Jeff Schultz The Athletic Atlanta Retirement Credit: Jeff Schultz, The Athletic

One of the longtime voices of the Atlanta sports scene is calling it a career, with The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz announcing his retirement on Wednesday.

In a farewell column — which he said will be his last — Schultz reflected on his 42-year career as a sportswriter, the last six of which he spent at The Athletic.

“This will be my final column for The Athletic. This will be my final column, anywhere. Probably. I’ve learned never to say never in sports, or in life. But after 42 years in this business, I’m retiring,” Schultz wrote. “This isn’t a sudden decision. I considered it near the end of 2021 when my contract was expiring — that whole post-Covid, life-reflection thing. I re-signed for another two years, but at the start of 2023, I felt certain this would be it. Bill Parcells: ‘If you’re thinking about retirement, you’ve already retired.'”

A native of Southern California, Schultz’s career began as a staff writer at the Los Angeles Daily News in 1981 and continued with a four-year stint at the San Jose Mercury News from 1985-1989. In 1989, he made the move to Atlanta, joining the staff at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he remained for 29 years before joining The Athletic in 2018.

As he retires, it’s hard to imagine there’s currently a more connected sportswriter in Atlanta. Within the last month alone, Schultz had published stories about the Falcons, Braves, Hawks and Georgia Bulldogs and even broke recent news regarding the Falcons’ intent to retain head coach Arthur Smith.

In many ways, Schultz represents a sportswriter of a bygone era — one who doesn’t just have his finger on the pulse of a specific team, but rather an entire city’s sports scene. Throughout his column, he made it clear that he’s retiring on his own terms, although he did leave the door open for a potential return down the road.

“I can’t tell you that I’m leaving sports or writing forever,” he wrote. “But this chapter is closed.”

[The Athletic]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.