Padres CEO Jeff Moorad gives his all to manage pro sports and players
A native of Modesto, Jeff Moorad earned an associates degree from Modesto Junior College in 1976, a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1978 from UCLA, then a law degree from Villanova University School of Law in 1981. As founder of Moorad Sports Management, he began specializing in athlete representation in 1983. His client base took off in 1984 when he was retained by Will Clark and four other members of the U.S. Olympic baseball team, each of whom were Top 10 draft choices.
In 1985, he joined forces with Leigh Steinberg to form one a dynamic twosome in sports representation, covering both Major League Baseball and the National Football League.
The duo negotiated more than $3 billion in athlete contracts throughout their 18 years together, including representing Pro Football Hall of Famers Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon and Thurman Thomas. Moorad was the negotiator on a number of landmark contracts for a baseball clients that included Manny Ramirez, Eric Karros, Ivan Rodriguez, Mo Vaughn, Shawn Green and Raul Mondesi.
He and Steinberg appeared in (and served as technical consultants) to director Cameron Crowe in the 1996 Oscar-winning film “Jerry Maguire,” and then Moorad had a cameo and consulted on “For Love of the Game.”
In February 2009, Moorad and a California-based group, reached an agreement to purchase the San Diego Padres. Moorad was named CEO.
Moorad guided his firm into sports technology ventures, publishing and charitable projects. He helped his clients understand the responsibility of serving as role models, encouraging them to contribute millions of dollars to community programs, including their own non-profit foundations and alma maters. Moorad endowed a $100,000 baseball scholarship to his alma mater UCLA.
Moorad is also active in dozens of charities and serves on numerous boards. He ventured into the sport of NASCAR, purchasing controlling interest in Hall of Fame Racing from Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. He and his wife, Jan, have three sons.
What brought you to La Jolla?
It’s the best place to live in San Diego, and the opportunity to run the Padres.
What makes this area special to you?
Fabulous aesthetics and understated people; it’s not a glitzy community.
What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
I wish every La Jolla resident had an ocean view — and also that all residents could be season ticket holders of the Padres.
Who or what inspires you?
The World Series inspires me annually. I was at game 6 in St. Louis this year (when the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers, forcing a seventh game). I had what was certainly the best baseball experience I’ve ever had.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom would you invite?
The guest list would include Willie Mays, John F. Kennedy, Colin Powell, John Wooden, Lou Gehrig, Leland Stanford and Warren Buffett.
What are your five favorite movies of all time?
“Heaven Can Wait,” “Polar Express,” “The Sound of Music,” “American Graffiti,” and “Jerry Maguire.”
What is your most-prized possession?
My relationship with each of my three sons: Justin, Christopher and Blake.
What do you do for fun?
Explore new restaurants, travel the world, and spend quality time with my kids.
Describe your greatest accomplishment?
Living out my dream of a 30-year career in sports.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?
Listen carefully and don’t be afraid to be the last person in the room to speak.
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