It is rare to find a true Renaissance man anymore, but that’s what you get with Ben Utecht. Ben has always chased his dreams, finding his way from a small river town in Minnesota to a Super Bowl championship field. Whether it was becoming a world champion in football, singing with major symphonies, serenading Muhammad Ali on his 70th birthday, or stepping into a national advocacy role, Ben has found success in many realms. He honed his already keen public speaking skills at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with a degree in communications and even started a master’s degree in sports management before being swept up into the NFL.
Ben has established himself as a prominent national leadership, culture, and motivational speaker for corporations, conventions, and non-profit events. As an expert in the creation and practice of successful athletic culture, he coaches using lessons he learned in the locker room with Hall-of-Fame coach Tony Dungy and from the huddle with future Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning. Ben inspires leaders to truly care about the health and success of their organizational culture.
As an influential advocate for brain health, Ben served as the national spokesperson on concussion for the American Academy of Neurology and currently sits on the prestigious board of the American Brain Foundation. Ben was given the AAN’s most esteemed honor, the Public Leadership in Neurology Award, in 2014. Also at that time, Ben released a music video for his song “You Will Always Be My Girls,” written as a love letter to his wife and daughters with the goal of emotionally connecting people to the importance of their memories. The video has impacted the lives of many, garnering over 1.3 million YouTube views to date.
Ben can now add “author” to his résumé, with the release of his new book Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away, published by Simon & Schuster. The book is the first memoir from a former NFL player who left the game as a result of concussions. It takes the reader on a heart-felt journey through the ups and downs of Ben’s life with faith, family, and football. Ben has a message of hope that has reached a nation-wide audience, inspiring people to value every moment to its fullest.
Ben is now the co-founder of Keystone Culture Group alongside renowned healthcare expert Dr. Daniel K. Zismer, Ph.D. Together they bring a dynamic perspective on deciding, designing, directing, and deploying championship culture in your organization. Utecht and Dr. Zismer integrate two unique playing fields together, creating an elite product that will help any organization replicate healthy winning culture!
- BA (2003) in Communications Studies, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
- 2003-2007 Indianapolis Colts, Starting Tight End
- 2007-2009 Cincinnati Bengals, Starting Tight End
- 2009-present Professional Singer, Dove Award Nominee
- 2009-present Professional Speaker, CEO & Founder of Surrender The Game LLC
- Creator of The Champion’s Way and the MVP Program
- 2016-present Author, Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away (Simon & Schuster)
- 2017-present Co-founder of Keystone Culture Group
- 2003 Team Captain – University of Minnesota Football
- 2003 First Team All-Big Ten Tight End
- 2007 Super Bowl XLI Champion
- 2012 Dove Award Nominee
- 2013 Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance Ambassador Award
- 2014 Public Leadership in Neurology Award