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The former Iowa Hawkeye football player retired from the NFL on Tuesday. He played all 11 of his professional seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. KARE

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Chad Greenway on Tuesday announced his retirement from the NFL after playing 11 professional seasons, all with the Minnesota Vikings.

During his news conference at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, he thanked the Iowa football team and coaches, including head coach Kirk Ferentz, the late Norm Parker, who was Greenway's defensive coordinator, and current staff members Phil Parker and Chris Doyle, among others.

Greenway said that "none of this happens without the University of Iowa."

"First of all, they were the only team that drove out to Mount Vernon (S.D.) in a snow storm to come take a look at me," Greenway said. They were the only ones to extend a scholarship offer to me and believe in me. They were the ones who had the foresight to move this high school quarterback to safety and then to linebacker. They were the ones who built me into a 240-pound player when I was going in there at 195 pounds.

"They were the ones who gave me this dream and this opportunity."

The two-time Pro Bowl selection also said UI football staff encouraged him to finish his degree before heading to the NFL.

"Now that my playing career is over, I can go on and do something else," Greenway said.

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He even acknowledge how Ferentz is "one of the best in the world at what he does" when coaching and developing his players.

"That's something he's done, he did for me, and I appreciate that," he said.

Greenway played at Iowa from 2002 to 2005, earning all-America honors his junior and senior seasons. He was selected 17th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Vikings and ranks fourth in franchise history with 1,334 career tackles.

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Greenway is expected to announce his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday. He played his entire professional career with the Minnesota Vikings and starred at linebacker for the Iowa Hawkeyes from 2002 to 2005. Aaron Young/The Register

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