March 6, 2003
Tallahassee, FL – Derrick Brooks, a linebacker for the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and an FSU alum, was appointed to the board Wednesday by Gov. Jeb Bush. His service began Wednesday and continues until a date that will be set by the Florida Legislature. Brooks was also named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year following the 2002 season.
“I think that’s great,” said FSU President T.K. Wetherell about the selection of the 29-year-old FSU graduate. “Derrick brings unique qualities to the table. He was an honors student. He earned both degrees while playing ball … He’s such a great role model.”
“I am very grateful for this appointment,” said Brooks in a prepared statement. “I hope to be a positive force in the decision-making process and am taking my appointment seriously.”
Brooks earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business communications from FSU in 1994 and 1999. He was drafted by Tampa Bay in 1995 and has made a name for himself not just as an athlete but also as a community leader.
In 1996, he began “Brooks’ Bunch,” a program for children who attend Boys & Girls Clubs in poor Tampa neighborhoods. The bunch takes field trips to places such as Atlanta and Washington, D.C., to visit museums and historical landmarks. Students earn a ticket by completing research assignments related to the planned trip site.
“This year, the focus of the Brooks’ Bunch has been on college preparation and what the students must do to apply to a university, submit scholarship applications and learn life skills that they will need for university life,” Brooks wrote in the governor’s board-appointment questionnaire. “The trip will include a tour of three or four college campuses, including Florida State University.”
Brooks takes the place of former trustee Lee Hinkle, who resigned last week and applied for the job of vice president of university relations at FSU.
“Now we have somebody to keep Thrasher in line,” Wetherell joked. John Thrasher is chairman of FSU’s 13-member governing board. “I figure if Thrasher starts mouthing off, Derrick Brooks is my man.”