By Indiana State University
Oct 26, 2020
Chris Overton, ’16, barely remembers a time he didn’t have a football in his hand.
His dad, who was a high school football coach, encouraged him to begin playing the sport at age 6 and it led him to Indiana State University, where he spent lot a time on the football field.
His love of sports didn’t end, even after his college career was over. Last year, Overton started the sports agency business, Believe Sports Group, but that venture is on hold while he begins his career as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch and he and his wife, Nila, settle in to their life as parents to their daughter, Callie.
“One reason I got into the sport realm is because I dealt with a lot of injuries in college and it gave me time to coach my teammates on and off of the field. That experience led me naturally to an advisor-like role that I now do in the financial realm.”
Overton started his college career on a football scholarship at Kent State University, where he played for two seasons. When Overton ultimately didn’t find his footing on or off the field at Kent State, the Cleveland native transferred to Indiana State.
“My dad had a connection to football coach at Indiana State and it looked like somewhere I want to be, so we visited the campus and it was a perfect fit for me to play football and study sport management.”
The experience at State allowed him to grow and mature in a nurturing environment and later pursue an advanced degree from John Carroll University in Ohio.
After graduating from State, Overton took a semester off to pursue a ticket sales job with the Cleveland Cavaliers before deciding to return to pursue a Master of Business Administration at John Carroll University.
Overton later accepted a position with PNC Bank as personal banker before becoming a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch, focusing on sports and entertainment advising.
“My family likes to say that there was a different Chris before and after Indiana State,” he said. “The university’s diversity and inclusion allowed me to achieve my goals while being myself,” he said. “The smaller class sizes also gave me better connections with professors. Then, there was Coach Anthony Perkins, who was the reason I came to Indiana State and he was immensely helpful to me and my family, as well Coach Everett, who served as a mentor and a guide for me when I got to State.”
Because of State’s environment and the people he met, Overton excelled.
“At State, I was encouraged to really grow up and stand on my own two feet,” he said. “I knew no one when I got to State’s campus and had to focus on the future and it has helped lead me to where I am today.”