Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings is the winner of the 2023 Bart Starr Award. This award is given annually to an NFL player who best exemplifies character, integrity, and leadership on and off the field.
Cousins played college football at Michigan State and was drafted by the team then known as the Washington Redskins in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. With the Redskins, Cousins set numerous franchise records and was named to the 2017 Pro Bowl. In 2018, he signed with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent. He ranks third all-time in completion percentage with at least 1,500 pass attempts, and is eighth in the NFL’s all-time regular season career passer rating.
In a week 15 game against the Indianapolis Colts, Cousins completed 34 of 54 passes for a career-high 460 passing yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions with a 99.3 passer rating in the 39-36 overtime win, highlighted by the Vikings completing the largest comeback in NFL history. With the win, the Vikings also clinched the NFC North for the first time since 2017. For this, Cousins was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 15.
Cousins and his wife launched the Julie & Kirk Cousins Foundation in October 2018 in order to build on their faith through impactful philanthropy. The Julie & Kirk Cousins Foundation has provided support to numerous outlets including Bethany Christian Services, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Compassionate Heart Ministries, Discovery Church, Holland Christian Schools and International Justice Mission.
Bethany Christian Services is a global nonprofit—in more than 30 states and more than a dozen countries—dedicated to helping families thrive. Their core domestic services include pregnancy counseling, adoption, foster care, and strengthening families through family preservation. They also serve refugees around the world who are fleeing violence and have been forced from their homes. Bethany Christian Services go to the ends of the earth to ensure families are loved, connected, and safe.
Kirk and his wife Julie have two sons – Cooper and Turner.