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Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014
Derrick Brooks

Derrick Brooks: What community peers are saying

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What community peers are saying about Derrick Brooks:

*****

Bob Buckhorn

Tampa mayor

“I think he’s as good a human being as he was a football player. A lot of players enjoy the accolades when they’re playing, but when they’re done you never hear from them again. Derrick Brooks chose to stay in Tampa and help make it a better place. I see a lot of Tony Dungy in him. He has become a citizen-servant, whether it’s through the Brooks DeBartolo school or all the charities he has been involved in. Actually, he and Lee Roy Selmon are cut from the same cloth. I just wish there were more people with his sense of public duty. People have approached him to run for office and I think he’d make a great public official. But he is called to other things right now.”

*****

Tony Dungy

Former Bucs coach

“He told me, ‘I don’t want to be one of the guys who just buys kids tickets to the game. I want to make a difference.’ There are a lot of people who can tell you what to do, but there aren’t a lot who do it all the time. He wants to help his teammates. He wants to help students. He wants to help the community. He wants to help the neighborhoods. There are very few people like that.”

*****

Dick Greco

Former Tampa Mayor

“He treats everybody the same, whether it’s the mayor, the governor or the guy sweeping up dirt in the street. Derrick makes people count.”

*****

T.K. Wetherell

Former Florida House Speaker and FSU president

“I was Speaker of the House when he was playing. I was (Florida State) president when Derrick was on the board of trustees. He had an opinion. He had definite ideas about the what the school needed to be doing. He was very involved in helping set up our international scholars program, which is a program we developed to recruit outstanding students academically. It produced three Rhodes scholars in four years.

“He came to all the meetings he could while he was still playing with the Bucs. We’d hook him up by phone if he wasn’t there. He always knew what was on the agenda. He called me all the time. Why are we doing this? What was the reason for that? Derrick set an example as a player at Florida State and all his days after. In everything he did, he was always involved, with everything he had.”

*****

Bryan Glazer

Bucs co-chairman

“Those kids of his, they’re out in the world, doing all these special things. It’s an incredible legacy.”

*****

Bonita Pulido

Executive director, Derrick Brooks Charities

“He’s the Energizer Bunny. He’s just nonstop. But he manages to get everything in: family, business, all the charity work. And faith. He still finds time to send all of us scripture, or an inspirational message for the day. Like today, here’s today’s. I got it at 6:30 in the morning: ‘Thought of today is great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all of mankind.’ He lives it every day.”

*****

Bobby Wilds

Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay

“I’ve seen Derrick work with the kids. What was interesting to them was interesting to him. You can’t fake that. Kids see right through you. He was always genuine. He would come by to see them on his off days, spending time, finding out how they were doing in school, encouraging them. I worked with the Bucs since they got here. I worked with Lee Roy Selmon. Derrick walks in those same shoes. He’s cut with the same character.”

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