Teaching Students About Brian Urlacher

The life and career of Brian Urlacher serve as an excellent example for students to explore themes such as perseverance, teamwork, and commitment to one’s passions. As educators, it is essential to do justice to the story of this inspiring figure in football history while making the material engaging for young learners. Through engaging lessons and activities tailored to various learning styles, teaching about Brian Urlacher can be a memorable and educational experience.

Early Years and Introduction to Football

Begin by discussing Brian Urlacher’s early life (born in Pasco, Washington, in 1978) and how he grew up in Lovington, New Mexico. By diving into his family background and childhood experiences, students can learn more about what shaped him into the dedicated athlete he became. Discuss the challenges he faced in his early years, such as his parents’ divorce and being raised by a single mother who worked multiple jobs.

Critical thinking questions: What challenges might a young person face in similar circumstances? How might these experiences cultivate resilience?

Introduction to Professional Football

As the story unfolds, share how Urlacher’s passion for football emerged during high school when he played various positions including wide receiver, linebacker, and running back. Explain how excelling at multiple positions showcased his natural athletic ability and helped pave his path to college football at the University of New Mexico.


1. Guess the Position: Show pictures of different football player positions – can students correctly identify linebacker, wide receiver, etc.?

2. College Football Pathway: Research other well-known players who began their careers at lesser-known colleges and their journey from college to professional.

The NFL Career of Brian Urlacher

Upon entering the NFL Draft in 2000, selected ninth overall by the Chicago Bears, discuss how Urlacher became an integral part of the team. Teach students about his thirteen seasons with the Bears, how he transitioned to middle linebacker, and his impact on the defensive prowess of the team during this era.

Key moments to highlight:

– 8-time Pro Bowl selections

– 5-time All-Pro selections

– NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2005)

– NFL Rookie of the Year (2000)

Retirement and Legacy

In 2012, Brian Urlacher retired from professional football, concluding a remarkable career. Walk students through his post-football life, including his commitment to philanthropic efforts, such as the Brian Urlacher Foundation. Give students insight into why players retire and how they might use their influence to contribute positively to their communities.


1. Role Models: Create a job aid comparing Urlacher with other retired sports figures who have made positive impacts in their communities.

2. Motivational Quotes: Discuss inspirational quotes from Brian Urlacher and ask students to reflect on how they might apply them in their own lives.

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