Todd Okerlund, the son of legendary WWE announcer Gene Okerlund, was an accomplished athlete drafted into pro hockey and who later created a career in advertising and online wrestling videos.
Gene Okerlund, who was known as “Mean Gene,” has died, WWE announced on Twitter on January 2, 2019. “WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Gene Okerlund, the most recognizable interviewer in sports-entertainment history, has passed away at age 76,” the tweet read. A cause of death was not released. Todd Okerlund is one of the two children that Gene Okerlund had with his wife, Jeanne.
Here’s what you need to know about Gene Okerlund’s son:
1. Todd Okerlund Was a Pro Hockey Player
Todd Okerlund was drafted by the New York Islanders to play pro hockey. According to his career stats page, he played right wing and was born on September 6, 1964 in Burnsville, Minnesota. He stands 5 foot 11 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds.
You can see his career statistics here. A knee injury forced him into retirement after just one professional season, although he also played for the University of Minnesota and Springfield Falcons.
He is a member of the Burnsville High School Hall of Fame who lettered eight times, was captain of the 1980 state champion football team and led his high school hockey team to its first state tournament. He was a member of the University of Minnesota Hockey team.
2. Todd Okerlund Is a Father
A 2012 video story on Todd Okerlund in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune focused, in part, on his joy of becoming a father to a young boy. It even showed him changing diapers.
“Grandpa likes him. We don’t know if he’s going to be a broadcaster or announcer. But hopefully not contact sports…wrestling would be ok,” Todd Okerlund said.
The story said that Okerlund was a partner to Brady’s mom, who is named Patricia.
3. He Competed in the Olympics
Todd Okerlund was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympics team, according to the Star Tribune.
He played on the U.S. National team. You can see his Olympic statistics here. He did score a goal during Olympics hockey play, the statistics reveal.
4. Todd Is a Businessman With an Ad Agency
According to the Star Tribune, Todd Okerlund started a site called ClassicWrestling.com. It allows people to download and watch old, classic wrestling events.
The about me section of that site reads, “From 1999 – 2003, Classic Wrestling produced a series of Pay-Per-View events for OnDemand, DirecTV, Dish, and many others distribution outlets. In 2004, Classic Wrestling added over 200 hours of videotape and film assets from what was known as the ‘Ron Martinez Library.’…Today, Classic Wrestling presents the stars and legends of what was your parent’s, and your grandparents, professional rasslin’. It’s bell time again!”
He also ran an ad agency called Okerlund, Inc., the Star Tribune reported in 2012. His LinkedIn also says he works as a partner for a company that provides “Branded Foodservice to non-traditional channels in the US and Canada.”
His LinkedIn page describes him as CEO of the advertising agency, explaining, “Work with client marketing departments and principles in the management of marketing function. Responsibilities include development of marketing plans, integrating marketing communications programs and examining the marketing mix to achieve business objectives.”
5. Okerlund Has a Degree in Journalism
According to his LinkedIn page, Todd Okerlund has a degree in marketing and journalism from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He graduated in 1987.
A recommendation on LinkedIn reads, “Joe is a top notch tv producer and has deep experience and proven results. Additionally Joe can do any video assignment on strategy and within budget to achieve objectives.”