Speaking at the Ignite conference at Liberty University on Saturday, Ben Roethlisberger talked about his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers as well as his post-playing career plans. After spending more than a decade supporting his Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, which helped police and fire departments with K-9 units and service dogs, Roethlisberger said he is in the process of transitioning to the Roethlisberger Family Foundation in order to help reconnect families.
It has been well known throughout this career that Roethlisberger has a very close relationship with his father. Additionally, Roethlisberger is very close with his own children, two sons and a daughter. By establishing this foundation, Roethlisberger wants to help keep families connected, especially those connections between fathers and sons.
“We want to connect fathers and sons because it’s important,” Roethlisberger answered when asked about his plans upon retirement. “I feel like it’s lost to a certain extent, and it’s something I’m passionate about. So that’s kind of where we’re transitioning to.”
As Roethlisberger came into the final years of his career, he felt that football was his focus. Now retired, there are other things in life for him to focus his efforts.
“I feel like what’s missing in today’s society, are two important things to me: A father figure and the outdoors. I’m a huge outdoorsman.” Roethlisberger said. “I love to hunt, I love to fish, golf, all this stuff outside. I started thinking, I would love to take fathers and sons and let them reconnect together outside somewhere.”
So what is Roethlisberger’s plan for using the outdoors to help re-connect families? Despite his connections through the NFL, which would allow him access to various places across North America to do these things, Roethlisberger is executing his plans very close to home.
“About a mile down the road from our house where we live, a beautiful farm went for sale,” Roethlisberger continued. “We just felt like we should buy that and do everything there. So that’s what we’re doing—a father-son retreat on this property so I don’t have to travel and be away from my family. I literally can just go and be right there.”
Roethlisberger went on to describe some of the things that will be available at the retreat center.
“So we have this beautiful farm, this beautiful property. There’s fishing. We have 12 horses on there. We’re going to have a big farm house—a 100 year-old farm house my wife is redoing for people to stay.”
While many have speculated as to what Roethlisberger would do now that his time in the NFL has come to an end, he is staying in Pittsburgh and transitioning into other passions to find his new life’s work.
“We’re in the process of transitioning to the Roethlisberger Family Foundation. Because we want to help families, the family unit. Fathers and sons are a part of that.”
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain in the coming days for more from Roethlisberger’s comments on his time with the Steelers and more.