Travis B. Key is a two-time graduate of the School of Packaging at Michigan State University, earning a B.S. in 2007 and a M.S. in 2012. In 2004, Key earned an athletic scholarship after joining the Michigan State University football team as a walk-on his freshman year. As a student-athlete he was named to four consecutive academic All Big-Ten teams, named honorable mention All-Big-Ten, and served as team captain during his senior campaign. Key went on to have a two-and-a-half-year professional football career that included stints with the National Football League’s Minnesota, Cleveland, Detroit, San Diego, and Indianapolis organizations as well as the Canadian Football League’s Montreal organization.
After retiring from professional football in 2010, Key began his career as a project engineer with Fellows Incorporated in Itasca, IL. Key then spent time working for the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, MI as a packaging engineer, focusing on cost optimization and innovation. In these roles, Key gained experience in cross functional team management, product development and design, prototype creation, cost analysis, distribution dynamics, and procurement. Key is currently a Technical Sales Manger for WestRock.
Serving as Associate Director, Key was an instrumental part in bringing the 4th and 1 Football Camp to East Lansing, MI in 2011. 4th and 1 is a non-profit football, ACT prep, life skills, and character development camp that is 100% free to attend for student-athletes that show a strong desire to attend college.
4th and 1 East Lansing transitioned to APEX Academy in 2015, a non-profit organization that Key co-founded with his friend and former Spartan teammate Kaleb Thornhill. APEX Academy’s purpose is to ENGAGE, EDUCATE, AND EMPOWER student-athletes from under resourced backgrounds that lack the support and resources needed to properly prepare for and achieve their goals of attending and completing college. The mission of APEX Academy aims to provide under-resourced student-athletes with a wide range of tools necessary for college & career success, while closing the achievement gap.
Key is the co-author of a book titled: Beyond the Gridiron: How to Successfully Transition into Collegiate Football. The focus of the book is to equip student-athletes with the tools to overcome the academic, mental, physical, and social challenges of collegiate athletics in order to position them for success on and off the field. Key frequently speaks to amateur and professional athletes across the country, empowering them to reach their full potential beyond their sport.
Key has a passion for influencing and developing people to defeat life’s challenges and break through the negative cycles of hate, crime, sickness, poverty, and illiteracy. In his mind, it all starts with our youth and that is where his focus tends to be. A devoted Christian, husband, and father, Key resides in Portage, MI with his wife and three children.