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Super Bowl MVP Branch joins UofL football staff

Deion Branch hoists the Lombardi Trophy with coach Bill Belichick, and Patriots owner Robert...
Deion Branch hoists the Lombardi Trophy with coach Bill Belichick, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:48 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Former University of Louisville and National Football League wide receiver Deion Branch will be named the Director of Player Development at his alma mater, head coach Scott Satterfield announced on Thursday.

“To have one of the greatest wide receivers to ever play at Louisville and a former Super Bowl Most Valuable Player join our staff, is a great addition to our football program,” Satterfield said. “He is a recognizable name here at Louisville – one that our players can look up too.  We are excited to welcome back Deion to his alma mater.”

Branch, who’s No. 9 jersey is one of UofL’s Honored Jerseys, played for the Cardinals from 2000-01 and made a lasting impact on the program.

In those two seasons, Branch’s numbers rank up there with some of the finest wide receivers in school history. He totaled 143 passes for 2,204 yards and 18 touchdowns. He stands seventh all-time in receiving yards with 2,204, ninth with 143 receptions and tied for fourth with 18 touchdowns, and helped the Cardinals earn a pair of league titles.

Coming from Jones County Junior College,  Branch registered his best season in 2001 when he caught 72 passes for 1,188 yards (fifth-best in school history) and nine scores to earn first team All-Conference USA honors. That season, Branch record seven 100-yard games, including a nine-catch, 174-yard performance versus Illinois.

The previous season, Branch earned first-team all-league honors for the second-straight year after catching 71 passes for 1,016 yards and nine scores. He caught eight passes for 194 yards (sixth-most in school history) and a score versus Cincinnati.

After helping the Cardinals win two C-USA Championships, Branch was selected in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots.

Branch played 12 seasons in the NFL --- seven with the New England Patriots and five with the Seattle Seahawks. He totaled 518 receptions for 6,644 yards and 39 touchdowns in 12 seasons, with his best year came in 2005 when he totaled 78 receptions for 998 yards and five scores with the Patriots.

While with the Patriots, Branch was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXXIX, after tying former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice and former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Dan Ross for the Super Bowl reception record with 11 catches for 133 yards. He was the first receiver to win the award since 1989 when Jerry Rice had his 11-catch game.

A native of Albany, Ga., Branch made his name in the post-season, totaling 21 receptions in two Super Bowls (XXXVIII, XXXIX). He recorded a game-high 10 receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots’ 32-29 Super Bowl XXXVIII victory over the Carolina Panthers. He was named the Super Bowl MVP after tying a Super Bowl record with 11 receptions in the Patriots’ 24-21 victory over the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.

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