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THE WALL: Alumnus Carl Gersbach shares his journey from football to business success

Have you ever stopped to catch a glimpse at the Wall of Honor? We continue a series of interviews of noted alumni with a profile of a former NFL player.
CARL+GERSBACH+%E2%80%9864+%E2%80%A2+Swarthmore+High+School+alumnus+spent+seven+years+playing+in+the+NFL.+PHOTO+PROVIDED+BY+GERSBACH++INSET%3A+cbre.com++
CARL GERSBACH ‘64 • Swarthmore High School alumnus spent seven years playing in the NFL. PHOTO PROVIDED BY GERSBACH INSET: cbre.com

Carl Gersbach is currently the Senior Vice President of Global Commercial Real Estate Services in Radnor, PA.

But before his real estate career, he played for seven seasons in the NFL as a linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears, and St. Louis Cardinals.

Gersbach graduated from Swarthmore High School in 1964, prior the consolidation of Swarthmore High School and Nether Providence High School to form Strath Haven in 1983. He graduated from West Chester State University in 1968.

“I played football, basketball, and baseball, and was involved with the varsity team. Those were people that had earned letters in sports, but most of my extracurricular activities centered around sports as opposed to academic-type things,” Gersbach said.

Gersbach was elected to the All-Delco Team in his senior year, which was one of his favorite memories from high school.

“I’m sitting here in my den and I still have the picture of the team, the All-Delco Team from 1964. That was a highlight,” he said.

Gersbach recalls playing on Thanksgiving morning, as well as playing against Nether Providence High School.

“I think my senior year one of the big things that happened at Swarthmore, was every year, we played on Thanksgiving Day morning,” he said. “Ten a.m., we played Lansdowne and we beat them. That was a big game.”

“We would play Nether Providence every year and they were always tough, and I’m not sure that we ever beat them,” he said. “But they were always very competitive games.”

He also appreciated being a part of the Swarthmore community and what it had to offer.

“I really enjoyed growing up in Swarthmore, and enjoyed the relationships with my fellow students,” Gersbach said. “We still have a lot of us stay in fairly close touch with one another, but we’re playing golf now instead of football. We used to all hang out at the Howard Johnson’s and we’d see each other there and have always had a lot of fun together.”

The person who helped him achieve his success was his football and baseball coach, Millard Robinson. Robinson served as the head football coach at Swarthmore High School from 1949 to 1972.

“I remember one night, for some reason, we were down at the [Swarthmore] college, and a confrontation was supposed to start between some of the college students and the high school students,” he said. “We probably would have gotten our butts kicked, and all of a sudden, Millard Robinson showed up and diffused the whole thing, and we all went home safe and sound. So he’s a wonderful guy, very smart, and very demanding. He had a big influence on me in high school.”

The Class of ’64 is currently planning its 60-year get-together for the summer of 2024.

“Right now, we’re planning our site. We’re on the phone. We’re doing Zoom meetings. We’re trying to put this together for the summer of 2024 to have a reunion which we haven’t had now for 20 years,” he said.

Overall, Gersbach is grateful for his training and sports background, claiming that it helped his success.

“I was grateful to grow up in the environment where I grew up,” he said. “It’s helped me throughout life. My sports background has been very significant in my success in the business world. All in all, I would say my training was really helpful in the overall success that I’ve had in life, and not that I’m claiming to be this great success, but things have gone pretty well.”

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About the Contributor
Matteo Ventresca '25, Managing Editor of Print
Matteo Ventresca is the Managing Editor for Print for The Panther Press. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing soccer, as well as playing the trombone.
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