When we last left Patrick Willis, he had his retirement well outlined: Fishing, working with his church, and letting his feet get some much needed rest away from the game. Despite a brief (and we mean BRIEF) rumor about him possibly coming back to the game, Willis' eight years as the San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker seem to have left almost just as soon as he began as one of the best defensive players in the league and he hasn't looked back.
Well it seems he couldn't stay retired forever and it looks like he's got himself a new gig. An article by Sam Laird on Mashable.com identifies Patrick Willis as the vice president for partnerships at Open Source Storage, a tech startup located in none other than Silicon Valley. Willis even has his own LinkedIn page. If you check it out, you'll notice he's wearing the same shirt he wore during his retirement speech.
What is Open Source Storage? It's a bit difficult to really explain it in this post, but here is what their LinkedIn page says:
We are experts in scalable systems. Open Source Storage solutions are designed to offer choices and flexibility with our products designed as building blocks supporting end-to-end scalability ranging from startups to large scale enterprise systems. Products include cloud, data storage, and media systems built using highly integrated open source software and open standards hardware reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) by an average of 50%.
Open Source Storage software services range from custom software stacks to innovative disruptive applications. To address the increasing demand for open source integrated enterprise architectures, Open Source Storage offerings extend into the data center, and along with our Partnership Network, we offer data center build, renovation, enterprise systems deployment, open systems integration, and technology refresh services.
This sort of makes it nothing short of awesome. Willis holds a degree in criminal justice, a far cry from anything that typically lands you in a tech startup, let alone the vice president for partnerships. Then again, is anyone really surprised? Obviously the startup scene presents a new challenge for Willis and can be very well just as rewarding as the NFL without him getting beat up on Sundays.
Willis got involved with Open Source Storage due to an encounter with the CEO, Eren Niazi. Willis and Niazi live in the same neighborhood in the South Bay. Before Willis retired, he was pulling some bags out of his car to bring into his house. He had just had surgery so it was not simple. Niazi noticed and offered to help. He had no idea who Willis was other than a neighbor who needed a quick hand. They eventually got to know each other. Both had rags-to-riches type stories, and that eventually led to this partnership.
I can't help but wish Willis nothing but the best and suggest you head on over to Mashable.com to learn about what Willis is up to nowadays.
Looks like he's doing just fine.