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Former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook inspiring, mentoring the next generation

After a successful NFL career that spanned nine seasons, former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook is now focused on leading a new group of people to success.

Through The Brian Westbrook Foundation, Westbrook spends the majority of his time guiding, mentoring and inspiring the next generation.

“Being able to help people — that’s the most important thing in our world right now,” Westbrook said. “Being able to help others that may not be as fortunate as I am.”

Westbrook spoke about his foundation, other business ventures and NFL career at the 11th Greater Reading Chamber Alliance Annual Dinner on May 22 at Santander Arena, serving as the event’s keynote speaker.

“Sports and business are very similar,” Westbrook said. “A lot of the soft skills that you’re able to build through sports, you can absolutely use in business.”

While playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, Westbrook started his business career in 2005 with the purchase of a 50-acre horse farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, which he still owns. The farm served as a boarding facility for more than a decade.

“I love horses,” Westbrook said. “I love being around animals. I love being outside. I love working on the farm.”

In 2017, Westbrook started his foundation and created an “Empowerment Center” on the farm property, serving as the home base for the foundation’s work with America’s youth.

“Our kids are in a situation where they need to have the ability for outlets,” Westbrook said. “They need job training. They need entrepreneurship training.”

The foundation helps people ages 10 to 25 and is centered specifically around helping underprivileged youth between the ages of 13 and 18. According to Westbrook, the foundation is focused on teaching and preparing people for their adult lives in the “real world.”

“We’ve been blessed to be able to help those young people that need it,” Westbrook said. “We want to just put them in a space where they can find mentorship, they can find education, and allow them to continue to grow.”

Westbrook, 44, also runs an agriculture data analytics camp at the University of the District of Columbia, an athletic data analytics camp at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland and a job development school in Pennsylvania.

“We’re very excited about the opportunities we have for our young people, and to be able to show them the right path,” Westbrook said.

Following Westbrook’s retirement from the NFL, he served as an analyst on several radio and television programs and made appearances on Fox Sports, 97.5 The Fanatic and the Rachael Ray Show.

“(To) get an opportunity to talk about the game, the game that I love, the game that I’ve been a part of for a long time (is meaningful),” Westbrook said. “Any time that I have that opportunity, it’s always been special for me.”

Westbrook decided to leave the broadcasting industry several years ago so he could spend more time working on his foundation and other ventures.

“We wanted to focus on our foundation,” Westbrook said. “I wanted to focus on my businesses (and) make sure that those can be viable and long-lasting.”

Outside the foundation, Westbrook still speaks at various events around the country, sharing his stories from the football field and the business world.

“A lot of people want to hear the story,” Westbrook said. “A lot of people want to understand what goes into the mind, the thought process of a professional athlete.”

From 2022-23, Westbrook was the Director of Player Engagement for the XFL, which merged with the USFL ahead of the 2024 season to form the United Football League. He oversaw team matters related to player experience, player and coach relations and off-field player development.

“I just tell young people, now you have the eyes and ears of everyone involved,” Westbrook said regarding his advice to young professional athletes. “So make sure you take advantage of it.”

A Villanova graduate, Westbrook holds the NCAA all-division record for career all-purpose yards with 9,512 yards. Westbrook played for the Wildcats from 1997-2001 before he was selected by Philadelphia in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft.

In eight seasons with the Eagles from 2002-09 and one with the 49ers in 2010, Westbrook was a 2004 and 2007 Pro Bowl selection and a First Team All-Pro in 2007.

He ran for 6,335 yards and 41 touchdowns and had 3,940 receiving yards and 30 receiving touchdowns in his career, which spanned 121 games. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in both 2006 and 2007 had over 700 receiving yards in 2004 and 2007.

Westbrook was an important member of the 2004 Philadelphia team which won the NFC title before falling to New England in the Super Bowl. Following his retirement, Westbrook was inducted into the Eagles, Villanova, Philadelphia Sports and the Maryland State Athletic hall of fames.

“It was a special moment for me in my life,” Westbrook said about his NFL career. “Anything that I could have grabbed and learned from them to be able to follow up, to be able to translate to my real world, that’s what I wanted to be able to do. I was blessed to play with some great, great men.”

Even though his playing days are over, Westbrook still keeps a close eye on the current Philadelphia Eagles as they look to reach the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

“They have a roster full of talent,” Westbrook said. “That’s a great start.”