HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Scott Bolzan

Former NFL Player, Pilot, Entrepreneur, Brain Injury Survivor


  • My Life, Deleted: Whatever Life Brings, Look for Opportunity (with Joan Bolzan)
  • Never Give Up: Turning Life's Setbacks into Life's Opportunities
  • Business and Leadership Lessons From the Football Field



With a "never give up" attitude Scott Bolzan has persevered through the loss of his first daughter, drug addiction of his son, career defeats and challenges as an NFL player, becoming a pilot and owner/entrepreneur of a successful private aviation company, and a devastating brain injury that erased the memories of his 46-year life. Bolzan tells the story of his life in My Life, Deleted: A Memoir (HarperOne), which was co-written with his wife Joan Bolzan Sought after keynote speakers, Scott and Joan Bolzan have shared their amazing story and how their life lessons apply to a variety of groups, including business organizations, athletic associations, educational institutions, and brain injury associations. Some of their speaking clients include Business Clubs of America, Tucson Medical Center, Sprint, CBS Outdoor, Udall Law Firm, the University of Phoenix, and The Ken Blanchard Executive MBA. The Bolzans can be booked together or separately. Their custom-tailored talks are interactive, filled with humor, and leave audiences inspired and spellbound.

On December 17, 2008, 46-year-old Scott Bolzan awoke in a hospital with no memory of who he was or how he got there. He did not know that the pretty blond woman at his side was his wife of more than 20 years, Joan - or even what a wife was. He could not remember the births of his two teenage children, the daughter he'd lost, his time playing football in the NFL, or his successful career as an entrepreneur.After slipping and hitting his head in his office bathroom, Bolzan had suffered profound retrograde amnesia, one of the most severe cases on record. My Life, Deleted is the inspiring story of one couple who faced a real-life nightmare, and then picked themselves up and started anew. With unflinching candor, the Bolzans describe the day they learned that, contrary to initial medical opinions, the amnesia was likely irreversible. My Life, Deleted tempers tragedy with stories of enormous love, and even humor. Through moments of indescribable pain emerges - against all odds - an enviable love story, as Scott and Joan fall in love a second time.

Bolzan's unrelenting determination has allowed him to recreate himself numerous times, but never as fundamentally as he's had to in the last few years. In December of 2008 Bolzan suffered a brain injury that erased the memories of his entire 46 years of life due to profound retrograde amnesia. Since his amazing recovery, he has worked to rebuild his experiences and lessons of his previous life. Bolzan also serves on the Board of Directors for the Brain Injury Association of Arizona. Throughout this traumatic brain injury he has learned to persevere through adversity and remain hopeful and optimistic as he reinvents himself to become an even better man than before.

In Bolzan's talks, he unfolds his compelling, inspirational, and courageous journey. He shares his drive to overcome obstacles with his ingrained values and learned discipline, how he maintains a marriage of 25+ years while remaining fully engaged in the lives of his two children, and how he successfully balances career endeavors in light of adversity. With a strong emphasis on "family first", Bolzan exhibits outstanding strength to move forward through extraordinary life challenges.

Bolzan has fulfilled the dreams of playing in the NFL, becoming a professional pilot, and owning and operating a successful aviation company specializing in managing corporate aircraft. Growing up in Chicago, IL in a middle class family provided him with the work ethic and character building foundation necessary to achieve his goal of playing in the NFL as an offensive lineman. It was apparent in high school that he was blessed with talent. After his successful high school career he accepted a full athletic scholarship to Northern Illinois University.

Bolzan's talents flourished under the direction of his head coach Bill Mallory and mentor Joe Novak at Northern Illinois University. Throughout his college career, he grew as a person, realizing the lessons he learned through football would one day become very important in his life. His college career blossomed as he became a four-year starter and 1st team Mid-American Conference, as well as All American (Honorable Mention) his senior year. Bolzan was also inducted to the Northern Illinois University Hall of Fame.

In 1984, Bolzan was drafted by the New England Patriots in the 9th round. Along with many other rookies, Bolzan experienced a daily fight to earn a spot on the roster. Eventually he was released from the team and signed with the Memphis Showboats in the USFL. After enjoying a season of gaining much-needed pro playing time experience, he once again dealt with the life lesson of being released. This allowed him to get back into the NFL with the Cleveland Browns where he sustained a career-ending injury in his second season. These obstacles strengthened the "never give up" attitude that allowed him to create himself in business. After football, successful careers in financial planning and the insurance business allowed Bolzan the opportunity to seek his fortune in his true love: flying.

Bolzan grew a successful and trusted charter business in Scottsdale, AZ, and was soon flying surgical transplant teams throughout Arizona as well as nationally. His company was honored to bring the first heart transplant into the state of Arizona for Mayo Hospital. In record time, the charter company went from unranked in 2004 to ranked number two in 2005 then to the number one ranked charter company by Arizona Business Magazine in 2006. Bolzan sold the charter company in 2008 and is now the Founder and CEO of Legendary Jets LLC in Tempe, AZ, specializing in professional business aircraft management and ownership. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the NFL Alumni Arizona chapter as the Membership Director.

Scott and Joan have been happily married since 1984 and reside in Gilbert, AZ. They have one son, Grant, and one daughter, Taylor.

Praise for the Bolzans' Presentations:

"I listened to Scott and Joan recount their journey and challenges with passion, a sense of humor, but also with great insight into their lives and future. I came away with an abiding sense of purpose and a renewed dedication to my own life and family to live in the moment and take nothing for granted. A true life lesson from Scott and Joan is that as good as you have it now, everything could change in an instant. Therefore, one of the messages that we learn listening to Joan and Scott is that even after all has been taken away, if you have built a life based on sound moral values, you can and will pull through because your foundation is rock solid. Finally, even though Scott 'took the fall,' the story would not be as compelling without the strength of character, love and support that Joan gives to Scott daily. Their story is an inspiration for love, courage and hope, to which we should all aspire."
-- Thom Cope J.D SPHR, Udall Law

"Because of your story, before I was able to pull out of the parking lot today I called my wife and told her that I loved her. Three words that should be so easy to say but I never say it first. I think because of your message I will be able to do this easier. We never know the situation that we will be faced with next in life. I am looking forward to your book release next year. Thank you for telling your story and I am sure that several people walked out of that room today with a little different perspective on life. I know that I did."
-- Eugene Moore, Marketing Representative, Stewart Title & Trust

"Having the privilege of being in the audience as Scott and Joan Bolzan delivered their heart wrenching saga was indeed one of the more profound experiences of my adult life. Seldom does one get to hear a first hand account of such an incredible journey. Hearing this from the Yin and the Yang of Scott and Joan's perspectives was absolutely captivating. I have had the great fortune of hearing many of the more prolific public speakers of our time, including sports heroes as well as industry, government, and religious leaders. Seldom have I been as moved, inspired, and entertained in one sitting. The adventure that Scott and Joan took me on with their words and emotions leads me to believe in the indomitable human spirit and the power of true love. So much that I may have taken for granted, I never shall again."
-- Aaron R, Gersh, Ph.D.

"Your compelling personal story of your accident and how you have had to adapt your life, the lives of your wife and children to your memory loss, were hard to comprehend and heart rending. We at the Center for Neurosciences wish you well and truly hope you are able to find continued strength to share your inspirational story with others."
-- Ted L. Eazer, MBA, CMPE, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Neurosciences

"It was the first event that we have attended where the audience was completely captivated and motivated to make their lives better whether it be personal, professional or both. I strongly recommend Joan and Scott Bolzan to become a keynote speaker for almost any event. Whether you need an audience to laugh, think, hope or believe that anything is possible you cannot go wrong with these amazing people."
-- Michael J. Duran, J.D, Vice President and Chief Development Officer, TMC Foundation and Lori Banzhaf, Director, Major Gifts, TMC Foundation

"It was inspirational for me to learn about your journey. I look forward to following your success in the future."
-- Judith Rich, CEO, Tucson Medical Center