Drew Brees will help with the coaching transition at Purdue, serving as an assistant coach for the Boilermakers as they prepare for and play in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl against No. 17 LSU on Jan. 2 in Orlando.
"I think this is an opportunity to play against one of the best programs in the country," Brees told WWL Radio in New Orleans on Thursday. "... The fact that I have a chance to impact our student-athletes, our football players, with coaching and mentorship over the next few weeks and then have a chance to game plan and get back in the mix a little bit and walk the sidelines ... obviously with the Tigers, this will be a lot of fun."
Brees, 43, who was hired by Purdue as a countable assistant under NCAA guidelines, is permitted to work with student-athletes as well as participate in recruiting activities.
Brees told WWL Radio that this is just a temporary job.
"No," Brees said when asked if he was interested in coaching opportunities down the line. "This is just a short-term thing. This came about with Coach [Jeff] Brohm leaving and us being in a position where we were trying to fill the gap between now and after the bowl game."
Before embarking on an illustrious 20-year NFL career with the Chargers and Saints, Brees left West Lafayette after the 2000 season as one of the most decorated quarterbacks in program and Big Ten history. He ended his college career as the conference's leader in passing yards, touchdowns, total offensive yards, completions and attempts.
In 2011, the Big Ten named its quarterback of the year award after Brees and Bob Griese, another famous Purdue signal-caller. Brees ranks second in NFL history in career passing yards (80,358) and touchdown passes (571).
"For more than two decades, Drew Brees has shown the world what makes the Boilermakers special," athletic director Mike Bobinski said. "He was an elite football player, but most of all, Drew is an extraordinary leader. Gaining his insights on the football field and in our coaching offices during this time of transition will be of great value to our student-athletes and staff."
Brohm left Purdue for Louisville, his alma mater, last week after guiding the Boilermakers for six seasons. His tenure was highlighted by winning the Big Ten West this season.
New head coach Ryan Walters, the fifth-youngest coach in FBS, has said that offensive coordinator Brian Brohm will serve as the interim head coach for the bowl game, with co-defensive coordinator Mark Hagen also calling plays against No. 17 LSU.
Brian Brohm is the younger brother of Jeff Brohm.
Walters said he will be watching practices, hiring assistants, recruiting and starting to prepare for next season.
"When I first heard about Drew coming back to help coach our guys for the bowl game, I was hoping the rumors were true," Walters said. "Our players have the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest leaders in football history, a valuable experience that they will never forget. Drew taking time out of his busy schedule to coach the bowl game is a perfect example of Purdue football being one big family, and I cannot wait to see him on the sidelines in Orlando."
Quarterback Aidan O'Connell, wide receiver Charlie Jones, tight end Payne Durham and cornerback Corey Trice all have announced they'll be skipping the game against the Tigers.