Ivy League Presence in Super Bowl XLVII
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Super Bowl XLVII will have an Ivy League presence on both sides of the matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.
With the Ravens making their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, former Harvard great Matt Birk becomes the 21st former Ancient Eight gridiron great to play in the National Football League's world championship game. Birk is in 15th season and his fourth with Baltimore. He has started every single game since signing with the team prior to the 2009 season. The St. Paul, Minn., native played at Harvard from 1994-97, earning first-team All-Ivy honors following his senior season as the Crimson captured the Ivy League title.
Birk's Ravens defeated the New England Patriots 28-13 in the AFC championship game. Patriots' owner Robert K. Kraft is a 1963 Columbia graduate and a 1965 Harvard Business School graduate. Yale graduate Patrick Graham serves as an assistant coach with the team, handling the defensive line.
Trying to help the 49ers to their sixth Super Bowl ring will be quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst. A 20-year coaching veteran, including 18 years in the NFL, he was named the 49ers' quarterbacks coach on Jan. 19, 2011. Chryst was three-year starter at linebacker for the Tigers from 1981-83 and also played baseball for two seasons.
Both team presidents have Ivy ties as Richard "Dick" Cass is a 1968 Princeton and 1971 Yale Law School graduate and is in his ninth season with the Ravens. The 49ers' President, Gideon Yu, earned his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1999.
In addition, Columbia Associate Director of Athletics for Sports Medicine Jim Gossett will be serving as one of two NFL Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) spotters during the game. His role will be to look for mechanisms of head and neck injury and inform the medical staffs on the sidelines of his observations. Gossett has served as the Lions' head athletic trainer for 28 years and this year marks his 33rd season working for Columbia.
Super Bowl XLVII is Sunday, Feb. 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on CBS.
IVY LEAGUERS IN THE SUPER BOWL
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