Derrick Brooks

2004 Winner

Derrick Brooks has long been recognized as the NFL’s best linebacker and he elevated his status as the league’s most accomplished defender after being honored as the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2002. Brooks served as Team Captain of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was instrumental in leading the Bucs to their first Super Bowl Championship in 27 seasons. He has played at a level unmatched among NFL linebackers and has been named to six consecutive Pro Bowls (1997-2002). Brooks ranks as the most prolific tackler in franchise history with 1,277 stops and is the only linebacker in NFL history to have three interception returns for a touchdown in s a season (2002). In 2000, Brooks was named co-recipient of the Walter Payton/NFL Man of the Year along with Jim Flanigan of the Chicago Bears.

Brooks’ foundation, The Derrick Brooks Charities focuses its charitable endeavors on children partnering with March of Dimes, D.A.R.E., and the Belmont Heights and Ybor City Boys and Girls Clubs. In 2002, for the sixth consecutive year, he hosted “Brooks Bunch”, a group of 20 kids from Belmont Heights and Ybor City Boys and Girls Club whom he invites to every Buccaneers home game. Brooks also takes the “Brooks Bunch” participants on field trips to such places as Washington DC, Africa and the Western United States. Governor Jeb Bush of Florida appointed Brooks to the Florida State University Board of Trustees in 2003. He was named to the recently formed NFLPA Diversity Committee to work on the issue of diversity in the NFL.

Derrick Brooks and his wife, Carol, live in Tampa with their three children: Brianna Monai, Derrick Brooks, Jr. and Darius Dewan.

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