Agent Spotlights

Agent Spotlight: Ken Staninger

Western Montana offers great hunting, great horseback riding, and an agent with 14 NFL clients and 5 CFL clients.

For about 30 years, Sports Agent Ken Staninger has been representing football players from his home in Missoula, Montana. Not surprisingly, he mostly works with players from the Pacific Northwest. When you hire Staninger, you get a pure businessman.

The first client of Staninger Sports Agency (now included on the list of Sports Agencies under the Links tab) was Guy Bingham from the University of Montana. He has gone on to represent players like Mark Rypien, one of my favorite quarterbacks of all time (who didn’t love Rypien to Monk?). Rypien is probably Staninger’s most popular client and still considers Staninger to be one of his closest friends to this day. Staninger has even earned himself the nickname “The Stinger” by Rypien. Billy Volek was also once a client of Staninger’s, who left the agency for Drew Rosenhaus. Since leaving, Volek has gone from a rising QB for the Tennessee Titans to a shadow in the San Diego Chargers organization.

Recently, Ken Staninger made a visit to my hometown of Miami, Fl. Staninger would not normally make the trip down to the Super Bowl (even with free tickets), but with one of his clients playing in the game (Jake Scott – Colts OG), he decided to attend the event. He’s quoted as saying:

“I don’t go for the party…I’m not that kind of agent.” [Gridiron Guru]

He’s also not the kind of agent to take on more of a client load than he can handle. He claims that he will not go over 23 clients at any given time. Staninger truly understands the importance of maintaining the personal relationships with his clients that matter so very much. At the same time; however, Staninger has the energy to run a real-estate business along with his Sports Agent work.

Staninger has had one employee in his 30 years of owning his own sports agency, but may finally be ready to add another. He has also never offered any internship opportunities. He has also had offers to merge his agency with others, and has turned down those requests, as well.

To most of the country, Staninger is probably unknown, but in Montana, Staninger is most likely a legend.

-Darren Heitner

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

One reply on “Agent Spotlight: Ken Staninger”

I played high school football with Ken at Sentinel HS in Missoula starting in 1963 as a sophomore, and ending in the fall of 1966 as a senior. Ken lead us to the Co-State Championship with Great Falls that year in freezing weather. I was a defensive back most of the time, so I did not catch many passes from Ken, but I well remember Ken’s leadership on the team. He was a good guy back then, and I suppose he still is. I look forward to seeing him at our 40th HS reunion in July 2007. Martin Thrasher Colorado Springs, CO

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