Vrabel retires, joins Ohio State

Mike Vrabel has retired from the NFL, taking a job as linebackers coach with the Ohio State...

Mike Vrabel has retired from the NFL, taking a job as linebackers coach with the Ohio State Buckeyes. (REUTERS/Eric Miller)

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, Last Updated: 1:20 PM ET

COLUMBUS, OHIO - Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Mike Vrabel has decided to retire and join Ohio State, his alma mater, as an assistant coach.

The 35-year-old Vrabel confirmed Monday that he had taken the job as linebackers coach with the Buckeyes. The position was previously held by Vrabel's college roommate and teammate, Luke Fickell, who was named Ohio State's interim head coach when Jim Tressel resigned May 30 amid rules violations.

"I am very excited to become a part of Luke Fickell's staff at Ohio State," Vrabel said. "I have great faith and trust in Luke leading the Buckeye football team as he represents all the core values integral for a program's success, and I am looking forward to working with our student-athletes as I begin the next phase of my career."

Vrabel spent his first four NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who selected him in the third round of the 1997 draft, then was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams with the New England Patriots from 2001-2008. The Patriots traded Vrabel and quarterback Matt Cassel to the Kansas City Chiefs in February 2009.

Last season, Vrabel recorded 48 tackles in 16 games for the Chiefs.

Vrabel compiled 57 sacks, 11 interceptions and 17 forced fumbles in his 14- year career. He also caught 10 touchdown passes as a tight end in goal-line situations.

"It was an honor and a privilege to be on the same team with Mike for 10 seasons, said Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, who had also served in the Patriots front office. "It's no coincidence that Mike won championships everywhere he played -- from his time at Ohio State to his role in division titles on three NFL teams.

"His genuine love for the game, his preparation, his work ethic, leadership and dependability are qualities you want from every player. He is a champion in every sense of the word and I'm confident all of these qualities will make him a great coach."


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