Tiki Barber is a former American football player who had a solid ten-year career as a running back in the NFL. Known in the league as a reliable athlete and team leader, Barber was selected in the second round of the 1997 draft by the New York Giants, played his entire professional career there, and then retired as the team's all-time rushing and reception leader. On the field, he was known for his exceptional cutback running, quick feet, and running vision.
Following retirement, Barber began a second career as a television broadcaster, notably joining NBC's The Today Show as a correspondent in 2007. These days, when he's not serving on the New York board of the Boy Scouts of America, the tireless and affable ex-jock passes time with his work as an entrepreneur, best-selling author, producer, actor, corporate spokesman, scholar, and philanthropist.
The foundation of Barber's impressive resume can be traced back to 1993 when he attended the University of Virginia on an academic scholarship. Though football would become Barber's primary focus, he remained an outstanding student. Majoring in management information systems, Barber made the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Honor Roll. After breaking the school's long jump record on his first jump, he continued to compete in track events, lettering three times with the university track team. By the time Barber's college football career was completed, he was second on Virginia's all-time rushing list with 3,389 yards, including 33 total touchdowns. In 1996, Barber was voted the ACC Player of the Year and a first-team academic All-American.
Since his graduation in 1997, Barber has actively supported his alma mater in multiple ways. Starting in 2004, Barber returned to the Charlottesville campus to address the graduating students at the Valediction Exercises. But two years later, the prominent alum made an even bigger splash when he reached into his wallet and donated $500,000 to UVA, calling out other young alumni to become benefactors to the historic campus. Previously, Barber had also served on the Young Alumni Council and is the founder of a program that encourages young alumni to begin a tradition of giving back to the school. In 2011, Barber's college football career reached another milestone when he was elected to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Remarking on UVA's impact to his life, and that of his twin brother, Barber said, "We’ve both done pretty well as NFL players and, as a result, have made a great living. A lot of that is a result of being here at the University, not only being mentored and guided as football players but guided as people. The meaning of philanthropy is being able to make a difference to those who helped push you up."