Former Seattle Seahawks cornerback, Trufant Family Foundation founder and entrepreneur By Marguerite Cleveland | Photo by Norris Fredrick
A Renaissance man is defined as a person with many talents or areas of knowledge. This perfectly describes Marcus Trufant. This football star and hometown hero is also a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and podcast host with his wife Jessica Trufant. He is a local favorite with Seattle Seahawks fans, where he had an All-Pro 10-year football career wearing the number 23. Preseason at the Seahawks Training Camp, he made the kids from the Monroe Boys and Girls Club’s day by posing for photos and signing autographs. That is just the type of guy he is supporting our youth. The drive and discipline he learned playing sports is now used in his role as an entrepreneur. Marcus serves as a role model mentoring, coaching and advising people to reach higher levels—in both sports and life.
Marcus’ role as a philanthropist was enhanced with the start of the Trufant Family Foundation, which strives to eliminate barriers for those seeking higher education. “I believe, together, we can better our community. As a Pacific Northwest local, born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, supporting local youth is near and dear to my heart. I am blown away by the opportunity to serve in the same neighborhoods and communities that encouraged me as a kid!” says Marcus. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation pivoted to provide transportation, food delivery and housing assistance. In addition, the Trufants focused on assisting front-line heroes by providing meals to their children.
The Truly Unruly podcast presents Marcus and wife Jessica’s take on marriage and parenting five children. They truly are experts with a 12-year marriage that has survived new fame as an NFL family and endured the challenges of parenthood as well as the joys. There are more than 65 unfiltered and funny episodes on a variety of topics relating to parenthood, relationships, success and much more. Listen to episode one to learn how the two met and their love story.
Q. As a philanthropist, what donation or action was the most meaningful to you?
A. Giving scholarships through the Trufant Family Foundation scholarship program. The reason this is so meaningful is to see, feel and listen to the impact these scholarships have on young people's lives. To listen to them years later and hear about what they are doing now is what it’s all about. Giving those who are underrepresented, and those who have been left out, an opportunity and exposure to opportunities they otherwise may not have.
Q. What challenges did you face transitioning from professional athlete to entrepreneur?
A. For me, it was building the right team and trust. It can be a scary place to step out of your comfort zone. Playing sports is something I’ve done ever since I was a young child. I had put in the time and energy to call myself a specialist in that field. Transitioning to business was like being in kindergarten. I wanted to start from the beginning, gain experience, then put people around me that could help me succeed. Sports taught me that a team can only go as far as its coach or leader. As the leader, I had to put in the work.
Q. Why do you feel it is important to support small businesses?
A. Small business is the backbone of the community.
Q. Why did you and your wife Jessica start the podcast Truly Unruly, a show about life, love, and living with five kids?
A. People have told my wife and me that our family deserves and needs to be on reality TV. All the love, fun and crazy that comes with having five kids can sometimes be a little hard to manage. It can get “Truly Unruly.” Instead of adding more stress and going through the dance of trying to create and produce a reality show, the next best option was to start a podcast. We talk through the ups and downs of marriage, family, and everything in between. We hold nothing back. It’s honest, fun, and therapeutic.
Q. With five children, you must have plenty of sporting events to attend. What's it like experiencing the action from the other side of the field? Any budding pro athletes in the Trufant household?
A. My wife and I are very involved and supportive of our kids in school and all their activities. Competitive cheerleading, soccer, dance and flag football. Just to name a few. I tell people all the time I’m like an Uber driver who doesn’t get paid. For us, it’s not about being a pro or even being the best. We expect them to give max effort and be the best version of themselves. After that, if the chips fall into place and opportunities like scholarships, going pro, or making it to the next level happen, we will support our kids 100 percent like we always have.