Matt Maiocco is reporting that Jeff Ulbrich has decided to retire from the NFL after 10 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. Ulbrich suffered a particularly bad concussion October 11 against the Falcons and eventually was placed on injured reserve when he couldn't shake some of the concussion symptoms.
It's certainly a shame to see a career cut short by injury, but it's probably for the best for Ulbrich to retire given the issues concussions can raise in terms of long term health. Ulbrich was a special teams standout for the 49ers and they'll certainly miss him. According to Maiocco, Ulbrich is looking to pursue a career in coaching, but would prefer it be in the college ranks.
I remember when Ulbrich was at Hawaii I was watching a bowl game he was playing in. He had the big mustache even back then, and I always thought he looked considerably older than your general college student. However, he definitely stood out to me. When the 49ers first drafted him I think my expectations were a bit high. He was never going to be a standout linebacker in the league, but he made his bones doing the gritty work that is not often appreciated by many fans.
Although Ulbrich is retiring, I definitely plan to continue following him as he pursues his coaching career. I'll do my best to keep everyone updated here as to how he progresses. Part of the reason he wants to go the college route is because, as Maiocco put it, there is a built-in conflict of coaching former teammates. According to Maiocco, Ulbrich wants to get on the new staff that will be taking shape at San Jose State University. One has to wonder if down the the road, as he gets older and his teammates have retired, Ulbrich potentially returns to the NFL as a coach. We'll see.