- High School
- Life After College
- Philosophy on Life
I was born in raised in Littleton, Colorado. I have been very into sport my whole life. I love your traditional sports such as football, baseball, basketball, etc, but also love the adrenaline rush from extreme sports and activities such as skydiving and cliff jumping.
I started to become increasingly interested in computers the further I got into college which led me to where I am today. I am a software engineer for a medical healthcare IT company.
I grew up in Littleton, Colorado where I spent the first 18 years of my life. I have 2 sisters, Nicole and Monica, and my wonderful dad and mom, Lynn and Debby. I Attended Dutch Creek Elementary, Shaffer Elementary, Deer Creek Middle School, and Chatfield Senior High. I Grew up playing football, baseball, basketball, and soccer and ran track for 1 year. I'll never forget when I was 11 when my mom first asked me if I wanted to play tackle football competitively. I was super excited and extremely nervous at the same time. Does this mean that people are going to hit me? Good thing for the cheap ass equipment we got. My helmet weighed a good 10 pounds and the only reason my neck was able to support it was because our shoulder pads were so big that it pretty much eliminated my neck.
My first year playing football we went to the national championships in Las Vegas and won. I stayed with my grandpa who lived there and he came to all the games and was my biggest fan.
Two of the most important things I took from my childhood were:
- Great parenting (thanks Mom, thanks Dad!)
- Always taught me right from wrong and to always be morally right in everything I do and they always stressed the importance of education.
- Great coaching
- The coaching was more than just about sports. When you're young you're still learning life lessons all the time and you end up spending a lot of time with your coaches. They end up playing a big role in your life which you don't realize at the time. Not only were my coaches very knowledgeable about sports, but they were almost always morally right and did the right things. These were the role models I looked up to then and still look up to today.
Little did my parents know, but I was running a business from home from about the time I was about 13 years old. I loved collecting sports cards and other sports memorabilia and for many years I had bought cards through auctions and online sites. I saw how many of these auctions were run and thought it was definitely something I could do. So I started running auctions selling sports cards. I would surf the web looking for deals online then make purchases for things that I thought would go up in value, then sell as the sports cards and memorabilia value increased. My dad couldn't quite figure out why all of a sudden I started getting all this money in the mail. So I explained to him what I had been doing.
This was the start of entrepreneurship and where my interest for computers grew. I was making money before I was even able to drive a car. That's when I found the true value of the web. I was able to reach thousands of people with minimal marketing (mass emails and post at random interest groups) and without any kind of actual business office at all. It was all run from home.
This gave me a very early insight to business at a very early age without any outside guidance. I learned the basics of marketing what to do and what not to do. My first early lesson was sending out a mass email letting people know I was running an auction. Some were very interested and some were very upset at this "spam" email. So I learned to find customers through other means. Even if I didn't have the greatest memorabilia in my auctions I knew how to market them to gain peoples interest.
I was always ethical the way I handled business. Running these auctions required people to send me money before I sent them the memorabilia. I don't think they would've been too excited if they knew a 13 year old was conducting these auctions, but service was very important to me and I wanted to make sure my customers were always pleased.
I'll never forget the week I turned 16 and my dad gave me my first car...1987 White Ford Bronco. That thing got a solid 6 miles to the gallon. It was a beast. I took it 4-wheeling with some of my friends, hit a jump and some girl in the back seat peed her pants because she was laughing so hard (literally). When I was finished I didn't think to wash my car. So when my dad saw it all covered in mud he was pissed! I learned to wash the car after all my 4-wheeling adventures after that.
I played football, baseball, basketball, and ran track during high school. I only played basketball my freshman year before realizing it was more important to train for football and baseball during the winters.
I played football and baseball all 4 years and ran track my senior year. I did have to go to any of the track practices because it was during baseball season so they just told me to make as many of the track meets as possible. I really enjoyed track and wish I would have done if all 4 years. I ran the open 100, the 4x100, long run, and high jump. However, some of the most memorable moments in my entire life was football my freshman and senior years.
Freshman year the coaches decided to keep out entire class together on the freshman team which paid off. We went 10-0 and didn't really struggle in any of the games.
Senior year we went 14-0 and were state champs. The one close game we had was in the semi-final game against Overland. We were down by 23 point with 10:15 seconds left in the game which we came back to win by 6. See the comback about 3 minutes into this video. We were ranked 11th in the nation by buzzle.com.
- 1998 freshman football team 10-0
- 2001 14-0 state football champs
- 2002 Track conference champs
- 2002 Took 10th in state in the long jump
- 2 times awarded academic all-state
In my early years of college I was looking to double major in accounting and finance from the Kelley School of Business. Accounting was something my older sister Nicole had gotten into so I just assumed I would like it as well. The further I went into the courses the more I realized those majors weren't for me.
I started becoming more interested in computers between my sophomore and junior years. It was something I started playing around with doing development for fun then started to realize it could possibly be a career path. I wasn't quite sure what to do until I had a conversation with one of my instructors, Matt Fischesser, the week before school started my senior year. He convinced me that if I wasn't interested in either of those two fields I was concentrating in that I needed to make a change and fast. I had always scheduled my classes so they would count toward any major in the business school. Instead of scheduling classes like fishing or ball room dancing, I took advanced programming classes and other classes taught through the computer science department.
The week before classes started, I completely changed my educational direction after coming to the realization that I had an interest in computers. I wasn't 100% sure if this was the route for me so instead of investing all my time in 1 area of study, I did 3. I graduated with 3 degrees:
- CIS - Computer Information Systems
- BPM - Business Process Management
- OM - Operations Management
I was awarded academic all Big 10 multiple times for my achievements in both the classroom and on the field.
School wasn't all business for me. While I always tried to take very challenging courses, I wanted to leave IU with more than just book smarts. It had been a goal of mine for a very long time to learn to play the guitar and piano. I was struggling to find time to so I just enrolled in courses for each. So my sophomore year I learned to play both the guitar and piano both of which I still play today.
One of the more frequently asked questions is "if you're from Colorado, how in the world did you end up in Indiana." In high school I was being recruited to play football for the University of Colorado by Brian McNeely. He was offered the Assistant head coaching job at Indiana and asked if I would come take a visit. I didn't know much about Indiana or really about the Big 10 at all except for Michigan who was always on tv and who I grew up watching Saturdays after my little league football games. The visit to Indiana went very well and they asked me to play for them. I very gratefully said yes!
This was a bit of a double edged sword. Indiana was interested in me kicking, but I wasn't content with just kicking. This was a bit ironic because when I was 11 one of my first football coaches, Ron Thompson, told me that my ticket college for football would be my kicking. He said that once I was in I would have a chance to show a team what I could do. Turns out he was right on. They told me they would let me work some in at receiver which was a completely normal thought for me until I got to camp. The first day we did introductions in front of the team I stood up and said, "I'm Troy Grosfield. I'm from Littleton, Colorado. I'm a kicker and a receiver" and everyone in the room laughed. I never understood why because this was completely normal for me and something I had done my whole life.
To me, hearing everyone laugh at me was just fuel for the fire. I've always treated everything I've done like I have a chip on my shoulder and have something to prove. It was motivation to me and helped me prove that anything is possible.
I worked my way into the scout team offense as a receiver after my kicking part of practice was over. Things went very well and my game day my freshman year was running scout team offense against our starting defense on Thursdays and Fridays. I loved it! My redshirt freshman year I was the kickoff guy. I led the kickoff team in tackles as the kicker. We were 1st in kickoff in the big ten and 6th nationally. The following spring they decided to give me a shot playing corner. Everything was going well until the week before the first game when I pulled my hamstring. My backup at the time, Tracy Porter who now plays for the New Orleans Saints, got the start and never looked back. He had 2 interceptions the first game and I never saw that corner job again so they moved me to safety. I was just happy to be on the field no matter where I was. I loved playing safety because we were very active on both the run and pass game so we were involved on almost every play. My junior year I was 3rd on team in tackles. My senior year I was 2nd.
I missed my college graduation because I was called by the Washington Redskins who invited me to rookie minicamp. It was an unbelievable opportunity that I wouldn't trade for anything. It helped me open my eyes to the fact that my playing days were limited.
In August of 2007, after realizing that my football career was over, I started to work for a medical healthcare IT company called Cerner Corporation. Adjusting to the cube life was a complete 180 degree turn from what I had been accustom to for the vast majority of my life where I had spent it either playing sports or preparing myself for the next sporting event.
Education was always important in my life and had been stressed to me from an early age by my parents. I knew football wouldn't last forever and I would need a good degree to fall on. I treated education the same way I treat my job which is the same way I always treated sports. If you're going to do something be dedicated to it and be the best you can possibly be at it.
Cerner has been great to me and I have been mentored and influenced by many great intelligent people along the way. I was put in a few roles where I was given a lot of freedom to create applications from the ground up where I was in control of the entire development process.
I came to Cerner doing Java development so I felt the need to take the Sun Certified Java Programmer exam just to prove I could pass it. On May 12, 2010 I did just that.
Be the best you can be at whatever you do. Find your passion in life and pursue it because it will make life a lot more enjoyable. Stay dedicated to everything you do in life from work, to sports, to your personal relationships.
If you want something bad enough in life then go get it. Figure out what it is you want and take the first step towards accomplishing that task or goal and just take it one step at a time. No matter what, continue to take the next step. You will find you will learn a lot along the way.