CORVALLIS - What does a professional football player with a Super Bowl ring and an almost-finished college degree do when he retires from the National Football League?
After a successful 10-year career with the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Douglas Riesenberg decided to come to Oregon State University, where he will graduate on June 12 with two degrees, one in electrical and computer engineering and another in education.
After graduation, he wants to teach math to high school students.
From 1983-87, Riesenberg studied electrical engineering at the University of California-Berkeley, where he was a standout offensive tackle for the Golden Bears. When he was still a few credits short of his degree, the National Football League drafted him, and for 10 years he played offensive tackle for the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was with the Giants in 1991 when they won Super Bowl XXV.
Riesenberg, who had been living in the Bay Area, selected Oregon State because he wanted to live closer to his parents in Idaho, and because the OSU College of Engineering recognized more of his credits than UC/Berkeley.
"I would have had to basically start over there," he said. "Re-do all four years. OSU was a perfect fit. The people in engineering were very helpful and accommodating."
In addition, Riesenberg is taking advantage of OSU's double degree program, coupling his electrical and computer engineering degree with a degree in education.
"Doug is an example of the diverse range of quality students we're attracting to the engineering program here at Oregon State," said Ron Adams, dean of OSU's College of Engineering. "We're developing graduates who are well-rounded and know how to be part of a team in the workplace. Doug definitely knows a thing or two about teamwork."
Now approaching 40 and the father of three children, Riesenberg is ready for a new career, this one in the classroom instead of on the gridiron. The question is, will he coach?
"That's something I'd definitely like to do," he said, "if they'll let me."
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Ron Adams, 541-737-3101