Where Are They Now? – Jane GeddesPosted: July 2, 2013
Out of the fairway and into the rough and tumble. You might think that by making the bold move from playing in the LPGA to becoming an executive with the WWE, Jane Geddes became the most badass woman in sports. Just try telling that to her children and her wife-to-be, former pro tennis player, GiGi Fernández. In SI’s Where Are They Now? issue, executive editor L. Jon Wertheim catches up with Geddes, now a senior vice president for talent at WWE, where she has a special kind of supervisor in hulking wrestler Triple H. As this otherwise dignified woman betrays not the faintest hint of irony while talking of “smackdowns” and “turnbuckles” and “Hornswoggle, the World’s Sexiest Midget,” this much becomes clear: Her career switch may be the WWE’s most unlikely plot twist of all.
An LPGA star in the 1980s and ‘90s, Geddes spent most of her adult life in swanky country cluburbia, breaking par on the finest golf courses in the U.S. Since retiring from pro sports, Geddes returned to school and received a J.D. from Stetson Law School in Florida. She and her fiancée have also welcomed twins Madison and Karson into the world. Now armed with a law degree, two kids, and a fiancée, Geddes doesn’t exactly match up with the WWE’s core demographic.
“I could never put my finger on it, but I always knew I didn’t want to be Jane Geddes, the golfer,” Geddes says. (PAGE 117)
In her early 40’s, as her skills diminished slightly, she was quick to retire. She says, “It was important that I not be one of those golfers who stops making cuts, and they then have to pull you aside and say, Go away.” (PAGE 117)
Early on in her career with the WWE, Geddes realized that, for all of the surface differences, the fairway between the LPFA and WWE is rather narrow. She’d just jumped from one traveling circus with 150 or so members to another. “There are so many similarities,” she says. “I know the challenges of a tour. I know about life on the road. I know about sponsors. I know about coming on and trying to become a star. It’s part of who I was. Now I’m managing those people.” (PAGE 118)
As a pro golfer, Geddes reported to no one. But now, at WWE, she hammers out any work-related issue with Triple H. She is now responsible for everything from the promotion’s talent roster to travel arrangements for the wrestlers to professional development branding to hiring and firing those buff bodies. Would Geddes have ever predicted this type of change in her life 20 years ago? “No. But what can I say?” She answers. “This is our reality.” (PAGE 118)