2014 Keynote Address
In January 2001, Brian Billick led the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens to a 34-7 over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. This former NFL headman is a current NFL in-game analyst for FOX and a studio contributor for the NFL Network. His competitiveness, unique down-to-earth nature, and generosity have led him to find success both on and off of the field.
Billick’s versatility and all-around talent led to his success in the NFL. In 1998, Billick served as offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings — an offense that set the NFL record for the most points scored in a season with 556. In 2000, during his second year as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, the team’s defense smashed the record for fewest points allowed for a 16-game season — a record once held by the now-mythic 1985 Chicago Bears. That season was also his second season as a head coach at any level — and he directed the best team in the Ravens’ then-five-year history. The team finished the regular season with a record of 12-4, and — including the playoffs and Super Bowl — rolled off 11 consecutive victories to end the year. Billick’s leadership shined in the postseason when the Ravens emerged victorious over the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. He coached the Ravens through the 2007 season, ending his career with an 85-67 mark. Baltimore didn’t return to the Super Bowl until defeating San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.
A respected and innovative leader, Billick continues to achieve his goals with dedicated management and enthusiasm for the cause, predominantly crediting his accomplishments to passion and accountability. “You have to have passion for the work you do to succeed. If a player doesn’t like to study, practice or train, doesn’t like the physicality of the game, he’s going to have a very difficult time succeeding. Passion is a lubricant for success,” Billick explains. “Accountability is obvious. You have to perform. Accountability is also a sign of respect for your team. It is a reflection of a team’s integrity when individuals take responsibility for their actions.”
Off the field, Billick worked enthusiastically helped improve the community during his time in Baltimore. He assisted the Central Maryland United Way as a former member of the board of directors and continues to serve on the board of trustees for the Living Classroom Foundation, where he has hosted numerous fundraisers and has had a number of Raven players volunteer at this important educational facility. Billick was also selected as the Maryland Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis 2001 Champion of the Year. His wife, Kim, joined in many of these community works and helped the Baltimore Red Cross with a number of important projects.
Billick has co-authored two books, Finding the Winning Edge with NFL Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh and Dr. James Peterson, and Competitive Leadership: Twelve Principles for Success, also with Dr. Peterson. He also recently wrote More Than a Game: The Glorious Present and Uncertain Future of the NFL, an inside look at professional football both on and off the field.
Billick was born in Fairborne, Ohio, in 1954 and grew up in Redlands, Calif. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University, where he also pursued a master’s in communication. Still close to his heart, Billick endows a scholarship at the communications college at BYU.
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