After 42 years in the Vikings organization, Scott Studwell will retire after this week’s NFL Draft.

Studwell, the hard-nosed linebacker and longtime Vikings franchise leader in tackles, made the announcement Tuesday in an emotional news conference. He has worked for the Vikings scouting department since his playing days.

“I came up here in 1977 with a lot of big dreams and I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen,” Studwell said. “After seven weeks of hell in Mankato, I managed to make the football team. The rest is kind of history.”

Studwell, 64, was named to the Vikings’ Ring of Honor in 2009. A ninth-round pick out of the University of Illinois, Studwell appeared in 214 games (including 12 playoff games) during 14 seasons for the Vikings. He earned two Pro Bowl berths. His 1,981 career tackles, according to the team, still lead the franchise by more than 500 tackles.

The decision was “in the works for a while,” Studwell said, solidified by his desire to spend more time with his family. He’s spent nearly three decades scouting, which demands working from the road throughout much of the year. Studwell thanked his wife, Jenny, and their three children.

“Being gone 225 nights a year and spending a life on the road is not easy on her and wasn’t easy on the kids,” Studwell said. “I missed a lot of time with my kids. That’s something I have to make up for. I also owe it to my grandkids.”

His retirement process began at least five years ago, when Studwell stepped back from his Director of College Scouting job in favor of a smaller role with the Vikings.

“One thing I can promise is this is the last time I’ll retire from the Minnesota Vikings,” Studwell said.