Former Denver Broncos Captain and All-Pro Linebacker Karl Mecklenburg rose from being a college walk-on and a 12th round draft pick to a pro career that included six Pro Bowl and three Super Bowl appearances. Considered the NFL’s most versatile player, Karl played all seven defensive front positions. Bronco coaches wanted him at the point of attack and would move him throughout the game. There were many games where Mecklenburg played all 7 positions in the course of a single game.

In 2001, Karl was inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame and the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.

Karl is a member of the National Speakers Association. He enjoys speaking to a variety of groups, and his story is both humorous and inspirational. The lessons life in the NFL taught him about teamwork, courage, dedication, desire, honesty and forgiveness, and goal setting are his “Six Keys to Success”.

As a highly regarded speaker, Karl tailors his presentations to the needs of the group while teaching and inspiring his audience. His legendary NFL career draws many attendees to events, and the content and delivery of his presentation sends his audience home with a renewed commitment to their goals.

Since retiring from pro football in 1995, Karl divides his time between motivational speaking and his ongoing charity commitments. Karl and his wife Kathi have three children. The Mecklenburgs still live in Littleton, Colorado. Mecklenburg has used his special brand of motivation as an assistant football coach at Kent Denver High School. He has hosted a radio program, done television sideline reporting and studio work, and written columns for the Denver Post. In addition, Karl has had numerous magazine articles published. In 1987 he was the coauthor of Meck For The Defense, published by McGraw-Hill.

Karl’s latest book Heart of a Student Athlete: All Pro Advice for Competitors and Their Families has been awarded the Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient and the 2010 Mensa Sharp Writ Book Awards: Best Book for Young Adults. For more information about this book, click on the tab “Karl’s Book” above, or go to

The Mecklenburgs have had a strong commitment to many Colorado charities through the years, which they continue to uphold. Karl and Kathi formed the Karl Mecklenburg REACH Foundation in 2006, in an effort to further impact the youth of Colorado. REACH stands for rewarding experiences for all children. The REACH for a Book program incentivizes Denver Public Schools elementary school students to read. National statistics show that 90% of high school dropouts can’t read. DPS has a graduation rate of 49%. By challenging elementary school students and rewarding them for reading 100 minutes a week we will change these numbers.

I would like to sincerely thank you for speaking at our Winter Sales Conference in Denver, CO. We have the opportunity to listen to many speakers and your inspirational presentation resonated well with our audience. It is an important time in our company for motiviation and morale to remain at a high and your talk was right on point.
– Madison Ryder, Transamerica
Karl Mecklenburg was our 2015 State Education Conference Luncheon keynote speaker. We had more than 1,100 school board members and superintendents registered for our conference. We have a wide variety of members, both urban and rural, including superintendents, business owners, farmers, bankers, ranchers, homemakers, and retirees. Mecklenburg’s message of Six Keys to Success was targeted for our group, and applicable to all. With great stories and humor, Karl’s presentation not only urged our school board teams to pursue greatness, but gave them some practical and inspiring examples of how Mecklenburg has overcome obstacles in his football career and in life. Karl joined us the night before his talk, and also took time after his speech to interact with our attendees. He signed autographs, answered questions, and posed for photos with our people. Some of the comments I heard from our members were “It was great to meet someone I have admired for years.” and “I am not a football fan, so I wasn’t sure I would be able to relate to Mr. Mecklenburg, but his stories and anecdotes were universal and endearing to sports fans and non-sports fans alike." Mecklenburg is not only a top-notch speaker, but he’s down to earth and very easy to work with. I will be recommending Karl to my state school board association meeting planner colleagues at our national convention.
– Sharon Endorf, Event Manager, Nebraska Association of School Boards
We hired Karl Mecklenburg as the keynote speaker for our recent annual customer appreciation lunch. We had a good turnout and very positive feedback from our customers. Many took the time to share they felt they were right there on the field with Karl and the Broncos team as he relived both the moments of glory and the times when things got tough. We are always on the lookout for speakers with powerful perspective and content that will inspire and provide lasting and impact for those that attend our customer appreciation luncheons. We are very pleased that we chose to treat our customers to a NFL legend this time. Mecklenburg's message of universal keys to success was professionally delivered and personalized for our organization and clients. His story telling style was great for this type of event. Karl's humor encouraged our customers and employees to laugh, but he still gave us all some solid take home points. The purpose of these special events provide a 'thank you' to our customers and friends for their business and support. Karl's approach and personality made everyone comfortable. He came early and stayed late so he could interact with all those that were interested and many of customers stuck around after the presentation to have photos taken with Karl and to get his autograph. Our customers appreciated Mecklenburg's approachability and willingness to spend time connecting with them personally. Karl was easy to work with and helped us put on a very successful customer event.
– Will Matthews, VP Marketing, Global Brand Manager Ensign Energy Services Inc.
I wanted to thank you for your gracious participation in our education conference last week. For what you brought to the table it seems almost trite to just say thank you, so I thought I would try and reflect a little more on the contribution that you gave to our week - from the keynote speech Wednesday morning, to your participation in the autograph signing that evening, the attendees and the staff couldn't have been happier. But at a much deeper level we fielded so many positive comments about the words you outlined from courage to try new things, to change all the angles with just one step in the right direction, and to the power of honesty and self forgiveness. But that part almost pales in how you inspired people not from the words, but from your actions and your approachability at the conference. Your character, your willingness to imbed into the conference, to work with our theme and our education portion, and to provide time for people to connect with you on a personal level, is what people commented about. They felt your positive presence not just listened to your words. You invoked a true human response for us to achieve success and failure along a path for a greater purpose, and that resonated with people's desire not only at the conference, but for action at home in their relationships, their jobs, and their greater endeavors. I can't thank you enough for working with me, and for inspiring us as a team to move forward with a little lighter step and better understanding of higher purpose. My true hope is that I have the opportunity to work with you again in the future.
– Roger Serrette, Continuous Feed Inkjet Global Product Marketing Manager, Ricoh USA, Inc.
My Association had the pleasure of contracting with Karl Mecklenburg as our Keynote speaker for our Annual Convention and Trade Show. Karl is like no other motivational speaker you will ever enjoy experiencing. Karl’s disarming and warm personality is genuine and personable. The instant you meet and talk with this former Pro Bowler, you feel like you’ve known him for years. Karl blends his years as a professional football star and icon into a heartfelt message that resonates across every generation and every socioeconomic strata...including my petroleum marketers. His humor, action stories and presentation mannerisms engage the listener like talking to family. Most importantly, Karl’s “Six Keys to Success” connect. And his ‘success-is-no-accident’ encouragement, developed by personal experience, makes each participant leave the talk with a positive, non-nonsense, “can do” attitude. Every attendee commented how much they truly appreciated our arranging for Karl to speak, bar none. Thank you, Karl, for reinvigorating my hard working, small business men and women Association members and their families. “Phil 4.8”, indeed, Mr. Mecklenburg! As Executive Director of CWPMA and having years of experience with motivational speakers, I can wholeheartedly endorse and urge that you allow Karl Mecklenburg to share his stories and “Six Keys to Success” with your members.
– Mark Larson, Executive Director, Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association

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