Purdue Alum Drew Brees to Return as Assistant Coach for Citrus Bowl


Legendary Purdue and NFL signal caller Drew Brees to assist football program during coaching transition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Football will have a familiar face assisting the program during bowl preparations this month, as former Boilermaker quarterback Drew Brees will serve as an assistant coach, it was announced on Thursday, Dec. 15, by vice president and director of athletics Mike Bobinsky.

Fresh off his exemplary 20-year NFL career (2001-20), Brees will relocate to West Lafayette during the coaching transition to lend his knowledge, acumen and experiences to the squad of current Boilers. Hired as an accountable assistant coach per NCAA guidelines, Brees will have the ability to work on-field with student-athletes and participate in recruiting activities.

“Purdue University is fortunate to have alumni who are impactful leaders in industries and careers across a wide spectrum, including professional football,” said Bobinski. “For more than two decades, Drew Brees has shown the world what makes the Boilermakers special. He was an elite football player, but most of all, Drew is an extraordinary leader. Gaining his insights on the football field and in our coaching offices during this time of transition will be of great value to our student-athletes and staff. We’re grateful to Drew for his willingness to share his time and expertise in yet another show of support for the Boilermakers.”

Purdue Football (8-5) won the Big Ten West Division title for the first time in program history this past season. With the trip to the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl (Monday, Jan. 2, vs. LSU), the Boilermakers are playing in the program’s 21st bowl game and fourth bowl in the past six seasons.

“I am extremely excited to work with our team over the next few weeks as we prepare for the Citrus Bowl,” said Brees. “I see it not only as an opportunity to coach and mentor this group of young men, but represent all the former Purdue players that care so much about our program. This is also preparation for the future of Purdue Football with new head coach Ryan Walters . I had a great conversation with Coach Walters last night, and love the energy, passion and detail he will bring to our program. The future is bright, and there is no better time to be a Boilermaker!”

Brees has donated millions of dollars to Purdue University and the John Purdue Club, from the Brees Academic Performance Center that bears his name to the renovation of the football complex and Ross-Ade Stadium. A consistent supporting presence for the Boilermakers, he has represented the university in a variety of leadership capacities and has been at the forefront of the department’s ongoing Name, Image and Likeness efforts via the Boilermaker Alliance.

Brees, a Super Bowl champion and MVP (XLIV, 2010) with the New Orleans Saints, retired from the NFL holding the league’s all-time records for career touchdown passes, completions, yardage and completion percentage. He was a 15-year team captain for the Saints and led the squad to nine playoff appearances and seven division titles.

Brees was the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in 12-straight seasons, including an NFL-record five 5,000-yard passing seasons. He was selected 12 times to the Pro Bowl, a Saints record.

The bowl game against LSU, the first Boilermaker-Tiger matchup in program history, will provide the opportunity for Purdue to post back-to-back nine-win seasons for the first time since the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Those two campaigns, the beginning of head coach Joe Tiller’s legendary career at Purdue, were Brees’ freshman and sophomore years wearing the Old Gold & Black.

“When I first heard about Drew coming back to help coach our guys for the bowl game, I was hoping the rumors were true,” said head coach Ryan Walters. “Our players have the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest leaders in football history, a valuable experience that they will never forget. Drew taking time out of his busy schedule to coach the bowl game is a perfect example of Purdue Football being one big family, and I cannot wait to see him on the sidelines in Orlando.”

Brees’ college career at Purdue (1997-2000) included leading the Boilers to their second-ever Rose Bowl to close the 2000 season. He was an Academic All-American as a senior, as well as the 2000 Maxwell Award winner (nation’s most outstanding player). His name tops numerous career passing categories in Purdue’s record book: yards, completions, attempts and touchdowns.

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