About Joel

Joel Penton is a graduate of The Ohio State University and played 5 years of football for the Buckeyes. He was a member of 3 Big Ten championship teams, a member of the National Championship team, and a 4-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

In his senior year, Joel received the prestigious Wuerffel Trophy, also known as the HUMANITARIAN HEISMAN. The Trophy is a national award that recognizes the one college football player in the entire country who best combines outstanding community service with athletic and academic achievement. After graduating from OSU, Joel turned down an opportunity to play in the NFL to begin a career in full-time speaking.

Since that time, Joel has quickly earned a reputation as one of the top school motivational speakers,  sharing his school assembly program with nearly 1,000,000 students nationwide. He specializes in high school assemblies and middle school assemblies.


Too often speakers use their life experiences to show what not to do. Joel’s story demonstrated that good decisions translate into success.

About Joel's Message

Joel’s school assembly, “Stand Your Ground,” is all about the importance of keeping commitments.

Students are constantly bombarded with negative approaches to making the right choices. “Don’t do drugs. Don’t be a bully. Don’t mess up like I did.”

They are often told what NOT TO DO but rarely told what TO DO.

From his platform as a champion, Joel brings a POSITIVE MESSAGE to students that is both relevant and impactful. Combining humor and sincerity, Joel gives a REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE of the rewards that result from making the right choices.

His stories of personal trials and subsequent triumphs are proof that ordinary people can accomplish great things by simply following through with their commitments.


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