Don Muhlbach officially retires, returns to Lions as special adviser

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Less than a month after the Detroit Lions released long snapper Don Muhlbach, essentially ending the career of the longest-tenured player on the roster, the team is bringing him back as a special adviser. 

“We are thrilled to have Don remain an integral part of our organization, and I want to personally congratulate him on his official retirement as a player from the National Football League," Lions general manager Brad Holmes said in statement.

Long snapper Don Muhlbach spent his entire NFL career with the Lions.

"Don is one of the most respected players in Lions history and having him work closely with a variety of football and business departments is a tremendous benefit to our entire team. His experience and knowledge on and off the field make him an invaluable resource for our players, coaches and staff, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome him back in this new role."

In his new role,  Muhlbach, 40, will work with Holmes, team president Rod Wood and coach Dan Campbell on various projects across the team’s football and business operations. Campbell said Friday Muhlbach will have some coaching and scouting duties early on while both sides figure out his best fit within the organization. 

“It has been an honor and a privilege to wear the Honolulu Blue and Silver for the past 17 years," Muhlbach said in a statement. "I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to remain with this organization that has given me so much. I’m excited about this new chapter of my career and to have the ability to continue working towards the goal of bringing a winning culture to Detroit."

Muhlbach initially signed with the Lions in 2004 as an undrafted rookie following a brief stint with the Baltimore Ravens. He would go on to appear in 260 games for Detroit, second only to kicker Jason Hanson, while ranking 37th in NFL history.

Muhlbach was named to two Pro Bowls during that time and served as captain the past three seasons.

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Twitter: @Justin_Rogers