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This profile was last updated on 10/17/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Founder and Chief Executive Offic...

Athlete Connections Foundation
189 S. Orange Avenue Suite 1850
Orlando , Florida 32801
United States

Company Description: Athlete Connections is dedicated to assisting current and former student-athletes in the transition from athletics to the workforce. As a company comprised of...   more

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Bachelor's degree , Communications
    University of Florida
  • degree , Telecommunications
    University of Florida
76 Total References
Web References
Athlete Connections: Board Members, 14 Mar 2012 [cached]
Daniel Cross - Champion
Dan Cross Founder/CEO
Careers for Athletes | Best Careers for Athletes | Athlete Leadership, 5 July 2014 [cached]
Dan Cross, Founder/CEO
Dan Cross
Dan Cross is a former All American basketball player who attended the University of Florida, and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications. As a member of the first team to ever advance to the Final Four in school history, Dan was inducted into the University of Florida's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2007, Dan was awarded the Regions Bank Business Salute which honors former student-athletes from the South Eastern Conference who go on to run successful businesses. In 2008 he received the SEC Basketball Legends Award and was honored as Orlando Business Journal's "Top 40 Under 40 Businessmen". Dan is currently Founder/CEO of Athlete Connections. In addition, he has done color commentary for University of Florida Basketball and directs youth fundamental sports programs in the summer.
While pursuing a dream to play in the NBA, Dan played professionally in the US minor leagues including the CBA, ABA, and USBL. He went on to play in countries such as Greece, Italy, Turkey, Finland, Cyprus, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Israel and many others.
In 2006, after finding a common void in sports around the world, Dan Cross founded Athlete Connections, an organization that is designed to enhance youth sports by providing programs that teach life skills in preparation for life and a career after sports. Our vision is a proven program focused on character development and life skills education. Dan is also contracted through the City of Orlando Family Parks and Recreation to assist in developing youth sports programs.
Best Jobs for Athletes | Jobs for Athletes | Testimonials, 5 July 2014 [cached]
Luckily, that is when I met Dan Cross, Founder and CEO of Athlete Connections. The timing of that 'connection' couldn't have been better. Being a former student athlete himself, he was able to relate to everything I was going through and shared stories about many student athletes who were going through the same transitions.
T hanks Dan for taking the time to come talk to the players.
That's why former University of ..., 29 July 2013 [cached]
That's why former University of Florida Hall of Fame basketball player Dan Cross founded Athlete Connections (, to help student athletes transition to the non-sports professional world.
Cross has chosen public relations firm Insider Media Management ( to execute a national media relations campaign. "Insider Media is the perfect fit for us with its impressive track record in sports marketing and media relations, as well as Internet-based businesses," says Cross.
Jobs for Student Athletes | Careers for Athletes | Jobs for Athletes, 27 Sept 2012 [cached]
Today, Dan Cross is trying to help a group of people who many assume need no help - former athletes struggling to find a way to assimilate in society.
"It's not some experiment," Cross said. "It's life. I'm just trying to help a lot of people."
Cross is in the middle of his own experience of dealing with a new world. After starring at Florida and leading the 1994 Gator team to the Final Four, he has played some professional basketball, most recently in Israel where he suffered the injury.
While rehabbing, he has accelerated his plan to form a company that will help former student-athletes.
Cross is starting with Florida athletes and Florida alumni, but plans to expand the idea and his non-profit organization throughout the country.
Connecting people with a common fight song can be as simple as making one phone call or bumping into the right guy at a golf course. Part of Cross' plan is to get around and do plenty of networking.
Cross, who lives in Orlando, spent the last two weekends in Gainesville.
Daniel Cross - Champion Daniel Cross manages to combine reserve with intensity to create a persona of driven peace. He is a champion in both senses of the word - as a winning athlete and as an advocate for student athletes transitioning from sports to the business world. Daniel sits fully relaxed in his easy chair as we talk, but he radiates empathy and understanding for what most sports figures find to be a difficult tumble.
He has lived that ragged fall himself, discovering the empty gap between cheering crowds and the silent after burn of a sports career. Rather than succumbing to bitterness, he's taken up the banner for yesterday's forgotten heroes.
Daniel is founder and CEO of Athlete Connections, a non-profit organization that helps "athletes complete their career," as Daniel puts it. "There are no failed athletes," he tells me. "Just to be able to play basketball, baseball or any sport at the college level defies all the odds. Take basketball, for instance. Less than 3% of all students can make the claim to have played in NCAA sports; of those, barely 1% goes professional. That's 44 players out of 60,000 who play NBA ball.
To even get close to that is the best kind of success. With all their focus on being part of that 1%, and the adulation they receive along the way, when their last game is played, entering the "real world" is the greatest challenge student athletes face. Daniel and his organization want to be there for them.
He comes by his sense of responsibility honestly; Daniel is the oldest of five kids raised in humble circumstances in Carbondale, Illinois. As he tells me his story, it's clear he has mined it for every lesson he could find. His intelligence is without question, so it surprised me when he said he didn't get high marks in school, especially when he told me his father was both teacher and pastor.
As Daniel told me about his fledgling sports career, he couched it in transferable skills, like a good CEO.
Daniel came to the University of Florida through a hard-to-resist recruitment.
Daniel has the habit of pulling lessons from everything; his student athletes are never far from his mind. "This routine possesses a lot of qualities that - even though they're not aware of it at the time - will benefit athletes later down the line when transferring to the business world. Discipline, working toward a goal, playing under pressure, working in the public eye… it's the best time of your life. Daniel was an integral part of the first Final Four team ever fielded by the Florida Gators, and with it he was feted with numerous awards. Daniel was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006, he was awarded the Regions Bank solute award honoring former student athletes from the South Eastern Conference operating successful business and is receiving a prestigious 2008 SEC Conference Legends Award.
The NBA loomed large in his mind as friends, coaches and supporters all encouraged the dream. "I would try out every year and always make it to the final cut, but it never happened."
That didn't mean he wasn't a professional. Daniel played professional basketball across the world. "The longer I played, the more my family would say maybe it was time to consider the B plan, but when you're focused on the A plan, there's no time for B or C. Basketball was like an addiction to me. No matter the problems or pressures off the court, when I was out there I was totally free. It was magic. Time waits for no one, not even athletes, and eventually Daniel knew it was winding down. "I decided to play in Israel. It would be a chance to see the Holy Land, and I did; Jerusalem, Bethlehem, it was beautiful country, nothing like you see on TV. He led a team of non-English-speaking players and managed to pull them together despite the language barrier.
Daniel fought it, and determined to do something about it.
Athlete Connections was founded to partner with schools and sports fans to bridge that gap that no one was spanning. Whether it's learning to handle finances responsibly, discovering their transferable skills, or help in seeking employment, Daniel and his board of directors offer hope.
I asked Daniel if achieving professional status was only for a precious few, are college sports worth it? "Oh, yeah!
Daniel Cross can be found at Check it out!
Dan Cross understands.
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