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WATCH: Kelli Masters speaks about trailblazer status as NFL agent

Kelli Masters checked in with Rich Salgado on Big Daddy & Friends to discuss her status as a trailblazing NFL agent.

Kelli Masters checked in with Rich Salgado on Big Daddy & Friends to discuss her status as a trailblazing NFL agent, and how she managed to persevere during her early days of breaking into such a male-dominant industry.

Kelli Masters didn’t set out to be a trailblazer

Masters has spoken before about how her first half-decade as an agent, she felt like she wasn’t getting any traction. In an interview for Motrin from a few years ago, she recalled a disturbing encounter with a high-powered agent who belittled her and implied she’d never make it. Nevertheless, Masters found a way to keep pushing on, and eventually achieved massive success, eventually starting her own agency, KMM Sports.

Despite all that she’s achieved and the inevitable obstacles to overcome in reaching the pinnacle of her profession, Masters insists there was never any ambition for glory that drove her.

“I heard that word, that I was a “trailblazer” or pioneer” and I honestly didn’t set out to become that,” Masters said on Big Daddy & Friends.

The adversity that beset Masters early in her career actually made the success sweeter. What’s more, she takes pride in how it’s driven others to follow in her footsteps. What used to feel like an isolated struggle, Masters has discovered, is more universal than she realized.

“I’m so thankful that the battles that felt very personal to me, because I persevered through them, now I can turn around and see so many people [who] are encouraged in their journey, and they’re encouraged to reach their goals and persevere. Because they see that I did it, and I’m still here, and I’m still fighting the good fight.”

Today, Masters’ agency has a strong client list from the NFL and other major sports leagues. Among the notable pro football players are Seattle Seahawks receiver David Moore, Dallas Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin and Washington Pro Bowl punter Tress Way, along with several others.

Related: Jim Trotter speaks out on mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

Kelli Masters: A pioneering NFL and sports agent

Kelli Masters represented Gerald McCoy during the 2010 NFL Draft
Oct 28, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Among the many accomplishments Masters has achieved in her storied career as an agent is becoming the first woman ever to represent a first-round NFL draft pick in 2010. She was representing Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ eventual No. 3 overall pick, former Oklahoma Sooners star defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

According to Masters’ official website, she’s currently teaching sports law at Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma Christian University, tying together her background as an agent and her experience as an attorney.

Masters is also about to release her first book, which is titled High Impact Life: A Sports Agent’s Secrets to Finding and Fulfilling a Purpose You Can’t Lose. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon and will release on August 3, 2021.