Alumni Feature: Jay Henry - Life after Football
Jay Henry is a different man than he was when he played football at WVU from 2002-07. As a student-athlete, he did the smart thing: he prepared himself for life after football.
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Henry made smart decisions about education during his time at WVU and after. After graduating as a double-major in accounting and finance in 2007, and a two-time Academic All-American, he went to work at an investment bank selling small- to medium-sized businesses. He then took a position in New York City with a private equity group buying and investing in manufacturing and industrial service businesses.
“I learned all I could at WVU and at the two jobs I held following graduation,” said Henry, whose wife Eryn also graduated from B&E with an accounting degree. “I was hungry for knowledge and I knew it would benefit me down the road.”
Then he was off to graduate school, earning his MBA from the prestigious Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Henry was known to be “smart and savvy with great football instincts” on the gridiron. His instincts next took him to Charlotte, North Carolina, to work at a $650 million private equity fund where he invests on behalf of limited partners in business and technology services companies. Those same instincts he used on the football field, combined with a commitment to education, have helped him succeed in the world after football.
“I feel like my WVU experience was very formative of who I am today. What I learned in finance and accounting has stuck with me everywhere I’ve been. You hone your skills and you put it to work every day, but the basics will carry you through,” Henry said.
The former middle linebacker and soon-to-be father of three said he loves Charlotte and plans to be there for the remainder of his career. And that competitive nature has stuck with him.
“The work-life balance is tough,” he said. “You want to be good at everything on both sides of the equation.”
For the guy who was known as a leader on defense, could play any of the three linebacker positions and was on every special team, the key is in the commitment and dedication. Fans and B&E faculty alike remember him as hard-nosed and eager, but for completely different reasons. But that’s what makes him Jay Henry.
“I miss football,” he laughed. “Oh, yes. I miss football.”