Pro football Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks is now part of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Class AA; Southern League) ownership group, joining two-time Masters Tournament champion Bubba Watson and Quint and Rishy Studer.
“I, like all Pensacolians have had great respect for Derrick for years,” Quint Studer said. “His accomplishments on the field are legendary. So too is his work off the football field. From a high school in Tampa, running an arena football team to numerous endeavors making life better for children and families, Derrick is a difference maker. His commitment to Pensacola has never wavered. We have seen this with the success of the flag football league.”
Brooks’ decorated NFL career began after twice being name an All-American at Florida State. In 2002, he was named the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year. That season, he helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win the franchise’s first Super Bowl. He is an 11-time Pro Bowler–tied for the second-most for a linebacker in NFL history. In 2014 he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His name is also enshrined in the Buccaneers Ring of Honor and his number 55 is one of three numbers retired by the franchise.
In addition Brooks and Studer have created Studer55. The initial focus will be building up flag football with a focus on academics and character building.
“I am humbled, excited, and ready to serve our ownership group in any role that will help the team win,” Brooks said. “This opportunity to work more strategically with my hometown and better serve our community with my partnership with Quint, Bubba and other partners. I have dreamed of professional sports ownership, so I am grateful that Quint and his wife allowed me this chance. Also, Derrick Brooks Charities plan to expand our flag football league with the NFL and increase our community programs with David Wilson’s leadership as part of the Studer Family of Companies.”
“I am excited to welcome Derrick into the Blue Wahoos family,” Watson said. “We have known each other for a long time and I know he shares Quint and Rishy’s vision for improving the quality of life in our community. I loved watching Derrick play football, but more importantly I like the way he has used the platform he was given to make a positive impact on the people and communities around him. We are lucky that he is from Pensacola”
“Bubba and Derrick have great respect for each other,” added Studer. “I was thrilled when Bubba brought up the idea of Derrick joining our group. Rishy and I have always taken a long range look at things. Having local ownership is important. Those teams that move out of a city most often are owned by people that are not part of the community. Of course it also takes a supportive city and a well maintained stadium to ensure a team remains.
“We have also gotten to know Derrick’s desire to increase his Pensacola presence, as well as longtime coach, and now the athletic director for Studer55, David Wilson’s goal to move to Pensacola,” said Studer. “In the near future we will reveal the increased opportunities for children to be healthy both physically and mentally through Studer55. We are thrilled to have Coach Wilson back in the community.”