BORN: July 10, 1962 in Iowa City, Iowa
JOINED SAINTS: NFL draft: 1984 / Round: 4 / Pick: 94
YEARS WITH SAINTS: 1984–1993
Joel Hilgenberg's Career Background
Former Saints center Joel Hilgenberg was enshrined in the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 2006 after spending the entirety of his decade-long career with the Black and Gold.
Hilgenberg was drafted in the fourth round (94th overall) of the 1984 NFL Draft out of the University of Iowa. At only 6'3 and 250 pounds, he appeared in ten games primarily on special teams the team's long snapper and as a reserve in his rookie campaign. He continued to develop as a valuable reserve at both center and guard his next two seasons, becoming a starter for the Saints in 1987 as the team notched their first winning season in franchise history. During his career, Hilgenberg played in 142 games with 97 starts for New Orleans. In his final year of play before retiring following the 1993 season, Hilgenberg played on the offensive line unit with his brother, Jay, who signed with the team that offseason.
After retiring from football, Hilgenberg became an offensive quality control coach for the Green Bay Packers in 2011 and an assistant offensive line coach from 2012-13 before retiring from coaching in 2014. Hilgenberg and his wife Jeanie, live in Iowa City, Iowa and have one daughter, Anna. He is also active charitably in supporting the activities of the Aiming for a Cure Foundation, a 20-year old organization built upon a foundation of committed people with a great passion to help children and their families that suffer from various forms of cancer.
Joel Hilgenberg's Career Honors
Pro Bowl – 1992
New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame