Former Westlake High School quarterback Drew Brees might not be going to the Super Bowl this weekend, but the native Austinite, and 2009 Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, has already become a philanthropic MVP through the dedicated work of his family’s foundation.
While lettering in football, basketball, and baseball, as a High School senior in 1996, Brees led his football team to a perfect 16-0 record and the 5A State Championship while garnering 5A Offensive Player of the Year honors. He went on to attend Purdue University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management while lettering in football from 1997-2000. A two-time Heisman finalist, Brees led the Boilermakers to a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl appearance during the 2000 season.
Brees currently lives with his wife Brittany and children Baylen, Bowen, Callen and Rylen in New Orleans.
In Brees’ five years with the San Diego Chargers and eight years with the New Orleans Saints, he has been elected to nine Pro Bowls while being named 2004 Comeback Player of the Year, 2006 All-Pro Team, 2006 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, 2008 and 2011 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and Super Bowl XLIV Champion and MVP.
As much pride as Brees takes in his on-field achievements, he takes even more pride in his community service endeavors. Brees and Brittany established the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003 and since then have contributed and/or committed almost $25,000,000 to help improve the quality of life for cancer patients and provide care, education and opportunities for children and families in need. Brees has also proudly participated in five USO trips to Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Turkey, Djibouti, Dubai, Okinawa, and Guantanamo Bay.
Much as he has been honored during his playing career, it is the heartwarming dedication to the work of his foundation that mark Drew Brees apart, as a person who goes above and beyond to help those in his community and the wider world. That is what will make his place in history.
Cover photo courtesy The Brees Dream Foundation
Julie Tereshchuk is the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Lifestyle Magazine