee. He just wanted to be involved, but was denied and said it would never happen. Stellato had heard that quite a bit in his life, so he kept fighting.
Stellato emphasizes in his inspirational and informative speech is that “one of the worst things you can do is to look back and say I wish I did better.” Clearly easier said than done, but Stellato does so. He tells a story about leaving behind a big client like former Patriot Kyle Arrington, and a $300,000 check from an agency to start his own. He says he only started with a punter who had never played in the league before, and hope. Lots of that hope came from his wife, who invested and believed in him when times were tough.
Now, Stellato represents 18 total clients, including some about to enter the NFL Draft in late April. He mentions how he’s flying back and forth between clients, pro days, and whatever they need. Stellato mentioned that earlier this week he flew down south to help a client move. He says his job isn’t just getting the highest contract, but building brands and helping his clients after the game are of focus as well.
You can purchase Stellato’s book, “No Backing Down” on Amazon, and can contact him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using his handle @seanstellato. For more information about Sean Stellato, you can visit his website conveniently named www.seanstellato.com