Matt Birk grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and attended Catholic elementary at Nativity and Cretin-Derham Hall high school. He was a Cub Scout, a member of the National Honor Society, and played “pretty much every sport there was to play.” After high school, Matt attended Harvard University and earned a degree in Economics. While playing for the Harvard Crimson, he received several football honors, including All-Ivy League and Division I-AA All-American.
Matt was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round of the 1998 draft. Appearing in 228 career games, including 18 playoff contests, Matt spent 11 seasons with Minnesota and 4 more with the Baltimore Ravens. He was named the 2011 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year for his off-the-field service, as well as his playing excellence.
Matt has a passion for children and education, and has focused a great deal of his energy on promoting literacy among the youth in his communities. In 2002, he created the H.I.K.E. Foundation (Hope, Inspiration, Knowledge, Education) in Minnesota. It has grown greatly since then and its initiatives reached over 100,000 children in the Baltimore area in 2012.
After a 15 year career in the NFL and a Super Bowl XLVII win with the Baltimore Ravens, the six-time Pro Bowl Center announced his retirement in February, 2013. Matt, his wife Adrianna, and their six children now reside in Naples, Florida.