Ben Graham



Bachelor of Commerce


Geelong Waurn Ponds

Graduation year


Deakin Alumni of the Year Award


Current position

Strategic Operations Manager, Western Bulldogs


Following a celebrated playing career of more than 20 years in both AFL in Australia and NFL in the US, Ben Graham retired from professional football and returned home to take up a management position with the Western Bulldogs.

Career path and highlights

Ben began his AFL career at the Geelong Football Club in 1992. Some 13 seasons later he made the big move to the US and earned a position as a punter with the New York Jets in 2005, followed by the New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions. 

Ben made history becoming the first Australian to captain an American pro-sports team. He is also the only player to be appointed captain of teams in two different professional sports leagues. 

During his career Ben played on both codes' largest stages: the AFL Grand Final (1995) and the Super Bowl (XLIII). He was also the first Australian to play in a Super Bowl, and is considered one of the most successful hybrid footballers ever.

Q&A with Ben

What degree did you undertake at Deakin?

A Bachelor of Commerce graduating in 2007.

Why did you choose this course?

I decided on a Bachelor of Commerce because the management and marketing aspect would be very beneficial both during and after my football career.

You played 219 games for Geelong and left in 2004. What have you been doing since?

After the 2004 AFL season, I embarked on an NFL career in the USA. I moved to New York in 2005 and after six months learning the fine art of punting and a completely new game, I earned a position with the Jets in the NFL and also New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions. Since retiring from the AFL, I now work for the Western Bulldogs in the AFL.

What is success to you?

Success is achieving your goals, being comfortable in your own skin, enjoying every moment with your family and friends, and waking up every morning with a positive attitude.

What has your degree given you?

It has allowed me to appreciate the commercial, marketing, administrative and management aspects of professional sport. With the knowledge and experience gained over the past 17 years playing football, my Deakin degree will definitely stand me in good stead for future employment.