Entrepreneurial alumnus publishes first book

February 17, 2020

It’s always football season for Walter Cherepinsky.

Better known as “Walter Football” because of his website of the same name, Cherepinsky has leveraged an assignment, some curiosity and plenty of passion for the NFL into a successful career. In 2019, WalterFootball.com drew 58.8 million page views.

“When it started in 1999, there were probably 50 page views — and 15 of them were me continually checking on the site,” Cherepinsky said.

This time of year — with the NFL Combine in late February and then the NFL Draft in April — the website, with its mock drafts, free agent information and news, represents a regular destination for fans as well as football executives.

Cherepinsky, who earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Penn State in 2006, created WaterFootball.com as part of a high school internet class. He kept working on the site during his time as an undergraduate (he was initially a computer science major) and as he started his professional career.

While he enjoyed writing and started in journalism, he later became a loan officer at a mortgage company. But that was not his passion. He kept feeding the website in his spare time, a bit frustrated he was unable to attract a wider audience.

A bout with mononucleosis kept him out of work in the summer of 2007 — and that was the boost WalterFootball.com needed.

“All I could do was read. So I read a lot about how to improve search engine optimization. It was all these tricks I learned and implemented them when I had more energy,” he said. “A few months later I saw the website rise in Google searches.”

The site attracted its first sponsor — part of a deal based on money for page impressions — later in 2007. More advertisers followed. These days, advertising drives all revenue for the site.

The entrepreneurial Cherepinsky has 40,000 Twitter followers and it’s football season year round thanks to the site.

He recently branched out, publishing his first book, “A Safety and a Field Goal.” It’s a book of football lists, a logical extension and different presence for Cherepinsky’s work. Lists include: biggest NFL Draft busts, best teams to never win the Super Bowl, craziest stories no one has heard about football players, the best Emmitt Smith quotes and many more.

WalterFootball.com also added podcasts and YouTube videos. Cherepinsky has another book planned as well. He’s working longer hours and more often now than almost ever before — and he’s enjoying every minute.

“It’s a blast. When I worked as a loan officer, I would come home and do this for fun. It almost never feels like work,” he said. “There are occasional days, when it’s busy and mundane, things you have to do to keep things working, but 99 out of 100 days are great.”

Last Updated February 17, 2020