It’s hard being a student-athlete, especially at a school with an academic reputation like Lehigh’s. Vin McCaffrey ’98 knows this first-hand. A four-year member of the men’s basketball team, he quickly learned how to deal with adversity in managing his time as a student and athlete. With the pressure of balancing the two aspects, McCaffrey’s time management skills developed on the fly. McCaffrey was more prepared for life after graduation than he expected. He just wishes more student-athletes, at Lehigh and elsewhere, would realize this sooner: they’re more ready to succeed in life than the average student.
McCaffrey took his hopes for today’s student-athletes into consideration when creating Game Theory Group (GTG) four years ago. GTG focuses on developing the life skills of college student-athletes and equipping them to launch their careers. With the help of McCaffrey and his team, student-athletes across the country have landed jobs and succeeded in them.
“I love working with student-athletes and watching them develop,” said McCaffrey, who now resides in North Carolina. “The program was designed to help student-athletes know themselves better and help them see the connection between academics and getting a job.”
McCaffrey’s success as a businessman began at Lehigh after realizing the NBA wasn’t in his future. His focus shifted to preparing himself for moments like GTG’s creation. McCaffrey anticipated starting his own company and did whatever possible to prevent shell-shock for when that opportunity came. He began interning at high-profile companies like Merrill Lynch and Cintas.
McCaffrey knew the marketplace would require more than his degree as an International Relations major. Therefore he decided to pursue his passion for business at Indiana University, where he received his MBA degree.
But, McCaffrey will never discuss his success without mentioning his alma mater.
“Lehigh was the launching pad in getting me where I am today,” McCaffrey said. “Lehigh’s way of doing things was crucial in my achievements as an undergraduate there. But those standards are even more evident in my success as an alumnus.”
McCaffrey thoroughly enjoyed his Lehigh experience both as a student and as an athlete.
“I built great friendships at Lehigh that’ll last a lifetime,” McCaffrey said.
McCaffrey especially treasures his memories from the basketball team. Some may take for granted the opportunity to play Division I basketball, but not McCaffrey. He’ll never forget the camaraderie established with former teammates while at practice and on road trips. “The opportunities I had at Lehigh were surreal,” McCaffrey said. “The friendships developed with my teammates last to this day. I’ve cherished watching them grow into leaders and great family people.”
McCaffrey is a “family man” in his own right. He married his wife, Julie, in 2004, and together they had a son, Quinn, who is now five years old.
No matter what kind of day the job presents him, McCaffrey emphasizes spending quality time with his family. “I’ve been fortunate in having a wonderful family while following my passion in starting a company,” McCaffrey said.
McCaffrey believes that his time as a Lehigh student-athlete is the engineer behind his success of his and the success of countless other former student-athletes. He feels like Lehigh’s Department of Athletics deserves a lot of credit.