While his football career may be over, Matt Birk ’98 will not be going too far from the gridiron. On Thursday, the NFL announced that the former Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens center has been named Director of Football Development.
Birk’s new duties will involve working with players, coaches, and members of front offices to promote football across the country. He will look to improve all-star games for high school and college student-athletes, while facilitating the evolution of high school player development programs. The former center will also take on administrative duties for NFL gameday operations.
“I'm very excited to begin this next chapter of my football career,” Birk said in a statement. “It's a real honor for me to be entrusted with developing the game in so many different ways.”
Drafted by the Vikings in 1998, Birk took over the starting center position in 2000 and began a run of six Pro Bowls in seven seasons. He signed with the Ravens in 2009 and captured his first championship in Super Bowl XLVII. A few weeks later, Birk announced his retirement after playing in 210 games.
Birk also made his presence felt off the field during his NFL career, as his HIKE Foundation supports at-risk students by offering them programs and guidance during educational transitions. He received the 2011 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his commitment to reading and education in schools.