Concordia University, St. Paul welcomes singer and former professional football player Ben Utecht as speaker for its 2014 Traditional Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 9, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., in the Gangelhoff Center. A Minnesota native, the former Golden Gopher standout won a Super Bowl (XLI) while a member of the Indianapolis Colts.
Utecht’s football career ended following his fifth concussion in six seasons, allowing him the opportunity to transition careers as a musical artist. He has recorded several albums and toured in 2012.
Utecht was raised in a musical family and his passion for music was strong. However, he downgraded that enthusiasm to a hobby when he realized that his athletic talent, not music, would bring him to college. Ben graduated from Hastings Senior High School and became a four-year starter at the University of Minnesota.
The tight end drew the attention of the Indianapolis Colts, where he signed as a free agent in 2004. Utecht’s best season was 2006, when he made 37 receptions for 377 yards, including five postseason receptions for 41 yards.
Utecht’s father studied music prior to becoming a Methodist minister and his mother was a singer, talented at opera. He grew up with vocal training and a passion for music that motivated him to continue musical involvement despite a busy sports schedule in high school and college. Ben has an extensive symphony resume including performing with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony and more.