Hey, where'd you go?

Matt Gutierrez - former New England Patriots, Michigan & De La Salle QB

February 02, 2021 Collin Kushner / Matt Gutierrez Season 1 Episode 5
Hey, where'd you go?
Matt Gutierrez - former New England Patriots, Michigan & De La Salle QB
Chapters
Hey, where'd you go?
Matt Gutierrez - former New England Patriots, Michigan & De La Salle QB
Feb 02, 2021 Season 1 Episode 5
Collin Kushner / Matt Gutierrez

In 2002, Matt Gutierrez was one of the top QB recruits in the nation, ultimately committing to play college football at the University of Michigan. But his chance to be the starting quarterback for the Wolverines never really materialized. Instead, in his four years, he barely saw any action… In this week’s episode of the "Hey, where'd you go?" podcast, the former QB describes growing up in Concord, CA — the home of the De La Salle football program, being a top QB prospect, playing football at Michigan, signing with the New England Patriots, his relentless work ethic, and so much more. Today, Matt works in Commercial Real Estate at CBRE in the San Francisco Bay Area... This is the story of hard work, dedication and the mentality to never give up. 

Show Notes Transcript

In 2002, Matt Gutierrez was one of the top QB recruits in the nation, ultimately committing to play college football at the University of Michigan. But his chance to be the starting quarterback for the Wolverines never really materialized. Instead, in his four years, he barely saw any action… In this week’s episode of the "Hey, where'd you go?" podcast, the former QB describes growing up in Concord, CA — the home of the De La Salle football program, being a top QB prospect, playing football at Michigan, signing with the New England Patriots, his relentless work ethic, and so much more. Today, Matt works in Commercial Real Estate at CBRE in the San Francisco Bay Area... This is the story of hard work, dedication and the mentality to never give up. 

Matt Gutierrez:

The skill set that I was blessed with was to throw the ball, you know, from a young age. And so, you know, injuring my throwing shoulder and really going through a lot of challenges, trying to figure out how to come back with that and regained my, my skillset was challenging and, and candidly, I never, you know, I never really did, you know, as a player I never really returned to form , I guess you'd say, but always chasing that. Right. Always chasing what I thought I was capable of and chasing the opportunity to try to go out and prove that

Collin Kushner:

Welcome to another episode of the "Hey, where'd you go? podcast. I'm your host Collin Kushner. The goal of my podcast is to catch up with former high school collegiate and professional athletes showcasing what they're doing today. This week's guest was one of the top quarterback recruits in the country. He played quarterback at Michigan, played with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady and new England. And now you works in commercial real estate at CVRE up in the San Francisco Bay area. Please welcome Matt Gutierrez, how's life up in the Bay area. And how are you doing, especially during these crazy times,

Matt Gutierrez:

You know, considering , um, you know, my family has remained healthy and I've remained healthy. So very thankful for that. I'm definitely aware of what's going on and feeling the impacts in the community, you know, throughout the Bay area,

Collin Kushner:

Take listeners from the very beginning of your life. Uh , you were born and raised in Concord, California. What was life like growing up in the town of Dallas?

Matt Gutierrez:

My parents introduced me to sports , uh, when I was really young, my dad's a big sports fan. And , um, so I was kind of indoctrinated into, into that world. You know, probably as a toddler, you know, five, six years old. My dad would take me to the games on Friday nights and being in the stands and sitting with families and , and hearing the passion and exuberance that they had for the, for the players and the program. And there was just the , you know, really a great energy around it. And even sitting here talking about it, I kind of get some chills. I can think about some of the guys that I watched play and, you know, guys that, you know, maybe you would know, and most of them you never heard of, but I can remember watching them and thinking, you know, what great players they were and , um, and hearing their parents, you know, passionately cheering for them. It was just a great experience for me. And it was kind of the beginning of, you know, my interest in football and , um, and really kind of setting a vision for myself, you know, five, six years old thinking, man, this would be really cool to be a part of one day. Did you ?

Collin Kushner:

I think that one day you'd be the starting quarterback there, you would never lose a game and you'd win a couple of state titles along . Yeah .

Matt Gutierrez:

I'm not sure about the, you know, all the winds and, and that piece of it, but , um, definitely very early started, you know, visualizing and seeing myself as a , as a member of the team and, you know, in quarterback, I just, I don't really remember exactly, you know , when I became interested in quarterback, I played the position since I started playing football. Um, but I just, I always, I always did see myself, you know, one day being on being a Spartan and being out there on the field. When you did

Collin Kushner:

Describe where you're from conquered East Bay, again, people from outside California probably don't understand what it's like over there, especially with such a prestigious school and football program. How would you best explain the town where you grew up

Matt Gutierrez:

For the Bay area? It's somewhat of a, you know, it's not one of the bigger cities, right? It's , you know , just probably over a hundred thousand people, but I think, you know, kind of being a part of the Metro area, you , you have a mix of feeling like, you know, Hey, we're part of the Bay area. We can , um , it's populated. We can be in Oakland, we can be in San Francisco, Silicon Valley very quickly , uh , blue collar type of feel a lot of hardworking folks , um, which, you know, I've definitely described my parents that way. And , um, you know, I think some of those, some of those values, you know, bled into me just by osmosis being around and being around my family and, you know , their friends group and , um, you know, it was a great upbringing just being a part of the community and , um, you know, vibrant youth sports scene. And , um, you know, I just, I F I feel thankful to this day to have had the opportunity to grow up in the Bay area in particularly that part of the Bay area,

Collin Kushner:

When most people think about the San Francisco area and its surrounding cities and towns, Silicon Valley, right. Big tech, lots of money. Um, you know, and so it is interesting that you say it was kind of a more blue collar area and there are some discrepancies and values. How did that kind of mold you along the way?

Matt Gutierrez:

You know, like you said, there's some more , uh, I guess, shiny or parts of the economy or things that give a little bit more notoriety in terms of the tech world in the Valley. And even, you know, San Francisco is , uh , is a global city, right? You go and , uh , take part in anything there. And you're , you're going to be shoulder to shoulder with people from all around the world, which is, you know , a whole, whole other part of the experience. But for me , um, you know, it was more around my father worked at , uh , at the oil refinery in our town there for 32 years. My mother worked for the Contra Costa County where , uh, where Concord's located. And , um, and you know, if I go down the line of, you know, a lot of my family members and their friends, you know, a lot of , uh, you know, firemen, policemen , um, those types of jobs. So , uh, and , and not only one job, right. You know, there was times where my, where my dad was, you know, basically doing the equivalent of two jobs at the refinery and , um, started aside construction business, you know, to help get me through de LaSalle. So , um, you know, I appreciate it more now as I'm older , uh, some of those things, but then it was just like, Hey, this is what needs to be done. And this is what my parents are doing to provide for me and my brother and try to give us, you know , the best opportunities that they could.

Collin Kushner:

When you look back at your tenure at DeLaSalle , all the wins, the state titles. And you're so humble about it. What's the most memorable moment for you in particular from those high school years?

Matt Gutierrez:

It's really tough to pin one down, you know, especially because I was lucky enough to get to play as a sophomore. And, you know, each team kind of has its own identities and obstacles to overcome. And we had graduated quite a bit of talent and we weren't, we knew we had a lot of good players, but we , we didn't have as many big name players or recruits as the year before. And , um, and we were lined up to play long beach poly , uh, I think the fifth game of the year. And, you know, it turned out that going into the game, they had us ranked number one and number two in the country. And , um, I think the game was nationally televised. And so that was just really a great experience for me as a high school kid and for my team, you know, for all of us as high school kids. And , um, I don't know if you remember the prowess of Polly at that time, but there was probably, you know, 20, 30 division one prospects on that team and multiple NFL players. I think at the time they had the most , uh, NFL alumni out of any high school in the country. So

Collin Kushner:

Stacked Matt growing up in Southern California, you heard about the long beach polys in the modern day, and I'm looking like this is, this is a glorified NFL team that we're seeing right now.

Matt Gutierrez:

Yeah, it's funny. I was just talking to somebody yesterday and kind of recounting a little bit of it and thinking that , uh , one of the guys, Mercedes Lewis, who's a big star on their team is actually still playing , um, which is, which is really cool to see, I believe he is. Um, so yeah, there was just, you know, a ton of talented guys on the field and a ton of pageantry around the game. We came down and played at the veteran stadium in long beach. So it was kind of a home game for them. Um, and just, you know, definitely just remember the energy throughout, you know, in the stadium and celebrities, you know, on the field surrounding the field. And it was a big game, but it still had a high school feel in a sense of people were so interested and, you know, the barbecue smoke from the barbecue going up, you know , around the stadium. It was, it was really just an awesome, awesome environment. And then, you know, getting into the game, we were, you know, if you looked at our own paper, we were over-matched in a lot of ways. And , um, you know, half-time , our guys were gassed . We had guys going both ways, especially on the line. Oh my God. Some of the guys are outweighed by a hundred pounds. You know? Um, I think our center was maybe one 85 that year. And there was guys across from him that were, you know, three bills plus that, that were eventually NFL players, you know, guys that played at SC. And , um, so we go in at halftime and guys are totally drained. I mean, you look at them and go, how's this guy gonna finish the second half. And we just, I don't even know how the guys dug deep. And we figured out a way to pull it out. And they were running all over us. Herschel Dennis USC guy eventually was running all over us in the second half. And , um, I only played one way. So I spent a lot of time on the sideline hoping and wishing it that we were going to get back on the field. But , um, it was just , uh , it was one of those things in sports where you just feel lucky to be a part of it when it's over, right. When you come out on top and you think about the effort that, that all of a , my teammates, my close friends put out, and it's just really, really a cool thing to be a part of. And , um, you know, I can look back and remember just the , the satisfaction of the coaches, almost like they were surprised that we actually were able to, you know, guys were able to dig that deep and, and compete for that long again , such a, such a good team.

Collin Kushner:

Isn't it amazing though, how you could be so gassed and I never played, I just played club hockey. I never played anything, anything higher than that, but there are moments where I'm just like, I don't know if I could do this, but if you kind of switched that mental mindset, it's like this little switch. And if you can do that, it pays off in a huge way. And obviously it shows when you go down and you're beating, I'm going to call long beach poly, I'll call him a mini, a mini NFL team, Michigan Notre Dame, Oregon, Tennessee, Florida. And I'm sure there are plenty more, those are the schools I could find. What was the recruiting process like for you , um, from your perspective, being a top prospect in the country?

Matt Gutierrez:

I look back at that entire time. It was a lot of fun, you know, it was really awesome to be a part of. And I got some exposure to that side of things , um, kind of early in my career because I played with a guy named DJ Williams, who was the number one recruit in the country, his senior year. And , uh , I was a sophomore, he was a senior. So, you know, there was a lot of days out at practice, you know, where , where those recruiters or Haven head coaches from those schools would be out on our practice field. And , uh, um, you know, it was kind of a chance for all of us to , to show off our skills as well. Um, and then I think it was the third game of the season that year we played modern day and everyone was really geared up to stop DJ , which opened up the past , um, for us. And because I was a sophomore, nobody knew that Dayla Sal had a , had a crew that could throw the ball, right. We were just known for running the veer and kind of being a power house , discipline team. Um, so we were able to get the ball and have some success that way. And that kind of was the beginning of people recognizing that maybe I had the potential to one day play, play college football. It didn't always go smooth. I think because I had an injury when I was a junior, I played with a broken wrist in my throwing hand. And then with quarterback, you know, there's, you know, sometimes they need one guy in the class. Sometimes they need to, you know, sometimes they like , uh , you know, somebody else that you think is a better fit. So , um, it started out with a pretty, pretty wide funnel. And , um, and then by the end, it was, you know, for one reason or another, it came down to just a couple with , with Oregon and Michigan. But , um, you know, it was an awesome, awesome experience and really thankful, you know, especially now that I had the opportunity to , um , to go away from home and, and be a student athlete and have that experience

Collin Kushner:

You're from the Bay area, beautiful. It gets a little chilly in the winter time, but nothing is cold as a Detroit winter or an Anarbor winter. I should say why Michigan

Matt Gutierrez:

To be clear, I was a little bit naive about what it, what it meant to survive a winter in the Midwest. You know, being a Bay area kid, I had grown up enjoying the winters , right. When it gets down to about 55 degrees,

Collin Kushner:

Winter for us dude, 55 is as cold as it gets.

Matt Gutierrez:

Yeah. And , uh, and I always loved, you know, when he got a chance to , to drive up to Tahoe and experience with snow. So I thought, Hey, I love the snow. It's no , no problem. Right. Um, so, you know, but aside from that , um, you know, Oregon's obviously a great school. There's tons of great opportunities out there for guys, but I really felt that Michigan had just a unique tradition , um, in terms of the football program, in terms of the quarterback position, you know, the guys that had kind of been through there for, for decades really, and kind of set the bar for , uh, for great quarterback play. And also for guys that would eventually go on to play in the NFL. Um, and then coupled with that, you know, a world-class education and , uh, when it came down to it, I just felt like at that time , um, you know, there really wasn't a better opportunity for me than that to get both of those in one place.

Collin Kushner:

How important is factoring in the education side of things during the recruitment and committing process? Because I feel like so many focus on the football, basketball, hockey, whatever sport it is side, but then there's very little about the actual, what you're going to go there and study and what you're going to do after football.

Matt Gutierrez:

I don't think we could put enough emphasis on the educational piece for kids. You know what I mean? Or for young men or young women that are, that are looking at these opportunities and, you know, just by the nature of things, because a lot of times, as an athlete, you're approached from the athletic side, we tend to give that a little bit more weight because that's where we're seeing the opportunity come from , um, as opposed to, you know, the other way around. And I think it's just, you know, it's a tough, it's a tough decision because we're all ambitious, right? And we all have big dreams and, you know, you want to play in , uh , you know , the biggest environment that you can with the most pageantry and, you know, maybe it's your dream school. Um, but there's , uh , you know, there's a , uh , there's a perfect fit for everybody. I guess you could say, right? It's not one size fits all. And , um, you know, what may be a great institution for me may not be a great institution for somebody else who maybe has different academic interests or, or something like that. So, you know, I, I do some coaching and work with young, you know, young athletes now. And we just always try to emphasize to them that, you know, as hard as it is, try to have a vision of yourself, you know, like you said, beyond your playing days and for however long, those lasts, you know, we hope they last as long as they do in all these kids' dreams, but at some point it's going to end for all of us. And , um, you know, I think no matter how great of an education you were able to get or how much prestigious comes with that diploma , um, it's always going to be challenging to make that transition. And , um, you know, for me, I'm very grateful to have the , uh, the alumni and the, you know, the prestige of the university of Michigan , uh , behind me

Collin Kushner:

The first time you walked into the big house, what did that feel like to you?

Matt Gutierrez:

It was amazing. It was amazing. I can remember our ride from the hotel the first, you know, the first game when I was a freshmen , um, you know, riding through the streets of Ann Arbor and through all the tailgates and just seeing the energy that people had and the pageantry, you know, it was a big contrast from at the time when I was in high school, you know, late nineties, early two thousands, the PAC 10 at that time, you know, the teams were struggling a little bit and , um, a lot of them were down, you know, it wasn't till my freshman year, I think , uh , in college that Oregon went to the Fiesta bowl and kind of came blasting on the scene. And USC went down to the orange bowl and beat , um , Iowa down there with Carson Palmer and Justin Fargas and a ton of great guys they had on that team. So maybe my timing was a little bit off by a year, but , um, you know, I can remember going to Cal games at that time. And Stanford was actually, you know, had some good years at that time as well, but in the pack , I just, you know, the, there wasn't quite as much pageantry that I got to experience. And so when I went to university of Michigan and there's a hundred and you know, 10,000 people in the entire community is, is totally , um, you know, Intuit and supportive. It was just, it was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. It was pretty awesome.

Collin Kushner:

That's what I tried telling people that, I mean, don't get me wrong. I love the PAC 12. I'm an Arizona state grad loved the PAC 12, but it's just, it's just not the same. I mean, you compare it to like an SCC or a big 10 it's. I don't really know how to describe it. It's just so different. And there's such a big contrast. Um, I just can't imagine walking on that field a hundred thousand plus screaming fans in the freezing cold that 9:00 AM on a Saturday, and you're walking in there as an 18 year old. And you're just, I hope you , I hope you took it all in, I mean, the fact that you remember that bus ride is , is something that no one can ever take away. Cause I feel like those are the moments that, you know, people like myself love to hear from you guys those little pockets of time when you've been able to just dial everything back and just, and just enjoy it.

Matt Gutierrez:

Yeah, no, it's a , it's definitely a unique experience. I think in the moment, you know, you're, you're kind of building up to that and working up to it for a lot of your life at that point. Right. And , um, so, you know, you feel a responsibility, but you also feel like, Hey, this is what I do. And I have responsibilities and I'm here with my teammates and we're , we're going in this thing to, to compete and win. Um, but definitely now, you know , looking back, I have a different appreciation what a great opportunity that was and what a unique experience it was , uh , to be a part of that,

Collin Kushner:

Not getting a chance to start a game against Ohio state. Does that bother you a little bit? Or is that something where it's like, Hey, you know, what, or do you, or do you continue to take that amazing approach?

Matt Gutierrez:

You know, we talked a little bit about, you know, looking back or regrets or any of that. And , um, and I said, there's no regrets, but the one thing that I do look back on and say, you know, gosh, I really would , I wish I would have gotten a chance to do that or have that opportunity to be out , out on the field with the guys that I came in with, you know, my classmates, my teammates, and , uh, there's nothing like going out and competing with your buddies, right. Especially in an environment like that, representing your school. And , um, you know, I had my role on the team and I had had roles in the game, but , um, but to be the guy out there under center would have been, would have been really cool. And I think that there would have been , um, you know, it would have been a lot of fun to go out there and compete on the field, alongside my teammates, my friends against Ohio state. And you know, the other part of it has got a guy like Troy, you know, I knew Troy back in high school, we went to elite 11 camp together. So it was awesome to get to see him out there, even though I think he took us two or three times. And really, I mean, the guy was phenomenal, right . He had some huge games against us, fourth quarter comebacks. And , um, you know, it would've been, it would've been really cool to get, to go head, to head with him, so to speak. But , um, but other than that, just being a part of it, like I said, it was, it was a great experience.

Collin Kushner:

I disliked, I know Troy Smith, I know he's a fantastic athlete. Nothing. You had some personally, but what he did against Michigan, Matt would just what I'm doing now with my face, I was a little kid and I'm thinking, I'm like, I'm like, I'm looking at my dad. I'm like, we got this. We're going to be at Ohio state. Then Troy Smith does, does this thing. And the next thing you know, I'm , uh, you know, upset for 10, you know, when you're a kid you're upset for 10 minutes and then you're fine. You stay there for four years, you grind it out. You wait for your opportunities, your , you are pegged to be the starter and Oh , for you , an injury happens, you get surgery, Henny takes over and Henny kind of took it from there. How did you stay positive? And what was your mindset to stay in , into grind it out,

Matt Gutierrez:

Coming from my parents and my family, you know, they were, they were extremely supportive. I think they helped me realize there is a great value in being at the university of Michigan and continuing to get my education there. You know, that was a huge part of it. And the other pieces, you know, in my family and also being a part of de LaSalle, you just always try to be positive and optimistic about whatever the situation is. You know, injuries are a part of sports and, you know, having grown up a sports fan, you're always reading stories or hearing stories about guys overcoming these situations. And , um, you know, I just felt like, Hey, this is something that happened. It's unfortunate, but I'm gonna stick with it and come back and compete. And I always believed in myself and I think, you know, the support of my teammates was, was really important as well. And, you know , it was a tough situation. These are always tough situations for guys when they're battling and you're at a great program like Michigan, there's always going to be somebody that's as good or better coming for your spot. You know, at that time, you know, the transfer frenzy wasn't quite as crazy. And because of the way the rules were set up, right at that time, you couldn't go laterally. You would have to go down to one AA and , uh , if you wanted to play right away and, you know, I just felt like, you know, I want to keep giving this a crack. And, and I'm thankful that I did, you know, maybe if the situation was a little bit different or things were the way they are now, maybe I would have looked at it differently, but , um, you know, no regrets looking back as, as far as sticking around,

Collin Kushner:

How important is it to have that mindset, the grind, the grind, it out mindset. Because again, people just don't do that anymore. It's like, Oh, this isn't working. Like let's pull the shoot and get out. And I think that's, I think that's wrong. I think I don't really know what you learned from,

Matt Gutierrez:

You know, I think every situation is different. Um, I definitely agree that there is a lot of value in , um, you know, trying to develop some resilience, resiliency in , uh , uh, in sticking things out. There's a lot to be learned from it. And, you know, you see situations all the time where, you know, guys stick it out and again, it's football, right . Or any sport there's, you know, a guy stubs their toe and you're right back in there. So that scenario never really played out for me. And it's , it's always tough to lose an opportunity or miss an opportunity due to injury. And then you're sitting there, you know, saying, what am I going to hope for my buddy to get his shoelace come on tide so I can go back in. Um, but that's a part of life, right. And, you know, recognizing, you know, what your role is on a team at a given time and , and trying to do that the best you can. There's a ton of value in that as well. You know, quarterbacks are a little bit unique because only one plays at a time. And so when I look at some of these guys that jumped ship quickly and they have another opportunity lined up to play, you know, I think there's some , uh, some validity to looking at those opportunities as well. Um , especially if, you know, if it's a guy that really has , um , you know, prospects of playing beyond college it's situation, the situation for me, I just, you know, I think at the time it was , um, you know, the right thing to do is stay around

Collin Kushner:

When you're that high of a prospect and you're playing with so many guys, the NFL is obviously on your radar. How did you factor in NFL aspirations? And then just working hard, working hard, working hard, and the chips, just not falling in your favor,

Matt Gutierrez:

Looking back. I don't think I really recognize how much talent I had and what my prospects really were, you know, in some ways it's , uh, I joke with my buddies because, you know, we coach now and, and I feel like we have to be very positive with the kids. Right. They just, they respond a different way. And there was kinda maybe a threshold or , um, a turning point somewhere. I , I like to think as maybe back in Oh seven when the , when the iPhone came out , um, social media started going that's , but, you know, I, I look back and I feel like a lot of the coaching that got was hard coaching, right. It was like, Hey, the expectation is to do it right. And to win. And if you don't, here's what you need to do to get better. And so a lot of the focus was always on like, Oh , I got to get better. And I got to shore this up or change this or improve this. And I think that's very valuable mindset to have as well, right. Just continuous improvement and always pushing yourself to get better. And with that mindset, I was never really thinking too much about playing in the NFL. I just assumed that, Hey, if I do what I need to do here, and I continue to improve, that will take care of itself.

Collin Kushner:

And that's the perfect mindset to have, right. Because I mean, what else can you do? I mean, it's already taxing enough mentally and physically. And so if you just hunker down, put the blinders on and do your job and do everything you can do no matter what happens, you could always leave without, without any, any regrets . So to speak. I mean, would you say that that's kind of how you look back on your Michigan career?

Matt Gutierrez:

I totally agree with you. I think it's, it's really, you know, it can be counterproductive to think about anything, but the moment and how you can improve your , your own game and how you can bring value to your team. The one kind of, I guess, sidebar to that is, you know, as a coach now, any kids that I work with, especially if they have unique gifts, I try to tell them, Hey, you, you have a unique skillset . You know, especially if a guy is really passionate about the game. And , um, you know, I've been around one of, if not the greatest quarterback of all time, you know, as a, as a teammate and, and played with a lot of other great players. And so I feel like I have enough exposure to them , uh , to kind of recognize guys that have something unique about them. And I always want them to know that, right, because again, hopefully that's the mindset they take for themselves as far as, you know, always wanting to improve and kind of never having it be good enough. Um, but in the back of their mind, I always want them to know in case times get tough or, you know, a roadblock comes up like, Hey, I really am a talented guy. And I, you know, they, I want them to know and believe in the value of their ability without anybody else having to tell them, right. Because sometimes you're in those situations and people are down on you or, you know, nobody sees that ability in you and the only person you can rely on is yourself.

Collin Kushner:

But during your time at Michigan dude, I mean, Braylin Edwards, Sean Crable , Lamar Woodley, Chad Henney , John davar , who I think I told you when we chatted previously, I love the dude. Cause he would just drop back and just shut that thing down field, whether it was a completed pass or not, I was just Google got the TV,

Matt Gutierrez:

Some great athletes and some really great, you know, a great guys, great teammates, great friends. And , uh, the list goes on, you know , uh, of guys that you know of and guys that maybe you never heard as much about so much talent on our teams in my four years there. And, you know , I was fortunate to have some experience after college playing. And there was a lot of guys there that, that could have had that opportunity maybe should have had that opportunity. And for whatever reasons, you know, it didn't work out, but you know, just a ton of talented guys on the team and, and a lot of great guys too. I don't, you know, I don't know what other guys say, but I always feel like Michigan was a little bit unique in that, you know, we didn't really have anybody on the team that rushed fraternities for the most part, you know, the team kind of was our fraternity and , um, you know, it kinda made for a unique experience.

Collin Kushner:

That sounds like such a blast. I think when everyone just kind of unites and comes together, I mean, think about it. Everyone's together. You got the Wisconsin game, the Ohio state game, which I want to get into later. I want to, I want to chop it up with you about our love for Ohio state, as we'll put that in quotation marks, you did your four years at Michigan, you graduated and then you , you go to Idaho state. What did that opportunity present ?

Matt Gutierrez:

You know, going back to earlier in the conversation where we were talking about, you know, the ease of, of making moves now, days with the new rules and the transfer Porter and all that , um, you know, it was a little bit less common for guys to move around. And really, I was just looking for somebody that needed a quarterback coming from Michigan and, and that, you know, conference and that level of play. I didn't really know much about a lot of the schools. Um, there were at the one AA level, so it was quite , it was kind of a , you know, a scramble for my, my parents and myself to try to figure out a place and talk to some coaches. And, you know, Idaho state was a great opportunity for me. We had a ton of talent on the team, loved the guys that were coaching, you know, had some really, really neat, really neat guys coaching and , uh, you know, going into it. We were as optimistic as ever. And , um, you know, we didn't, we didn't end up converting on that and the wind column , um, just having the opportunity to get out on the field and compete and play college football was , uh, was awesome.

Collin Kushner:

So you didn't have Idaho circle the circle up on your giant mat . You didn't say, Hey, mom and dad, one dead that this is, this is where I'm going. And this is where you're going to have to come visit me,

Matt Gutierrez:

You know, not in a million years. I mean, I, I didn't know if Pocatello, Idaho until, you know, until we started looking at it.

Collin Kushner:

When did you know that the NFL was a possibility? Because like you talked about before, you know, looking back on it, you even say that you didn't even realize at the time the talent that you had,

Matt Gutierrez:

I feel like I kind of just knew and relied on what I was hearing from the coaches. You know, even though there was times where we weren't winning games or, you know, there was time a couple of games where we didn't put up a lot of points, but Scouts were still coming through, you know, showing interest in me and other guys on our team. And, and the coaches would share some of the feedback and say, Hey, you know, this, these guys like you, they here's the qualities they see in you. Here's some things they think you can improve on. And I knew at least guys were giving me a look and , uh, you know, I think that's all you can, all you can ask for is, you know, get a look and get an opportunity, and then it's on you to do what you can with it.

Collin Kushner:

I feel like eventually the opportunities do come. And it did , uh , you signed with new England as a , as a free agent. What was moment like for you Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, fellow Bay area guy also went to Michigan. Um, what was it like being, just being with those guys, soaking up everything that they know

Matt Gutierrez:

Hard to put into words? What , what an awesome opportunity that was for me and what an awesome experience it was. I was the type of guy and kid that I was very exuberant about football. I loved it. You know , I love to compete. I love , um, the physical part of the game, but also love the mental part of the game. And so you go to a place like new England , um, you know, there's no stone unturned. And I always say, I felt like I had a lot of great instruction and coaching when I was at Michigan. And I learned a ton about football on top of what I had learned at de LaSalle, which was a great foundation coach Belicheck , and the rest of that staff, that organization it's first-class. And , um, you know, when you're, when you have an opportunity to be a part of it, you really understand why they have they've had the success that they have. They just take things to it , to an entirely different level. Um, which was a blast for me. You know, some people, I think it's , it's an intense environment and there's a high bar, right? There's that there's a high expectation there, and maybe it doesn't always feel so , uh , happy go lucky and fun. But , um, but I loved it. I loved every minute of it. It was awesome.

Collin Kushner:

Did you and Tom ever go back and forth, he went to Sarah , you went to Dayla Sal, was there ever a little banter, maybe a little smack talk along the way?

Matt Gutierrez:

I wouldn't say that, but we all, you know, we did, we did talk about our, you know, our common roots , you know, being in the Bay area and , um, and going to Michigan , um, you know, a lot of common threads and, you know, I'm sure you heard, he's a , just a great dude, right. Really down to earth guy. And , um, so you know, a lot of conversations about some of those things we had in common.

Collin Kushner:

That's so cool. And it's just so crazy. The small world, you know, both from the Bay area, both went to Michigan, both on the Patriots. You're you were there for a little while, and I know you were there the year that I know, I know you're not going to be happy about this, but it's the year that David Tyree for the giants had that sensational grab it to end. That was the perfect season. You're right. With, with Randy Moss and everybody. Um, how heartbreaking was that moment for you?

Matt Gutierrez:

If I'm being honest, you know, having been a free agent, kind of taking the path that I had taken, I didn't have the mindset that I was lucky to be there. You know, where I really felt a let down . And some disappointment was for some of those veteran guys that had had amazing careers , um, you know, let alone the guys on our team that had already won championships with new England. But you look at some of the great players like Randy and junior say owl , and, you know, they were playing later in their careers and having, you know, had such a great season and then to see us come up, you know, just barely short of it. I think that was the toughest thing to watch, you know, an experience that along with those guys and, and kinda know, Hey, this guy has been chasing this for 10, 12, 15 years as a professional, and we're right on the cusp of it. And you, this may have been the last shot for them. That was , um, that was a tough part of it. One thing that I think, you know, hopefully I'll remember always as I go throughout my life, I remember coach Belicheck coming in after the game. And there was like no discussion of what happened or why it happened, you know, whose fault it was, what we didn't do well on the field. Um, I just remember him essentially taking all the blame for us coming up short and saying, Hey, you know, I apologize. I wish, you know , I could have done a better job to prepare you guys to win. And I thought, wow, with , you know, with all the great players that we had , um, you know, for him to come in and say that, you know, it's never gonna, it's never gonna make it okay. That we lost. But , um, I think that just says a lot about the organization and about his leadership.

Collin Kushner:

I know your NFL journey had a lot of twists and turns you're with new England. You went to Kansas city, you spent some time with the bears. You also went over to the UFL, the AFL, it was a winding journey for you. Did you channel what happened at Michigan and take that same approach,

Matt Gutierrez:

You develop kind of a thick layer of skin, right. And, and , um, you know, some armor and you kind of keep that warrior mentality going, you know, that's, that's just how I think a lot of athletes view themselves like, Hey, this is what I do. It's not always going to be smooth. You're dealing with failure every day. You know, you're getting critiqued in ways that are so intimate and personal that, you know, a lot of people may not be able to may not be familiar or comfortable with, with that type of a magnifying glass on you all the time. And , um, so, you know, if somebody says they don't like you, or they, they fire you, they catch you , um, you just kind of keep marching. And that doesn't mean that it's not a let down and disappointment , um, doesn't hurt, you're pouring everything you have into it. Um, but ultimately I love to play with the skill set that I was blessed with was to throw the ball, you know, from a young age. And so, you know, injuring my throwing shoulder and really going through a lot of challenges, trying to figure out how to come back with that and regain my, my skillset was challenging and , and candidly, I never, you know, I never really did, you know , as a player, I never really returned to form, I guess you'd say, but always chasing that. Right. Always chasing, you know, what I thought I was capable of and chasing the opportunity to try to go out and prove that. And even now I, you know, I , I've had some great opportunities in the business world and really enjoy things that I've done, but, you know, what's better than playing ball. It's like being in a kid and being able to, you know, make a living, you know, at times doing that was, that was pretty awesome. And I think that, you know, my mindset was, Hey, I'd like to keep this going as long as I can. Right,

Collin Kushner:

Matt, at what point did you realize maybe it's time to shift, to kind of shift focus to the business world and in life after football, but I know , I know it's not as easy as that because when you love something so much, and you're in the environment environments like Michigan , uh, new England, it's, it's hard to, it's hard to walk away from that.

Matt Gutierrez:

You know, I haven't talked to too many guys that, that have made a clean break, you know, even if they have great success in their careers, it's, it's kinda hard to transition or I won't say always, let's say challenging, right? It's, it's , uh , there's no playbook for it, right. It's unique for each guy. And, you know, there's always challenges for anybody when we're going through a transition in life. So, but for me, you know, I, I went and played in the arena league. I had been cut at that point. I don't know, seven or eight times probably overall. And , um, and I was hoping that go into the arena league and, you know , playing well, showing some things on film would get me another opportunity back in the NFL. I thought maybe, you know, I was hearing some things that maybe that was going to come to pass, or maybe I'd get a chance to go into camp. And then , uh, be renally. We played in the summertime. I ended up , uh , breaking a finger, hadn't had surgery. So I missed a handful of games. I came back. I, you know, I think I played well maybe in my last game, but when I first came back, I had a couple, you know, a rough start maybe to get my bearings back. And , um, and the opportunity just didn't come to fruition. And I, and I kept on training maybe a year after that. But at that point I was getting towards 30 and I realized, you know , Hey, as much as I love doing this, you know, it's not really sustainable the way that I'm doing it. Now, if the trajectory is changing for me and it's not headed back towards, you know , the NFL, I think hopefully I have some other abilities and capabilities and in , uh, outside of football. And I thought, you know, maybe it's time for me to start looking at those and trying to build my life, you know , outside of the game,

Collin Kushner:

Did you have any idea of the direction that you wanted to go because football, right. You're on this, like this great path, right. And then all of a sudden that one path extends out to like millions of possibilities. Was that nerve wracking for you? Or was it kind of cool in a way, because you have this whole world in front of you?

Matt Gutierrez:

I think, I think it's both right. It's all of those. And in one, you know, there's, there's some excitement, some fear, some confusion, you know, am I doing the right thing at the right time? You know, it's kind of all of those. And , um, so I, you know, I had an idea, I was always interested in business. Um, so I knew I wanted to be in the business world. And , um, you know, I had gotten interested as, you know, during my playing career in, in some certain aspects of that and finance and real estate. And , um, you know, had, had been trying to dive in those a little bit on my own. And, Oh , I , I knew that's kind of the direction I wanted to pursue. I didn't know exactly what it was, but , um, but I knew it was somewhere in that direction.

Collin Kushner:

And you wanted to get back to California, right? I mean, you've had enough of those. What was worse , Matt , I got to ask you Michigan winter in Ann Arbor or winter time in Foxborough ,

Matt Gutierrez:

Fox bride . I've never seen snow like that. You know, we had some, we had some nor'easters come through and some big snow storms. And I remember being out at practice and literally watching snow pile up on guys , shoulder pads, like just during a five minute period of, of practice, right. Michigan, the wind, you know, there was times where the wind you'd walk. You know , I remember walking to class and they never shut down class and in Arbor. Right. Like it doesn't matter the weather you're good .

Collin Kushner:

I don't get, I don't get that dude, because when it rains, you know, when it would rain in Arizona, I'm like, can you guys just cancel class ?

Matt Gutierrez:

Yeah, no, no doubt. But , uh, but yeah, I remember like, you know, you'd walk with like a 30, you know , 30, 45 degree lean into the wind to get across campus in Michigan. Yeah. So it was, you know, it was brutal at times. I always thought, you know, I love the Bay area. I really appreciated a lot of the , um, a lot of the things that has the offer. Um, you know, I loved coming back home to visit family and friends. And I , I was fortunate. I got to experience a lot of great cities and parts of the country, but, you know , always knew that I wanted to come back to the Bay area.

Collin Kushner:

Home is where the heart is. You know, I think for the longest time as a Southern California guy, don't hold that against me, man. I know that there , I know there's a huge divide between Northern California and Southern California and between us, I used to tell people and they're like, where are you from when I lived up North, I was like, I'm from California, like, Oh, which part? And then I would be like, eh , I don't know if we want to go down this road.

Matt Gutierrez:

Yeah. I think it's definitely , uh , you know, there's unique characteristics to , to all, all the different parts of California, you know, we get a lot of attention and , you know , your area and up in the Bay area, but , um, you know, there's so much to offer and that's why as many challenges as we have, and as many challenges are getting a lot of media time these days , um, there's still a lot of great people here and a lot of great things going on.

Collin Kushner:

You know, you want to be in business, you know, you want to come back to the Bay area. You worked in , in some tech in the tech world for a little while. Take me through the process to getting where you are now in commercial real estate at CVRE , which is a huge company.

Matt Gutierrez:

Even getting to this opportunity was a little bit of a windy road. I came out of playing and was fortunate to get, to sit down and speak with a lot of people in the business world that, you know , have had great successes and were willing to share some of that with me and spend some time. And, you know, just being in the Bay area, tech is a huge part of the economy and there's a lot of opportunities there. And especially for athletes, you know, sales is , is a big part of any business. And , um, so people, I, you know, some people I got introduced to, you know, offer an opportunity and I knew that that was probably something in whatever industry I was going to go into. You gotta learn how to , to sell and learn how that process works. So I had a great experience working for a guy company out of London and kind of in parallel, I was just done with the game and coaching with some of my high school buddies that also played in college and professionally, and were kind of wrapping up their careers as well. We were working with young high school kids and in area. And , uh, in thinking about the instruction we were giving and also the environment that we were in with, you know , technology and innovation all around us and thinking about how we could kind of marry those two things and get information to people that maybe didn't have access to the coaching staff that we had put together. And we got connected to a guy that, you know , already kind of had a technology business going. And so that was another startup that I got involved with where we were trying to use virtual reality technology, you know, right around 14, 15, when that , um, when that industry was really starting to pick up some steam again , um, and try to use that tech to develop a platform that would help guys train in football and other contact sports , uh, virtually without having to take the impact to their bodies and heads , uh, on a daily basis. Um, and we had, you know, we had a great team. We had , uh, we had some financial backing and great opportunity. I think we were a little bit , uh , a little bit ahead in terms of we were using , um, computer generated , uh, animations to create our simulation. And , uh, you know, maybe the technology wasn't quite there as far as implementing four guys that were looking for something a little bit more realistic, and there's actually a company out now , um , called striver that that was taking a little different approach and they've had, you know , they've had great success and we're still going now,

Collin Kushner:

You had so much success at DeLaSalle , you know, won state titles, never lost you go to Michigan, you work your butt off things. Don't exactly work out how you want. You go to Idaho state, you get the opportunity. Then you go to the NFL, how have all those moments shaped you now on the business side of things,

Matt Gutierrez:

You know, just the more experiences that we have and, you know, the more successes, the more failures, the more, you know , in between outcomes, they're all learning experiences. Right. And, you know, you , you survive it. And you're like, okay, well, I made it through that. It was painful, but you know, there's, you know, what can I learn from it and how that, how can I apply that going forward? You know, it's no different in commercial real estate, especially with what I'm doing and working on the advisory and transaction team in brokerage. Um, it's very entrepreneurial and very competitive, you know, we're in Silicon Valley, it's one of the most dynamic markets in the world , uh , not to mention the entire Bay area. Um, so it's , uh, you know, you get that adrenaline going just like in sports and the competitive juices, but it's , it's definitely challenging. And , um, you know, I think, you know, having the experience in sports, you're kind of, you know, molded or, you know, you kind of seek out situations like that, whether that's healthy or not, I don't know. But , uh, but it's definitely exciting.

Collin Kushner:

Take me through the day to day. What does a day in the life of Matt Gutierrez look like now on the commercial real estate side of things?

Matt Gutierrez:

That's a lot like when I was playing sports, you know, it's, it's , uh , it's getting up early and, you know, trying to take care of myself physically and mentally, just like, you know, kind of like an athlete is how I think of it. And I've actually learned quite a bit , um , from of the more senior folks in my office, just observing how they take care of themselves and how active they are. And it can be a stressful situation, you know, when you're, when you're competing and in that type of environment. So yeah, up early trying to get the edge on , on the competition and , um, you know, get a head , start on them. And , uh , and then also, you know, just trying to be diligent, I think, you know, one of the biggest learning curves for me coming out of sports is that as an athlete, you know, a lot of your stuff is planned out for you, right? I mean, I can remember these, you know, basically booklets that were an itinerary every time you're going to go to an away game, or, you know, you look at the practice week , you know, at the beginning of the week, everything is laid out for you, you know, where to be, and your job is to bring as much enthusiasm and energy as you can to that program. And , uh, you know, and now being in brokerage, I'm fortunate to work with a lot of great professionals that, that are, you know , kind of showed me and are continuing to show me how to do the business well. But , um, as I said, a lot of it's entrepreneurial and there's been a lot of learning as far as what to prioritize and kind of how to create that program for myself.

Collin Kushner:

What are your personal goals over at CVRE?

Matt Gutierrez:

Ultimately it , you know , it goes back to the mentality of sport, right? There is a, it's a, it's a, it's a competitive environment. It's a dynamic environment, which is a lot of fun. You know, as you mentioned, I worked for a great company, largest real estate firm in the world, a global company. Um, so there's a lot of great opportunities and you get exposed to some really neat stuff with the clients that we, that we service. Um, but I think the mindset, you know, is going back to going back to sport, right, is, you know, there is maybe some recognition and there's awards in my business just like anything else. And people can, you know, find a lot of success, but it's not going to be attained or achieved without the day to day kind of blocking and tackling. And that's been the message to me from , from my colleagues since day one and something that I can totally relate to, especially having gotten the opportunity to , to play in programs like DeLaSalle and Michigan and the new England Patriots, where, you know, all the accolades in the world, you know, on the walls of those organizations. But when you walk in there every day, it's, Hey, what is, you know, what is the goal today? What's the task at hand, you know, not even like in the morning, what are we doing at 4:00 PM? It's like, you know, what's right now, what do we need to focus on right now? And then after that's done, what's the next thing we need to focus on and how can we just continue to stack those blocks up and , and build something , uh , that might be great.

Collin Kushner:

Have you ever thought about it from this perspective, Matt, let's just say at Michigan Lloyd cars chewing you out or in new England, bill Belicheck chew you out, and then you're in commercial real estate. You're on the business side of things now. And if you just have a bad day, or if someone says they're having a bad day, have you ever just looked at them and been like, listen, you've never been chewed up by Lloyd Carr or bill Belicheck. Uh , it's funny say that because,

Matt Gutierrez:

You know, in , uh, as, as many similarities as there are, there are some pretty stark contrast as from the business world and maybe what's acceptable on a football field. Right. Um, so yeah, I mean, Hey, everything is relative, right. As we said earlier, you know, in sport, you kind of get accustomed to being critiqued and maybe even, you know, broken down or berated at times for , uh, for shortcomings. Um, fortunately so far, you know, my colleagues in management and CB areas had a little softer touch with me, but , um, if it ever happens, you know, I've had plenty of experience with this. Hopefully I'll be ready.

Collin Kushner:

I think the only time, the only time that I could see somebody berating you is if you have a colleague and they went to that school in Ohio, I think it's called Ohio state or something. I it's , it's, it's a program that we don't care about. But I feel like if someone says they're a Buckeye, then I, then I feel like maybe there, there could be some tension. And I say that in the most sarcastic way possible, if you had to send a message to a , to a young Matt Gutierrez or young kids that you help out with today that are maybe going through something similar, like you went through at Michigan and in the NFL, how would you help them? And what would you say?

Matt Gutierrez:

I think the first thing is just to, to believe in yourself, you know, always believe in yourself, you know, there's a lot going on and it's a fast paced game, right? It's , it's about time, right? It's a young man's game and you're trying to get as good as you can, as fast as you can and take advantage of the opportunities that come, you know, come your way. But sometimes there's some value in taking a step back and kind of analyzing the situation for maybe a little bit higher level. Um, maybe, maybe not just in the football world, but in , in the perspective of your life and where sport fits into that. And just keeping a perspective on things and saying, Hey, this is something that I love to do. Um, if you happen to be a professional and you're , you know, have opportunity to make a living doing it, it's an amazing experience. And it can, it can definitely be life-changing . Um, but to just, you know , keep things in perspective. And I think, you know, something that I've maybe evolved on as I've gotten away from the game is I think, you know, you can probably apply the same intensity , uh, you know, to your sport and to your approach while having a little bit more of that perspective. And in looking back, I know that , um, you know, I can think back to conversations that I had with guys and I look back and I say, man, that guy was really wise. You know, he wasn't even 30 years old. And he had had a ton of success in his career and maybe overcame a bunch of things, but he was able to talk about, you know , other interests and what he wanted to do after, and you know, where football fit into his life and, and how he saw the opportunity and how he planned to take advantage of it. So, you know, I always try to talk to the kids about, you know, again, believing in themselves, understanding their talent, but also understanding how this opportunity is just, you know , one part of your life. And, you know, I think it should be viewed that way. Something that , um, there's just one piece of the puzzle.

Collin Kushner:

And when people seem to classify athletes as they're an athlete, Oh, they're a bust or they're this, or they're that I think the crazy part about it, Matt is so many of you have so much success away from the game. And that's something that just, it doesn't seem to get talked about. It's like, okay, Matt Gutierrez, top prospect went to Michigan. You know, it, it, it just didn't, it just didn't work out. You did everything that you could, and it just didn't work. I don't consider that a bust by any means. I consider that doing what you're supposed to do in life, working your butt off, doing everything you can do. I just think it's important when that day does come. And you do shift from athletics to the business world or whatever you end up doing that you could be just as successful, if not more.

Matt Gutierrez:

Absolutely. I think it's, you know, I think it goes back to, to your point about mindset, right? I mean, I've been lucky to be a part of some great organizations and being around great players and , and then now being in the business world and have exposure to people that have had, you know, unbelievably successful careers in business, away from sports, and maybe they're former athletes, maybe former professional athletes and in many of them not right. Maybe guys had just, you know, are fans or played as kids. And, but there's common themes that, that I've found that I, you know, I hear applied throughout both of those worlds. And , um, so I think it just goes back to those things of , um, you know, maybe it's not as glamorous in terms of our culture and you know, what's on ESPN, but , um, you know, if you look hard enough, you can find a lot of great examples of guys that have moved on and applied those, you know, those , uh, traits that they learned as athletes and in , um, exercises , athletes, and now they're doing it in life. And , um, you know, in a lot of ways I think demand sometimes it's , uh, it's great to hear those stories and see those stories as inspiration, right. That I don't have to be limited to having been an athlete or being an athlete. Um, there's, there's a world of possibility out there beyond sports. And I can choose to use sport if, if the opportunities there, or, you know, if one day it's over, you know, you can move on and , uh, and be great at something else.

Collin Kushner:

Do you miss football at all?

Matt Gutierrez:

I'd be lying if I said, no, I mean, there was a , I love to play. I love to compete, you know, and I think one of the challenges for performer athletes, and I'm not just talking about professional athletes, you know, and this is something that I've learned from , uh, from guys that I work with after football. You know, if you're a competitor, if you're a guy that likes to, to whether that's sport or playing cards or, you know, whatever, you know, whatever your vice is , um, it doesn't go away, right. When opportunity leaves, it doesn't mean that that passion goes away and that energy that you have to go out and , um , and compete goes away. So, you know, interestingly enough, I ha you know, I hadn't played basketball and probably two , um, just kind of let my body rest and heal some things up. And , uh, just this year, I think going into the end of last year, a buddy of mine at work, came to me and said, Hey, man, there's this great , uh , three on three basketball tournament, the warriors put on , um, I think it's positive coaching Alliance, a great cause we get to go compete at their facility. You know, let's see if our company will sponsor us again this year. And so he talked me into it when we , we go out and , uh, you know, like, Hey, we gotta go out and practice. So at lunch, we're going over to the local gym and getting a run and trying to get in shape, you know, with only a couple of weeks telling them the tournament. And , uh, I , I sprained my ankle, right. So then we go into this three on three tournament and , um, you know, we're hobbling around, but I'll tell you what, just, you know, getting to do that with my colleagues and seeing how hard they competed and how much they wanted to win, even in this charity event. Um, it was awesome to kind of get, get a little bit of that fix again. And then, you know, everyone, we're always looking to find different ways, right team, or, you know, getting outside and challenging ourselves, exercising, hiking, you know, whatever other hobbies, you know, we can get into. So I miss playing the game, I get a little bit of a fix , um , coaching kids and trying to pass on. I feel like I was so fortunate to be exposed to some great coaches and players that , um, that gave me tools that I think can be applied from, you know, an eight, nine year old kid all the way up if they get to play professionally. And so, you know, having a chance to pass on some of that experience and equip guys that, that may just, you know, maybe give them a little boost to, to have some of the fun and experiences that I had , um, is really fulfilling as well. It keeps me connected to the game a little bit.

Collin Kushner:

I love that Matt, because we touched on that earlier, where you get the opportunity to tell, to tell a kid like, Hey, you have the tools, you know, let let's, let's refine it. And I know, like I see the smile on your face now. And I know that has to mean the world to you to, to see somebody know they have a special talent and to help them harvest that we're wherever, wherever it goes,

Matt Gutierrez:

My friend, and I'll throw it out there. It's a, it's an organization called Katy prep that my buddy started , um, going back six or seven years now, he's one of my, one of my best friends from high school. And , um, played college, played professionally in the arena football. And he started training kids when he was done. And , um , you know, got me in a couple other guys involved , uh , Murray's drew Demetrius Williams guys that were DeLaSalle guys that went on to play and there's there's others as well. But , um, he's built up this amazing organization where we use football as kind of a tool where we're saying, Hey, here's all these talented kids. Let's give them this information, this knowledge technique, knowledge of the game that we learned as professionals, they can apply it as high school kids, right. And hopefully give them a leg up to , uh, to have opportunities going forward. And there's a lot of things that have, that have come out of that in terms of, Hey, these kids don't just need , um, football knowledge, they need academic support. They need guidance in terms of, Hey, you're a great athlete, a power five prospect, but , um, you know, how do you get yourself academically in order to be able to take advantage of that opportunity? And so nation's developed a , um, tutoring program. We have professionals that come in and help the kids and , um, and then we're able to raise money and , uh, you know, take the kids to competitions, obviously not during COVID, but , um, in other times to, to different cities, to compete against great talent around the country. And then also more importantly to get them on college campuses in those cities , um, to see what that experience is like maybe to have develop a vision of themselves being in a place like that when maybe they wouldn't have had an opportunity to do so, otherwise having done it , uh, started doing it maybe six, seven years ago. We're getting to the point now where we're actually seeing some of our kids get drafted, becomes there's in college and, and kinda , you know, go on through the process. So, you know, being able to see that, and Hey, we're not the, we're not the reason that those guys are having success. Um, whether it's, you know, just in life and business and college or, or some of these athletes moving on, but knowing that, you know, for a snapshot in time, we were, we were a part of their lives and , um, and maybe offered a couple of things that helped them along the way, and , and even staying in touch with those guys now. And, and , uh, and seeing what they're doing is really fulfilling.

Collin Kushner:

How do you take a kid that you're guiding and how do you get them to understand that it's not just about football, but that the academics and the post football life that's just as important. If not more

Matt Gutierrez:

Talking is one thing and trying to tell them as one thing, but doing, and in trying to create opportunities for them to get exposure, I think just really goes a long way and we try to coach them and , uh , and give them information. But as an example, the organization brought in , um, four entrepreneurs from, you know, from the Bay area guys that have started tech companies, guys , one guy started an apparel company. Another guys worked at Bain and worked with a bunch of , uh, worked with venture capital firms. These guys are , are my age, you know, so I mean, the stories that you hear a guy moving out from , uh, from the Northeast and, you know, living in a apartment in San Francisco with five buddies, you know, can't get hard to hard to, you know, bring a date over just the crazy stories you guys, these guys tell, just so they could pursue the dream of starting a company and they've been successful, right? These guys are 35, 36, maybe they're on their second or third company. Um, their, their CEO knows they're running businesses , um, impactful pillars of the community to bring people like that in, and have kids that maybe don't know anybody like that, or maybe they've seen somebody like that on Instagram or , or on, on the news, but they've never gotten a chance to speak with them in our organization, create opportunity where these guys come in with the , just a small group of 10 or 15 of our kids. And for, you know, they, they worked out with them first. They trained with them socially distance, of course, and then, and then moved into , um , to more of like a breakout session. And then in small groups where you have , uh , guys that are, you know, 15, 16, 17, many of them are very talented athletes that will play division one college football, having a chance to pick these guys' brains and say, you know, Hey, how did you do it? You know, how did you survive some of the hard times , um, you know , how did you manage some self-doubt in your world? You know, how can I take that and apply that to myself as a student athlete? And, you know , maybe eventually as a business person, it was so awesome. I went and sat and, you know , tried to experience some of it and just to see the , the engagement , uh , with our kids and to see them kind of come alive and the questions they were asking, and, you know, the truth is those guys, you know, maybe not have the courage , maybe wouldn't have the courage or the opportunity to seek out that information. If that environment wasn't created. I think doing things like that, getting kids on college campuses where maybe they've never been before, maybe they don't have a family member that's been to college before. And seeing other guys that, you know , look like them come from the same circumstances are athletes like them and say, Hey, I can do this too. I do belong here. Um, I think those experiences are so impactful and then, you know, whatever knowledge and in a hot air that we spill on them is , uh , it's just a little bit extra.

Collin Kushner:

That's such a unique perspective, Matt, because I don't recall anybody or any camp that I went to growing up. I don't recall anybody bringing in a business owner or somebody just unrelated to the game and coming to speak with you in small groups saying, Hey, this is great. This is what I do. This is how you can do it. I mean, that exposure and that experience, I think that when you see that firsthand, that gets your wheels turning and you're like, wait a second. Like, I can do this too. And be successful playing football.

Matt Gutierrez:

Yeah. It was awesome. And , uh, you know, that's just one example of some things that, that the organization has been able to do, but, you know, I think, you know, we've talked about the mentality of athletes and how it relates to, you know, outside of sports and for the kids, you know, these guys come in, they don't recognize them, right. It's a , they don't know who they are and then they hear their story and the success that they're having in business. And I remember the guys are talking about how they're all friends and they support each other, almost like teammates, even though they're in different businesses. And so they're saying like, Hey, you know, we go out and we work out together. Right. And when we work out together, they're like competing, they're talking trash to each other, you know, one guy's picking the hardest Hill to run up to. And he gets up first and he's trash as the other guys are bringing up the rear and in a constructive way, right. They're challenging each other to grow and hold each other accountable. And, you know, those are things that the young student athletes can relate to. And so they're like, and even for me, I'm like, wow, you know, these guys aren't different than, than us. Right. We're the same. We're just applying these things in , in different areas. And , um, and so it's all possible for us.

Collin Kushner:

We always kind of go back to that blue color , the beginnings in the humble mindset and just grinding things out. Do you think you would still be where you are today because you could have gone the other way and been like, you know what, I'm not getting my opportunity. I'm out.

Matt Gutierrez:

Maybe that works for some people, maybe it would . I just don't know. You know, I just never, I was never taught to think like that. And , um, I just don't, I think there's, you know, I think there's absolutely value in being rational. And like we, we said maybe, you know, trying to keep perspective, but as far as, you know, running away from a challenge or, or an obstacle, or , um, you know, I just don't see the value. And again, going back to the game, right. It's like, if there's time on the clock, we're in the game, there's a chance to win. Right. That's , that's why you're playing. And, you know, I feel like it's the same thing outside of sport, right? Like, you know, we're here, it's tough time right now in the world for a lot of people, but we're in the game. And , uh, I think definitely, you know, having developed that mindset and I all the credit to my parents for, for instilling that in me and my brother at a young age, I just don't know if I could see things any other way. And of course my resolve has, you know, like anybody, you go through things in life, and sometimes it's really high and sometimes you're hanging onto a thread going, you know, there's a glimmer of hope that we can turn this around, but I just try to keep on moving forward and be positive and optimistic. And I tend to find that I enjoy life a lot more with , uh, when I look at things that way,

Collin Kushner:

The foundation that your parents laid for you is fantastic. I mean, to get you to mold your mindset, to be that way, because you're right, you're going to experience highs. You're going to experience lows. And it's just about navigate, like, how do you navigate those? Because it's easy to go one way to the left one way to the right, but doing it right in the middle, you know, in a way just taking a deep breath, that's something that I admire about you, Matt. And I've really enjoyed kind of diving into because it's important. And I think a lot of these kids, if they kind of understand how to do that, again, it comes down to them. Sky's limit whether it's on the field or off.

Matt Gutierrez:

I appreciate you saying that. And , um, you know, my coach Bob lattice , or I remember him talking with me, you know, when I was a young quarterback at de LaSalle saying, Hey, you know, there's a lot of emotion involved in this game, but most great quarterbacks are, are really even keeled. Um, you know, you can't get too high or low because the games are long and things are going to be up and down. And, you know, people are going to be looking to you for some stability. And , um , you know, I learned that again from him, but I also witnessed that even going up to the highest level, you know, watching guys that, you know, will be in the hall of fame as, as athletes and have had many successes and , um , many great triumphs, but not saying they're not exuberant, they're excitable and they enjoy what they're doing very passionate, but they have the ability to , uh, to not get too high or low and lose focus on, you know, what , what the goal is ahead and which I tried to learn from and implement in my life,

Collin Kushner:

The perspective hearing about the Michigan days. I mean, when you kind of painted that picture, Matt of the bus, you know, your first game, it's like, it's almost like I could see it. And I think that's the visual out . That's what I want people to get from the podcast. I want them to kind of , it's almost like they're sitting right next to you on this journey. Right. All the way from the beginning and conquered , uh, at Dayla sell all that success, Michigan, grinding it out, Ida , Idaho, state, the whole deal. Um, and now, you know, commercial real estate at, at , at CVRE. And I think they have, I think they have a headquarters or they have an office in Irvine. Cause I'm from Irvine. Originally .

Matt Gutierrez:

They have offices all over the world. I think we have one here in Newport beach. Um, downtown LA is a big office and , uh, they actually just announced it, they're shifting the headquarters to Dallas, Texas, which has been our biggest office in the us for some time. Um, but yeah, they have, they have a presence all over and I haven't seen all the offices, but hopefully , uh, no, I really enjoyed living and traveling to other places, you know, in , in my sports career and in business. So hopefully there'll be more that ahead,

Collin Kushner:

Got to get you set up at the Pocatello office. Right, right ,

Matt Gutierrez:

Right . I'm not sure how many , uh, skyscrapers are going up in Pocatello. I don't know if they, if they'd like that much, but I have seen , um, some of my former teammates up in Pocatello, actually guys that were from California , um, have become a huge part of the startup community up there in Idaho, which, you know, which one wouldn't really thinwas a hotbed. But , um, these guys are doing some great things and , uh , kind of putting Pocatello on the map

Collin Kushner:

10 years from now, where do you see yourself?

Matt Gutierrez:

Hopefully just enjoying life with my family and friends and, you know, getting to spend a ton of time and experience things with the people that I'm close to now. And also , um, you know, hopefully a lot of new friends in the extended family, I just, you know, the, I think the more years and more experiences that we have , um, it becomes more apparent. And my, you know, my parents are getting into their sixties now and my dad had a birthday the other day. And I, you know, I called him in the morning. I said, Hey, you know, any words of wisdom, you know, 63 years old. And he's like, Hey man, keep it simple, you know, spend time with the people that you care about and, and that you enjoy being around and , um, and life will be good. So , um, you know, I'm still as driven as ever for, you know , competing and in success. And you know, some of the endeavors that I'm in, but I think hopefully , um , you know, 10 years from now getting to do a lot of that and , uh, and having a greater appreciation for some of those things, hopefully

Collin Kushner:

Matt, thank you so much for taking the time to chat and to, and to take us from , from the infancy of Matt QTRS to where we are now. I wish you nothing but success. My friend go blue. And again, really appreciate the time.

Matt Gutierrez:

Yeah. Likewise, thank you for having me and , uh , always go blue

Collin Kushner:

For more interesting stories with former athletes, check out "Hey, where'd you go?" on Apple podcasts , Spotify, and a video version on YouTube. Plus check it out on social media. That's Collin Kushner on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.