Chad Greenway: Iowa football 'gave me this dream and this opportunity'

Aaron Young

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.

Chad Greenway speaks at a news conference in Eden Prarie, Minn., Tuesday, March 7, 2017. After 11 seasons, 1,334 tackles, two Pro Bowls and an incalculable amount of work in the community, longtime Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway has decided to retire.

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.

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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