Derrick Brooks was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft, where he remained to play his entire fourteen season professional career. He is widely considered one of the best linebackers in NFL history. An eleven-time Pro Bowl selection and nine-time All-Pro, Brooks was named AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2002, and earned a Super Bowl ring with the Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII seasons. In February 2014, Derrick received one of the highest honors of his life by being named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was inducted in Canton, Ohio in August of 2014 and inducted into the Capitol One Academic All America Hall of Fame. In September 2014 Derrick was enshrined into the Ring of Honor by The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the number 55 will never be worn by another Buccaneer player.Derrick has also been named as an appeals officer for the NFL.
Brooks graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business communications at Florida State University where he was a three time first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, two times First –team All-American, and a member of the 1993 Seminoles National Championship team. In November 2010, Florida State retired Seminoles jersey number 10 in honor of Brooks and he was also inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame. He went on to earn his Master’s in Business Communications from FSU in 1999, and his Doctorate in Humane Letters from St. Leo’s University in 2006.
Recognized as often for his hard work in the community as he is for his hard hits on the football field, Brooks has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the 2000 Walter Payton/NFL Man of the Year award, the 2003 Bart Starr Award, and the 2004 Bryon “Whizzer” White Award, and the 2008 JB Award through the NFL Players association, all of which recognize an NFL player annually for their commitment to the communities in which they live. Derrick also has received numerous community awards in Tampa, Florida for his work and dedication to the community such as: 2007 Citizen if the year from the Tampa Sports Club, 2014 Lee Roy Selmon Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tampa Sports Commission, 2014 Community Hero Award from the Tampa Bay Lightning and the 2014 Community Champion Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Brooks was appointed by to the board of trustees of Florida State University by Governor Jeb Bush in 2003, where he occupied a seat until 2011. He has also served on the Florida Department of Education Foundation, St. Leo’s University and Brooks-DeBartolo Charities, Inc. In 2007 he was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist as the Chairman for the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness – helping to eliminate the problem of childhood obesity in the State of Florida. Derrick also serves on other Board of Directors. By partnering with the DeBartolo Family, he was able to realize a lifelong dream with the opening of the very first traditional charter high school in the Tampa Bay area – Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School.