MISSOULA – Professional athletes reach retirement a lot quicker than the rest of us. Chase Reynolds didn’t choose to step away from football in the past year, but, after six seasons in the NFL, the former Montana running back couldn’t land a spot in the league. Now he’s working on starting a second career.
Reynolds spent the entire season at his home in Missoula staying in shape in hopes an NFL team would come calling. Other than one tryout with the New Orleans Saints, he didn’t get a chance, so Reynolds decided to make Montana his permanent home again.
The 30-year-old is teaming up with his wife to become real estate agents, and he will also run for state Senate this year. Reynolds saw a lot of his former teammates struggle in their second act. He made sure that wouldn’t happen to him.
“A lot of these guys they don’t have a path, they don’t have a career,” said Reynolds. “They’ve put their whole lives in sports and in football in general. I’ve always tried to be the opposite. I’ve always prepared myself for — I know football is going to be over, so what can I do next? And where should I head after football is done?”
Reynolds started thinking about a political career a few years ago when he began to make plans for life after football. The Drummond native dreams of one day being governor of Montana. Last fall while he was still working out at his home in Missoula hoping for another NFL shot, he also attended the special session of the state legislature and felt he wanted to make a difference in Helena.
“Now I’m back here, and what can I do for Montana, Missoula, and a sense of community?” he said. “I think giving back in politics is huge. I think with that voice and being able to use my background in a positive manner, that, to me, is the ultimate give-back to a community. You do it for a reason that’s bigger than you. That’s my thoughts on it. I want to be part of change in Montana, and I want to be part of the solution and part of growth and part of the future.”
Reynolds will run as a Republican in the southwest Missoula district where he lives.