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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Oct. 1, 2013

Former NFL player to share story at Northwest Oct. 15

By Kari Sierks, media relations assistant

Merril Hoge

Merril Hoge

Merril Hoge, a former NFL star, cancer survivor and ESPN analyst, is the first guest in Northwest Missouri State University’s Student Activities Council SAC Speaks lecture series.

Hoge will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom. The lecture is free and open to the public.

“Merril was chosen because of his life story,” said Lucas Clark, SAC’s director of lecture programming. “He has gone through many trying and challenging times and still made himself successful. His story will benefit the audience as he explains that whatever life throws at you, you can always find a way to overcome that situation and move on.”

In 1987, Hoge was drafted into the NFL by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He led the team in rushing and receiving in four of his first five years, setting a record in his third year for receptions by a running back. In 1993, Hoge went to the Chicago Bears as a free agent. Due to post-concussion syndrome, Hoge was forced to retire early after playing with the Bears for one year.

Two years later, Hoge joined ESPN as a football analyst, where he currently works with Ron Jaworski on the highly acclaimed “NFL Match Up” show. Hoge has distinguished himself through his in-depth knowledge of both offense and defense and his strong relationships with coaches and players in the NFL. He is also an analyst for the ESPN shows “NFL Live,” “Sports Center,” “Primetime” and “NFL Countdown.”

Hoge published his first book, titled “Find A Way,” in 2010, based on his philosophy since he was 12 years old. Throughout his life, living by this philosophy has helped him attain his goals of playing in the NFL as well as overcoming challenges and setbacks, from the death of his mother when he was young to having to end his football career and being diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2003. Hoge is a long sought-after speaker and hopes sharing his book and story helps others find a way to achieve their goals and overcome challenges.

For more information about the lecture, contact SAC Graduate Assistant Lindsey Steele at or 660.562.1226. 

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468