FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas football head coach Bobby Petrino announced Monday the hiring of Richard Owens as a graduate assistant who will oversee the Razorback tight ends. Owens played collegiately at Louisville and recently completed a five year NFL career, in which he played for the St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings and N.Y. Jets.
"When I was an assistant coach I recruited Richard to Louisville and he played for me during my first year there as a head coach," said Petrino. "He was an all-conference selection in college and has experience in the NFL. Richard will relate well to the players on our team and they should benefit a great deal from the lessons he can share from his career."
A native of Middleburg, Fla., Owens played tight end and defensive line at Middleburg High School and was a first-team all-area selection. In 2006, his high school number was retired before a Middleburg High School football game.
Owens redshirted at Louisville in 1999 as a freshman. The following year, he played in all 12 games with three starts and was selected to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team at tight end. In 2001, he played in 13 games and had three catches, two of which went for touchdowns. He appeared in all 13 games in 2002 with starts in six of the last seven games and ranked sixth on the team with a career-high 20 catches for 182 yards. As a senior, he played in all 13 games with four starts and finished his career with 36 catches for 371 yards and eight touchdowns, while also serving as the Cardinals’ long snapper.
After completing his collegiate career, Owens was signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Vikings. Owens appeared in 53 NFL games between 2004-09, starting seven contests. He totaled 17 receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown in his career. Owens played for the Vikings from 2004-07 and was named the captain of the special teams in 2005. From 2007-08, was a member of the St. Louis Rams organization before he was signed by the N.Y. Jets in July of 2009.
Owens earned his degree in Sports Administration from Louisville in 2004. Owens and his wife, Tina, have one daughter, Rylan.