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Posted by on Feb 20, 2011 in Local Flavor | 12 comments | Print Print

Sports Celebrities in North County

From the

Two weeks ago, as Aaron Rodgers stood on a Texas football field covered in red, white and blue confetti and cradled the Lombardi Trophy in his arms, the Green Bay Packers quarterback and Super Bowl MVP was the most celebrated athlete in sports.

Now, however, after making the traditional trek to Disney World and completing the talk show circuit, Rodgers has retreated to relative anonymity in his adopted hometown. He has returned to his new digs in Del Mar and resumed his regular golf outings with friends who can relate —- at least somewhat —- to his newfound celebrity.

“It’s my home away from Green Bay,” Rodgers said last year of North County, where he bought a house in April.

Courtesy of that Super Bowl ring, Rodgers has become the most prominent member of a group that’s unofficially known as the Del Mar quarterback club. Amazingly, he’s one of seven current or former NFL signal-callers who spend at least part of the year in the seaside town —- fellow household names Drew Brees and Carson Palmer among them —- and that doesn’t include Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who lives in Santaluz.

In a broader sense, Rodgers is one of the more recent additions to an ever-expanding roster of sports figures who make North County their home.

Palmer, the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner from USC, lives next door to Chargers coach Norv Turner (photo), who’s one of three current or former NFL head coaches in Del Mar. Australian tennis legend Rod Laver occasionally plays golf with fellow Carlsbad resident Fred Lynn, a star outfielder for the Boston Red Sox and California Angels who finished his career with the Padres.

Poway is the residence not only of Chargers stars past (LaDainian Tomlinson) and present (Shaun Phillips), of Mr. Padre (Tony Gwynn) and the manager of the reigning World Series champions (Bruce Bochy), but also of two NBA point guards named Williams —- All-Star Deron of the Utah Jazz and Mo of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Then there’s posh Rancho Santa Fe, where freshly retired Padres great Trevor Hoffman heads a group of nine ex-major league baseball players living in one of America’s wealthiest ZIP codes.

And the list goes far beyond the three major pro sports to include some of the most famous names in golf (Rancho Santa Fe’s Phil Mickelson), tennis (Laver), running (Carlsbad’s Steve Scott), surfing (Cardiff’s Rob Machado), skateboarding (Carlsbad’s Tony Hawk), snowboarding (RSF’s Shaun White) and even broadcasting (RSF’s Dick Enberg).

Female athletes, too, are represented in tennis star Jelena Jankovic (RSF), golf standout In-Kyung Kim (RSF) and Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler (Carlsbad).

“North County has become quite the mecca for pro athletes,” said Solana Beach’s Jud Buechler, a former NBA player.


  1. I am pretty sure that Phil Nevin, Dave Stewart, Bill Voleck and David Justice live in Poway as well.

    David Wells still lives in Ocean Beach.

  2. Someone with Boomer’s same name and middle initial bought in Fairbanks in 2004, remodeled, and has it on the market now for double what he paid.

  3. So the questions becomes how different at their homes from the home us regular people live in. Clearly they help keep up the price, but can you compare Philip River’s home to a 2,500 sq ft tract home in Carlsbad? How big is the halo effect? Lastly unlike us real people they probably can pay a little more because they do not pay income tax in Cali.

  4. Yes, they have mailing addresses in Nevada and Florida mostly.

  5. At least in football, every player pays income tax to the State where the game was played. Visiting team players have to pay income tax to California if they play a game here.

  6. Lets not forget Junior Seau.

  7. OK, maybe Boomer is in FR.

    I just know that I saw Boomer in OB a few weeks ago and that he was living there at one time.

    Maybe he was just going back to hang out what I saw him.

  8. Maybe it’s just a flip in FR?

    I can’t imagine him living there, I don’t think they let beer through the gate….

  9. Pretty interesting. You really can’t blame all these athletes for wanting to live in America’s Finest City. If you can afford to have a 2nd home in San Diego, make another city your “Primary Residence” to avoid state taxes I would love to be here in San Diego as well. Outside of celebrities, I am sure there are plenty of CEO’s that we have never heard of that make San Diego their 2nd home.

  10. Add former QB Jeff Garcia to the Del Sur / Santa Luz list as I have seen him a few times at the Albertons in Torrey Highlands.

  11. Steve Fisher lives in Del Mar! I am sure there are tons of people that we would recognize. I use to run into Alex Molden all the time in North County but he moved up to Oregon.

  12. Pretty sure Stephen Cooper also lives in the Poway area.

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