Pat Angerer knew it was time.
After more than a decade as a dominating linebacker on the football fields at Bettendorf High School, the University of Iowa and with the Indianapolis Colts, Angerer is ready to begin the next chapter of his life.
He announced Tuesday morning he filed papers Monday to retire following a four-year career in the NFL.
“I played a lot of football, fought through a lot of things over the years, and it’s been a great experience every step of the way,’’ Angerer said. “This game has given me so much, so many great memories and experiences, but it was time.’’
Angerer reached that conclusion about a week ago, understanding that it was taking him an increasingly longer amount of time to even warm up before a workout.
“I put a lot of thought into it, weighed a lot of things on my mind and in the end, it was time to listen to my body and do the best thing for me and my family,’’ Angerer said. “I can walk away knowing I did that.’’
A series of knee and foot injuries and multiple surgeries over the past two seasons that culminated in microfracture surgery last December preceded Angerer’s decision.
The Colts cut him loose last spring as his rehabilitation continued but he landed a spot with the Atlanta Falcons for their preseason camp and was among the last players cut before the start of the current NFL season.
In recent weeks, Angerer worked out for the Lions, Saints, Jets and Rams before deciding to step away.
“I gave it everything I had. I’ve worked with so many great people and coaches along the way,’’ Angerer said. “I’ll miss that. The teams I’ve been a part of at Bettendorf and Iowa, I’ve learned so much not only about football but about life. I’ve had a lot of great role models along the way.’’
He’s given back to the game as well.
“He became one of our best leaders ever,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “I just feel badly that he couldn’t stay healthy as a pro because he is a tremendous football player.’’
Angerer doesn’t plan to stray far from the game.
He plans to work toward becoming a certified strength and conditioning specialist, hoping to provide avenues for younger players to experience what he experienced over the years.
“Strength and conditioning has always been a passion of mine. There are a lot of kids in the Quad-Cities who aren’t any different than I was, kids who probably have a lot more talent than I ever had,’’ Angerer said. “If I can help them, I’d like to find a way to do that.’’
He expects to share with those young athletes what he learned while crafting his own resume of success.
At Bettendorf, Angerer was a two-time first-team Iowa Class 4A all-state selection as he rewrote the Bulldogs’ record books.
As he helped Bettendorf to a Class 4A state title as a senior in 2004, Angerer set school records for tackles in a game (25), season (197) and career (344). He also was a standout on the wrestling mat and soccer field, where he was part of a 2004 state championship team.
He earned second team All-American honors from the Associated Press as a senior at Iowa, where Angerer was a finalist for the Bronco Nagurski Award.
He had 248 tackles during his career with the Hawkeyes, 25th most by an Iowa player at that time, and only three Hawkeyes recorded more stops in a season than the 145 tackles Angerer recorded in 2009 as an Iowa senior.
Selected by Indianapolis in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Angerer had 327 tackles and forced four fumbles over four seasons with the Colts.
He started 27 times and played in all 32 games over his first two seasons with Indianapolis, leading the team with 148 tackles in 2011. He totaled 28 tackles in 2012 and finished with 63 a year ago during injury-shortened seasons for the Colts.