Kevin Scanlon

Chief Operating Officer

Stephens Sports Management Inc.

Little Rock

Kevin Scanlon

Kevin Scanlon helps athletes become millionaires.

The 37-year-old COO of Stephens Inc.'s sports management division has seen his agency reach elite status with the National Football League. Only one other national firm had a better college draft this year, when Stephens saw two athletes it represents drafted in the NFL's first round, and another two picked in the second. That meant healthy checks for those players, and they were all signed by the start of training camp.

"This has been a really good year for us," Scanlon says.

Last year, Scanlon's negotiations helped make defensive end Wayne Martin and quarterback Stan Humphries two of the highest paid players in the NFL. The company represents various athletes, most with Arkansas connections, in various professional sports. Also, coaches like Nolan Richardson, Danny Ford and Lou Holtz are signed with SSM, which handles contracts and/or investments and financial planning.

Scanlon, who quarterbacked the University of Arkansas Razorbacks to the Sugar Bowl in 1979, joined Stephens in 1987. Professional team general managers praise Scanlon's negotiating abilities, and the players sure can't complain about the contracts they're landing.