Drew Brees' next step in his post-playing career will put him back on a field.
Brees is joining the Purdue coaching staff as an assistant ahead of the Boilermakers' appearance in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl, the school announced Thursday.
"Purdue University is fortunate to have alumni who are impactful leaders in industries and careers across a wide spectrum, including professional football," Purdue director of athletics Mike Bobinski said in a statement. "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."
Brees will hop on board with the Boilermakers as a countable assistant coach, per NCAA guidelines, giving him the ability to work with student-athletes on the practice field and play a role in recruiting efforts, per the school's announcement.
Brees joins a coaching staff that is in transition following the departure of head coach Jeff Brohm, who left the Boilermakers to take the head-coaching job at Louisville following a 2022 regular season that saw Purdue reach the Big Ten title game for the first time in program history. Jeff's brother, former Louisville and NFL quarterback Brian Brohm, is serving as the interim head coach for the Boilermakers, who will face LSU in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 2.
"I am extremely excited to work with our team over the next few weeks as we prepare for the Citrus Bowl," Brees said in the school's press release. "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' first foray into his post-playing career saw him take a job with NBC as an analyst on Notre Dame football broadcasts and the network's Sunday night showcase, Football Night in America. He left after one year with NBC and has found his next move by heading back to the university where he starred at quarterback, leading Purdue to the school's second-ever appearance in the Rose Bowl at the end of the 2000 season. He won the 2000 Maxwell Award and began his NFL career in San Diego, where the Chargers made him a second-round pick in the 2001 draft.
Brees left San Diego for New Orleans in 2006, truly launching a legendary career with the Saints that saw him win Super Bowl XLIV. He reached 13 Pro Bowls in his time in the NFL and became the first quarterback in NFL history to break 80,000 career passing yards in 2020 before retiring at the end of that season.