Kevin Faulk’s playing career was filled with success. A second-round pick out of LSU in 1999, he went on to win three Super Bowls as a member of the New England Patriots and was later voted to the franchise’s 50th anniversary team. Furthermore, Faulk finished his career as the club’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2016. By all accounts, the 43-year-old is a legendary figure in New England.
But while no longer directly tied to the Patriots beyond irregular appearances in Foxborough or on the stage at the NFL draft, Faulk’s success continues in his second career. In 2018, after all, he returned to his alma mater to take on a job as the director of player development within the school’s football program under head coach Ed Orgeron. As such, he works closely with freshmen coming to LSU and is critical in getting them up to speed.
“I didn’t know how much I was going to like it, but I actually love it because I get to be more professional with the guys, being around them all the time,” Faulk told The Athletic back in December. “I always tell them I still think like a player. I still have a player’s mentality. I know what you’re thinking. So some of the stuff they try to get away with, man, I’ve done it before. At the end of the day, the relationships are awesome.”
Faulk’s primary responsibilities lie on the offensive side of the ball, trying to make life for the unit as easy as possible as it tries to combine school and football. In 2019, this has apparently worked well for all involved: after starting the year ranked just third in the SEC, the school — led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and likely first-overall selection in the 2020 draft Joe Burrow — went on to win its first 12 games to secure a spot in the conference title game.
LSU won that game and advanced to the college football playoff tournament as the top-ranked team in the nation. And after beating number four Oklahoma, the Tigers faced off against Clemson in the National Championship. Burrow, who threw five touchdowns, stole the show during the team’s 42-25 victory but one of Faulk’s pupils also made an impact: junior tight end Thaddeus Moss, the son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss.
“He’s the one, how I kind of got into the guys when I first got there,” Faulk said about his relationship with the son of his ex-teammate (he and Randy Moss played alongside each other in New England from 2007 to 2010). “I wasn’t trying to throw myself on everybody. But being that I knew Thad, Thad would always come holler at me, and the guys he had with him would kind of realize I was cool. I was good.”
As a result of Moss, Burrow and company playing a lights-out game against second-ranked Clemson, Faulk will add another ring to his collection: not only can he call himself a three-time Super Bowl winner now, but also a National Champion. What the future holds for him remains to be seen — especially not even 24 hours after Louisiana State won its first title since 2007 — but a step into coaching sure seems like an option for him.
“You know I want to coach,” Faulk pointed out. “It’s everything. It’s one of those things, just wait your turn and be patient, and you never know what can happen. I’ve still got my eyes in Massachusetts, so we’ll see what happens there, too. You always want to build. You always want to grow. If you want to grow, you have to put yourself in position to grow. I think I’m in the right position right now to grow and learn from some of the best.”