The football industry felt shockwaves as soon as our founder hit the ground running with Rocksolid in 2013. He set out to help protect players in non-contact drills by creating the first ever soft-shell head protection specifically designed for football, the RS1. That led to the creation of an entirely new category of gear for non-contact football called soft-shell protection. As a collegiate standout and team leader at Oregon State, and former NFL Linebacker for the Chicago Bears and New York Jets, Joey has always fought his way to the top. That “never quit” mentality has carried Rocksolid to where it is today as the pioneers in the non-contact football space.
Even before he was named Chief Operating Officer for Rocksolid, Caleb was leading the charge for expansion by stepping immediately out of a 6 year NFL journey and developing the Texas market for Rocksolid. After his career as a Quarterback for the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, and the Dallas Cowboys, Caleb joined Rocksolid as its first investor in 2014. He’s been in the center of the Rocksolid movement ever since. He has served in vital roles such as Vice President of Business Development, National Sales Director, and Director of Sales and Marketing. Growing up in Texas, he has a passion for football and people that carries over into Rocksolid. Caleb has overseen the scaling of a sales team, as well as the successful introduction of 2 new pieces of equipment into the marketplace.
Izzy Murdy is Rocksolid’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer. She brings expertise in the field of finance, venture capital and investor relations. After she joined the team in 2016, Rocksolid has experienced nothing but growth in all areas. Izzy holds a leadership role in strategic planning, operations planning, financial planning and analysis, human resources and investor relations. She holds a passion for football after receiving her MBA from Notre Dame and growing up in Denver. Prior to Rocksolid she was a client relationship manager at IWP Wealth Management, a private wealth management firm in Denver.
We believe we can grow the game of football from the ground level by offering a better experience for everyone involved. At the youth flag level, when kids get to dress like their heroes and parents’ minds are put a little more at ease, it creates a better overall experience and leagues grow. We believe we can also preserve the game of tackle football by offering an innovative practice solution for better protection at every level. Whether it’s youth participants, high school participants or the elite athlete, we believe that every time you step foot on a field to play or practice football in a non-contact scenario, you should be wearing soft-shell protection specifically made for the sport.
After coming off an NFL career cut short by injuries, Joey LaRocque was following his lifelong passion for the game of football by helping coach at a local high school in Southern California. He was looking for a way to make a deeper impact in the sport. That path was soon realized after witnessing a collision in a non-contact football drill that resulted in a player needing 14 stitches above his brow line. These kids weren’t wearing any protective gear whatsoever. Why not? Well, legislation had been passed in the state of California banning the use of “contact equipment” anytime outside of the regular football season. Joey, following his entrepreneurial spirit, jumped on the opportunity, and in 2013 started Rocksolid and created the first ever soft-shell head protection designed specifically for football, the RS1 soft-shell.
He made huge waves in the California high school market by putting over 50 programs in his soft-shells the first Spring season of 2014. As a result, Rocksolid was now a reality. Joey sought out his former teammate from his playing days in Chicago, Caleb Hanie. Caleb, a 6 year NFL veteran quarterback, jumped at the opportunity and they made it their mission to fill this void in player safety.
As the saying goes, “teamwork makes the dream work.” So Joey, Caleb, and the expanded Rocksolid team made up of former NFL and Collegiate football players, did what they do best; put their head down and worked. They hit the streets and spent most of 2014 and 2015 driving door to door meeting with high school coaches and administrators, The hard work paid off and resulted in protecting thousands.
They soon realized that the opportunity was much greater. The needed to not only temper the decline, but GROW the game. What better place to do so than at the flag football level? After expanding the sales team and putting more of the focus on speaking to youth football commissioners and parents, the dream was a reality. Dozens of flag leagues were not only buying, but requiring their soft-shells! They found that by simply adding this common sense piece of equipment, they were enhancing the experience for everyone. Parents were thanking them, and commissioners were using the soft-shells as a way to promote their league as applying the top standard of care.
Rocksolid now offered elite protection to match the high standards of parents and coaches. At the high school and college levels, coaches wanted to keep their players protected during full speed football drills even when rules restricted them from wearing contact equipment. At the younger levels, they offered the protection, and quickly found that at the youth level, having a great experience is almost as important as having the proper protection. The kids loved emulating their favorite players out there, strapping up their gear to go play with their buddies.
In 2016, Rocksolid continued to expand their sales team of over 15 former NFL or Collegiate football players all across the country. They also added a second generation soft-shell, the RS2, and also added a new soft-shell shoulder pad, the RSS, to their product line. Subsequently, the first ever soft-shell protection system was born. The company now resides in Dallas, Texas, the heart of football country, and Rocksolid is represented in nearly all 50 states!