Matt Ulrich, a former NFL player who was on the Indianapolis Colts’ Super Bowl XLI winning team, has died at age 41.
“I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of Matt Ulrich,” Colts owner Jim Irsay wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “Matt was with us only two seasons, but left his mark on many. Great guy, I hear he was a great dad — and he was a Super Bowl champ. My prayers to his family.”
Ulrich’s cause of death was not immediately revealed. An online fundraiser was created for his family.
“My heart is broken,” wrote Trai Essex, Ulrich’s college teammate at Northwestern. “My lineman brother. My NU brother. One of the best hearts you could ever hope to be around. Helped me to become the player I became.”
Ulrich was a high school standout at Streamwood High in Illinois and attended Northwestern, becoming a team captain during his 2004 senior season. Ulrich went undrafted in 2005 but signed with the Colts and made the team out of training camp.
Across two seasons with the team, including the Super Bowl run after the 2006 season, Ulrich appeared in 10 games for the Colts as an offensive guard. His last game on an NFL roster was Super Bowl XLI, when the Colts beat the Chicago Bears, 29-17.
“I had to remind myself to take one moment for myself — it was good advice I got from someone that if you do win it, take that last moment to look back at the tunnel and just look at the scoreboard, look at the field, and just know you’re at the pinnacle of sports,” Ulrich told Montana Sports in 2019.
After his NFL career ended, Ulrich moved to Bozeman, Mont., with his wife, Alison. They had four kids together. Ulrich worked for Profitable Ideas Exchange, a professional development company in Bozeman. He was also a player advisor on the Harvard Football Players Health study, an ongoing medical examination of former NFL players after they leave the league.