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Hightower assists players off the field and helps prepare them for life after football. He oversees programs in continuing education, life skills, financial and career education/planning and career internships. He serves on the NFL’s player development continuing education, financial education and player engagement steering committees. In 2007, he received the NFL’s Winston-Shell Award for commitment and dedication to developing unique and innovative ideas and solutions.
Hightower spent three years as assistant director of professional development at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. He also worked as a student-athlete academic counselor at the University of Houston and the University of Maine.
Hightower was a free safety at Florida A&M University, where he was named Male Scholar Athlete of the Year during his junior season. He graduated from FAMU, magna cum laude, with a degree in graphic arts and printing management.
Hightower earned a master’s degree in physical education with a concentration in sports administration from Florida State University in 1998. He worked as an NCAA national office intern from 1997-98 in the education services group.
Born in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Hightower graduated from Brighton High School in Rochester, N.Y.
He and his wife have two daughters and a son.