Drew Brees brought on as Purdue assistant coach for Citrus Bowl

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Purdue has a bowl game to play as it transitions into a new era with a new coaching staff, so the program’s most famous product is returning to West Lafayette to help those efforts.

Purdue announced Thursday that Drew Brees will serve as an assistant coach for the Boilermakers this month as they prepare to play LSU in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 2. Before his historic NFL career, Brees was a star quarterback at Purdue from 1997 to 2000. During that span, he led Purdue to a Rose Bowl as he became the school’s all-time leading passer.

Brees will have an on-field role with the team during its bowl preparations, meaning he can have direct contact with players during practice and also participate in recruiting.

Purdue is in the midst of a coaching transition after Jeff Brohm left for Louisville. The school finalized the hire of Ryan Walters this week. Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Brian Brohm will serve as the interim head coach for the bowl game.

“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 athletic director Mike Bobinski said.

Brees played 20 seasons in the NFL and retired after the 2020 season. He spent the 2021 season as an analyst for NBC Sports. Now he’ll get to work on the field at his alma mater.

“I am extremely excited to work with our team over the next few weeks as we prepare for the Citrus Bowl,” Brees said. “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.”

Purdue will be rather shorthanded in the bowl game as its top three offensive players have decided not to play — quarterback Aidan O’Connell, tight end Payne Durham and wide receiver Charlie Jones. With O’Connell not playing, Austin Burton will start at quarterback.

Purdue won the Big Ten West this season and enters the bowl game with an 8-5 record following a loss to Michigan in the Big Ten title game.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to Taysom Hill in the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to Taysom Hill in the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)



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