In March 2021, The New York Giants hired Ashley Lynn as their director of player engagement. This is the first time in their franchise history that they hired a woman for this position.
“I think it’s time for women to get these types of roles,” Lynn said. “If more women knew about these roles, they’d be filled already.”
She works closely with the players, helping them with the many different aspects of their lives. With younger players, she teaches them financial literacy. Lynn also helps players plan for their next career as they retire from the NFL.
“I basically help the players transition into the NFL and help maintain them while they’re here,” Lynn said. “When a rookie is drafted, he doesn’t know where he’s going … so basically, I help them dig in the New Jersey, New York area, I help them find housing, get their kids into school if they need that.”
Lynn started working for the Giants in 2007 as a player engagement coordinator and became an assistant director of player engagement in 2014.
“Our ownership is really into growing just better men altogether, not just a better football player,” Lynn said. “They want someone who is well-balanced, on and off the field. So, they really let me do whatever I want to do.”
Lynn is the self-proclaimed “aunt” to the Giants who is ready to listen and help solve any personal issue. She has shown how she is committed to the development of these players; Lynn knows how to empathize and reach a common ground with the athletes she works with. She has a strong desire to see them succeed both on and off the field.
Lynn made herself accessible with her “open door policy,” she kept her office door open ready to help the players. During her time with the Giants, Lynn worked with iconic wide receiver Victor Cruz.
“Although she felt like ‘one of us,’ we still respected her as an authoritative figure and knew that her direction would always lead us in the right direction,” Cruz said.
It was her listening skills that helped former wide receiver Russell Shepard become a business owner. Since he retired, he established a waste management company in Houston, TX called Shep Boys Waste Management. She understood that he wanted to provide more jobs in his community.
“If Ashley didn’t know the exact answer, if she didn’t know how to help you, she was going to be a great listening ear,” Shepard said. “She’s going to do her best to figure out how she can best utilize her resources to help answer whatever questions that I had for her.”
To help him, Lynn workshopped ideas with Shepard and helped him learn how to be an entrepreneur.
“The NFL is not a very long career, I think the average is three and a half years as an athlete, they really need to work towards what other interests they have,” Lynn said. “It’s fun helping them find what they’re good at and I feel like their football skills transition easily into the workplace, they have great leadership, their communication is on point.”
Football has been a focal point all her life as Lynn is the daughter of retired NFL player Johnnie Lynn. When her father signed to the New York Jets, Lynn moved from her native Pasadena to the east coast.
While in high school, Lynn worked as a babysitter for many NFL players including Giants fullback Charles Way. When an injury moved him off the field and into the front office in the player engagement department, Lynn asked to intern.
Lynn attended Hampton University and majored in communications studies with a concentration on public relations. She initially desired to work in the music industry but changed paths after doing an internship with MTV.
After graduating from Hampton, Lynn enrolled in Canisius College in Buffalo to pursue a master’s in sports administration.