Terry Rodenbeck ’64

Serving as coach of Fisher’s cross-country team was a transformative experience for Terry Rodenbeck ’64. He gives back to help other young students learn valuable life skills through athletics.

Terry Rodenbeck and Gerry Rooney

By all accounts, Terry Rodenbeck is a successful entrepreneur who founded a thriving family business. His path to success was not linear, nor easy. He described his career ups and downs which included being fired twice, and the setbacks he overcame while starting a company in the laundry room of his home in La Brea, CA. The skills he learned coaching ended up being some of the most useful in his career. “It got me out working with people. I had been a very shy guy in high school,” Rodenbeck said. “That was by far the most important thing, learning to work with people, how to bring them together and motivate them to be the best.” He emphasized that this wasn’t just about winning. “Learning how to lose, and how to fight on; learning that was the most important thing in my life.”

While he wasn’t at the top of his class academically, he appreciates the broad education he received at Fisher. “I met some really good people who opened my eyes to different things,” he shared. Rodenbeck values his history minor and shared how it helped him while spending time in Europe as a consultant. “I enjoyed meeting people and exploring cultures.”

Rodenbeck added that he’s appreciated his Fisher education more as he matured and realized the importance of supporting programs that can change lives.

“I give to Fisher sports because I feel so much can be learned about life from competitive sports. People working together is the most important thing. That's what life is about.”