As it turns out, Don Muhlbach's time with the Lions is not finished.
Detroit is bringing the longtime long snapper back in the fold as a special assistant, the team announced Friday. Muhlbach will support general manager Brad Holmes, president and CEO Rod Wood and coach Dan Campbell in his new role.
"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," Holmes said in a statement released by the team. "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."
Muhlbach retired from the NFL after 17 seasons following his release from the Lions, which unfortunately came on his 40th birthday. Campbell called himself an expletive for releasing the reliable Muhlbach on his birthday, adding "there's no way to sugarcoat that," two days after
The Lions have righted a wrong in keeping Muhlbach with the organization in a role Muhlbach sees as an opportunity to help Detroit turn itself into a winner after three straight losing seasons and a playoff victory drought that stretches back to the 1992 season.
"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 retired as the second-longest tenured Lion in team history behind only kicker Jason Hanson. He'll continue his Detroit career not in shoulder pads, but a collared shirt and an office at the team's Allen Park, Michigan, headquarters.