Matt Birk '98 Named Director of Football Development for NFL

Published by David Steinbach on July 13, 2014 at 1:17PM

Although he has retired from playing football, Matt Birk '87 will not be leaving the sport altogether. The NFL announced July 10th that the former Ravens center has been named the Director of Football Development.

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.

Kyle Casey '14 Sees NBA Summer League Minutes

Published by Juliet Spies-Gans on July 10, 2014 at 9:32PM

Kyle Casey '14, shown above against Columbia this past season, played a combined 28 minutes during two games of the NBA Summer League for the Brooklyn Nets.

Just 10 days after it was first reported that Kyle Casey ’14 would be joining the Brooklyn Nets’ Summer League team in Orlando, Fla., the four-time All-Ivy pick played his first moments of professional basketball.

Against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, Casey totaled nearly 18 minutes of playing time and made his presence felt on the defensive end. The forward notched four rebounds and a game-high three blocks during his time on the hardwood, collecting an assist and a steal as well. Casey managed to get one shot up, but the attempt didn’t fall, and the rookie finished the contest scoreless as the Thunder beat the Nets, 98-94.

Two days later, a decrease in Casey’s playing time was paired with a decrease in his production. While the big man collected his first NBA bucket against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, he tallied just two rebounds and two blocks, and for the third consecutive game, his team was on the losing side of the scoreboard.

With Wednesday’s 92-86 loss to Philadelphia, Brooklyn wrapped up its summer ball season, leaving the fate of Casey’s NBA future unknown.

Casey’s combined 28 minutes of playing time came after two straight games during which he did not leave the bench.

—Check for updates.

—Staff writer Juliet Spies-Gans can be reached at

Harvard Men's Hockey 2014-2015 Schedule Released

Published by Michael D. Ledecky on July 10, 2014 at 10:20AM
New Season

Junior forwards (R-L) Brian Hart, Jimmy Vesey, Kyle Criscuolo, and Greg Gozzo are poised to anchor the offense of the Harvard men's hockey team in 2014-2015.

The 115th season of the Harvard men’s hockey team has been set in stone after the ECAC released its composite schedule for the 2014-15 campaign on Tuesday.


Kyle Casey '13-14 Works Out for Boston Celtics

Published by David Freed on June 16, 2014 at 8:21PM
Kyle Trial

Kyle Casey '13-14 won Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors in 2010. Although his numbers dropped off in his final season in Cambridge, the forward has an NBA-ready physique.

Leading up to the NBA draft, former Harvard forward Kyle Casey ’13-’14 has drawn attention from pro teams.


Football Has Athletes Join NFL Squads

Published by Jacob D. H. Feldman on May 13, 2014 at 12:33PM
Cam Brate

Senior Cam Brate was one of four Crimson football players to sign with NFL teams this past weekend.

Harvard’s influence in the NFL expanded over the weekend as four graduating members of the Crimson, defensive tackle Nnamdi Obukwelu, longsnapper Tyler Ott, tight end Cam Brate, and defensive back Brian Owusu, signed with NFL teams after going undrafted in the seven-round NFL Draft.

Obukwelu, who recorded 109 tackles and nine sacks over his Harvard career, signed with the Indianapolis Colts Sunday. Ott will not go nearly as far to live his NFL dreams, agreeing to a deal with the nearby New England Patriots. Brate, meanwhile, will return to his Midwestern roots, joining a Minnesota Vikings organization that also includes former Crimson lineman Kevin Murphy.

Lastly, Owusu will return to San Diego, where he had five tackles in a 42-20 win over the University of San Diego Toreros to start the 2013 season. This time, Owusu will be suiting up in Chargers blue and gold.

Princeton defensive tackle Caraun Reid was the only Ivy League player taken in the NFL Draft this year, going in the fifth round, 158th overall to the Detroit Lions. Cornell quarterback Jeff Mathews signed with the Atlanta Falcons after going undrafted.