David Thornton enters his eighth season with the Indianapolis Colts as the club's director of player engagement. Thornton's primary charge is the personal and professional growth of each player during and beyond their NFL experience. He tailors specific programs involving professional development, career exposure, financial education, and higher learning for members of the Colts. He serves as the liaison between the team, club personnel, and external resources. He provides evaluations for prospective college and professional players as well as assisting with game day operations. Thornton also coordinates the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship for the team.
He spent nine years in the NFL, four of which with Indianapolis from 2002 -05 and the last five with the Tennessee Titans from 2006-2010. In 121 career games (102 starts), Thornton totaled 730 tackles, 5.0 sacks, five interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 25 passes defended. In 2007, with the Titans, he was named the team's Ed Block Courage Award recipient. The following season, Thornton was voted the club's Walter Payton Man of the Year, a distinction he also earned twice with the Colts. During his career, Thornton was also nominated for the NFLPA's highest honor, the Byron "Whizzer" White Award on four occasions while receiving the President's Volunteer Service Award in 2008. He served in several leadership roles while playing which included defensive captain, NFL Player Advisory Board member and NFLPA Player Representative.