Darren Glass will make a clean cut from football next year to tackle the University of WA's highly touted new master of business administration program.
The West Coast Eagles veteran has repeatedly said he wants to stay in football after retirement but two months away from the game changed his mind.
Former West Coast chairman Mark Barnaba, 51, chairs the UWA business school and encouraged Glass, 33, to pursue a MBA full-time.
The father of three and his fellow students will be mentored by WA business leaders and flown to the North West to study effects of the resources industry.
"When you're in football, it can be such a bubble that you can be consumed by it," Glass said.
"Even after that short amount of time outside the game, I sit back and think, 'Wow, that was intense, but it was just football'.
"After this 12 or 18 months, I might be desperate to get back into footy or I might be ready for another challenge.
"All I've ever known is West Coast, really, so I'm excited about what lies ahead."
The Eagles drafted Glass in 1999 and he became captain in late 2007 when the club was on the edge of chaos.
Mr Barnaba signed off on the appointment and sees it as one of his best decisions as chairman.
He said the MBA program would challenge Glass and transform him into a rare leadership prospect.
"This is a world-class program where you can major in general management, resources or leadership," he said. "Darren's got an undergraduate degree and he's been a great leader.
"I just woke up one morning and called him and said, 'Darren, I've joined the dots'.
"I see Darren having a career in business and in sport but I don't see them being exclusive. He could end up being a Mike Fitzpatrick (AFL chairman)."
Glass may play International Rules at Patersons Stadium in November but is at peace with his retirement from the AFL.
He said he looked forward to forging a new path.
"I have a really open mind as to what lies ahead," he said. "The skills I learn here can be applicable to any industry, whether it's football or something else."