Hon. Heath Shuler (’01)

Category: Awards | Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna

2023 Distinguished Alumnus Award Winner

Heath Shuler has translated his success and versatility from the gridiron to the halls of Congress and the corner office. Following his NFL career, Shuler became a successful entrepreneur, a Congressman, and a corporate executive for a Fortune 150 company. These experiences have guided Shuler as he follows his passion as co-founder of Integrated Strategy Group (ISG), a consulting firm that advises businesses. He also currently serves as a senior advisor to BakerHostetler, one of the nation’s most respected law firms.

A natural born entrepreneur, Shuler has pioneered multiple businesses including extensive involvement in the world of commercial and residential real estate. He created a very successful real estate practice and led the planning, development, and management of multiple projects.

Shuler served as the senior vice president of federal governmental affairs for Duke Energy Corporation, where he structured a successful government relations program. As a member of Congress from the 11th Congressional District in North Carolina, Shuler was the Democratic Caucus Senior Whip, National Prayer Breakfast Co-Chair, Blue Dog Coalition Administrative Co-Chair and Coalition Whip, Co-Chair of Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Caucus, Founder and Co-Chair of Professional Sports Caucus and Founder and Co-Chair of Gateway Caucus for communities around National Parks. He served on various committees—budget; small business; transportation and infrastructure; natural resources—and was chairman of Subcommittee on Rural Development, Entrepreneurship, and Trade. Shuler was appointed as a conferees to the 2008 Farm Bill and to the 2010 Dodd- Frank Financial Reform Legislation Conference Committees.

In 1994, the Washington Redskins selected Shuler in the first round, with the third pick overall in the draft. He was named team captain of the New Orleans Saints and played for the Oakland Raiders. He had a standout collegiate career as a quarterback at the University of Tennessee, where he was honored as the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, the SEC Football Player of the Year, and a Second Team All American. In 2009, Shuler was inducted as an SEC Legend and in 2019 he received the NCAA Silver Recipient Award. In 2020, he was inducted the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Shuler holds a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has given back to UT Knoxville through his time on the Psychology Advisory Board in the College of Arts and Sciences and he recently joined the Alumni Board of Directors. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Nikol. They reside in Knoxville and have two children, Navy and Island, who both attend the University of Tennessee.