Now that Drew Brees is enjoying retirement after an epic 20-season NFL run, he has more time with his lady. The 44-year-olds have been married for two decades and share four children together. And while Drew was growing into a legend on the field, it was his partner who inspired his innermost development, kept his head on straight, and made him the person that he is today. Meet Brittany Brees, wife of former star quarterback Drew Brees.
Brittany and Drew Brees Met at Purdue University in the Late 90s
Brittany Dudchenko and Drew Brees met as students at Purdue University in Indiana. Drew was a sophomore and recalled that he made a fool of himself trying to impress Brittany. It was his 20th birthday and he and his friends were chucking candy at a movie theatre screen.
“I’d had about 17 shots and put my foot in my mouth,” Drew told ESPN Magazine. “It was a typical football player cheesy line — we’ll leave it at that. It took me six months to get the courage to talk to her again. I finagled my way to get invited to a party that I knew she’d be at.”
“So, he asked me out, and all my girlfriends wanted to come with,” Brittany chimed in. “You know because he was That Guy Who Had Made Such a Fool of Himself. So, he brought some of his football friends and we went to the movies. And his friends started throwing Gummy Bears at the screen!”
“They were Hot Tamales,” Brees corrected. “You know how if you suck on ’em they get sticky? It was like, ‘Whap!’ Right on De Niro’s face.”
ESPN notes that Brittany, who was engaged to Drew at the time, looked at him and recognized his 12-year-old humor. Clearly, this woman was a hero from the very beginning.
Drew and Brittany Became Mr. and Mrs. Brees in 2003
The couple got hitched in 2003, two years after Drew Brees was drafted into the NFL. Brees began his professional football career with the San Diego Chargers. But after 5 seasons, Drew wasn’t happy with the Chargers’ contract proposal, so he switched over to the New Orleans Saints.
Four years into Drew Brees’ time with the Saints, Brittany gave birth to their first child. Son Baylen was born on January 15, 2009. About three weeks after Baylen was born, the Saints played in their first Super Bowl.
On February 7, 2010, Brees led his team to its first Super Bowl victory and was named MVP of Super Bowl XLIV. His second child, son Bowen, was born on October 19, 2010. This obviously points to a very quick turnaround on Brittany’s part. They basically conceived almost as soon as their first child was born.
While Drew Brees Was Scoring Touchdowns, Brittany Brees Was Running After 4 Small Children
The Brees’ third son, Callen, was born August 15, 2012. He was followed by their only daughter, Rylen, on August 25, 2014. Altogether, by the time Drew Brees was playing in his 8th Pro Bowl, his wife Brittany was home with four children, aged 0 to 5.
At the same time, Drew and Brittany were deeply involved in philanthropy via their Brees Dream Foundation. Established in the same year they were married, the foundation’s mission is to improve “the quality of life for cancer patients, and provide care, education and opportunities for children and families in need.” It was established in honor of Brittany’s late aunt after she passed away from cancer. The Brees Dream Foundation has also diverted funds to victims of Hurricane Katrina and to the Operation Kids charity.
Brittany may not have been at the forefront of Drew’s fame during the height of his career, but she certainly was the backbone. Drew went on to break four NFL records before playing his final game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (and Tom Brady) in 2021. And yet he and his wife still managed to raise four beautiful children and donate their time and tithing to causes around the world.
Drew Says He Is “Blessed” and “Fortunate” to Have Had Brittany Help Him Through His NFL Career
He isn’t a fool — at least not anymore. Drew Brees is the first to acknowledge the importance of having a wife like Brittany by his side.
“I consider myself very fortunate [and] very blessed to have met my wife in college,” Brees told Us Weekly. “To have gone into the NFL without a really solid relationship like that … I think it becomes harder and harder for guys as they progress through their career.”
He added that he’s keenly aware that it takes effort to keep the flame going and doesn’t take Brittany for granted.
“I fall in love with my wife more every day and I find that I continue to pursue her every day,” he said. “I don’t want to get complacent in a relationship or a marriage where it’s like every day’s groundhog day and getting the kids ready for school and this and that.”
When he’s not shuffling his kids to school and sports events, Drew serves as an interim assistant coach for the Purdue Boilermakers. He also finds ways to surprise Brittany.
“I try to surprise Brittany by taking her places or doing different things,” he told Us Weekly. “We go on hikes twice a week. That’s the one thing about retirement — I can actually spend some time with my wife during the day while the kids are at school.”
Brittany Took Blame Alongside Drew, Vowed to Work Harder to Understand Racism
Brees came under fire in 2020 after opposing NFL players kneeling to protest police brutality. Initially claiming that it was disrespectful, Drew had a 180 turnaround after listening to what people were trying to say. Both he and Brittany did something extraordinary at that point. They wrote separate posts acknowledging that they were part of the problem. And they vowed to listen more and learn how they can be true allies to the Black community.
What more could a human want from a life partner than to stand with you through better and worse? Brittany Brees is the unsung hero in this quarterback’s career.