Chris Keldorf is obsessed with the little imperfections that hold athletes back. Typically, it’s the type of thing invisible to the naked eye: wasted motion in a runner’s stride, an overcompensation to one leg, a lack of flexibility that leads to stress on muscles and ligaments.
It’s the small impairments most athletes never notice but Keldorf sees as critical to maximizing performance and avoiding injury.
“If you don’t get hurt, maybe you could have gone to the next level,” Keldorf says. “So why not put that athlete in the best position possible?”
The former University of North Carolina quarterback joined Fusionetics six months ago as the senior vice president of elite sports. He works on the business development and sales side of the company, building relationships with the athletic training and medical staffs at organizations like UNC, Notre Dame, Texas Rangers, Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia Flyers, the UFC and youth athletic organizations.
The medical and exercise experts at Fusionetics use bio-mechanics and exercise science to track an athlete's movement, offering analysis and providing solutions. Essentially, Keldorf’s team puts a magnifying glass on how an athlete moves and shows them how to be more efficient.
Today, Keldorf lives in El Segundo, California with his wife Michelle and kids Max, Lucas and Jacob. His pro career spanned only 18 months in the arena league but Keldorf never left football entirely after Carolina. He worked with ESPN and in sports marketing, too. He misses the sport but said he’s found joy and an outlet for his competitiveness in his new career.
“There’s a lot of stuff out there. There are a lot of contraptions. There are a lot of services that say they’re actually helping the athlete (but they aren’t),” Keldorf says. “What I love most is I give an athlete a chance to perform at the highest level.”
For a guy whose career was partially derailed by injuries, Keldorf relishes the opportunity to help athletes get the most out of their bodies.
“I feel like we’re helping change the game as it relates to human movement,” Keldorf says. “I put all my competitive energies, my enthusiasm, my joy -- aside from my family -- into a profession I truly love.”
Keldorf’s time at Carolina was a whirlwind and it’s easy to forget it was arguably the greatest stretch in school history. He set many school passing records, earned First-Team All-ACC honors, and the Tar Heels were 21-3 during his two seasons in Chapel Hill.
Looking back, Keldorf still isn’t quite sure how everything turned out the way it did.
“I was so happy to get there, to get a football scholarship,” Keldorf says. “The expectation of being No. 4 in the country, first team all-ACC, never crossed my mind.”
Growing up in the western United States, he didn’t know he was supposed to be scared against teams like Clemson and Florida State. In fact, he didn’t realize how well he was doing until his junior year was almost done.
“But I’ll tell you, my senior year,” Keldorf says, “I knew when you played Florida State, you were playing the No. 1 team in the country and half that team is going to the NFL.”
There are a lot of what-ifs surrounding Keldorf’s career, which happens when a program doesn’t contend for the 17 years following. Keldorf sees it differently.
He looks at the life he’s built and sees all the great things Carolina gave him. He met his wife in Chapel Hill. His best friend and former teammate, Nate Hobgood-Chittick, lives down the street. His career is grounded in football. No regrets.
“UNC was an unbelievable experience. I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Keldorf says. “My experience at Carolina has given me the majority of the opportunities in my life. If you look back on it, everything is essentially because of that experience. I got everything I want, everything I need and nothing but unbelievable memories.”
Keldorf says he watches the Heels on cable whenever he can and plans on visiting soon.
“With three kids, it keeps me in the LA area quite a bit,” Keldorf says. “We gotta make it back and see a game. This fall, I hope to make it out to the game.”