Donald Driver

Donald Jerome Driver (born February 2, 1975) is a former American football wide receiver. After playing college football for Alcorn State University, Driver was picked by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He spent his entire 14-season NFL career with the Packers and holds the franchise's all-time records for most career receptions and receiving yards. Driver was a member of the Packers team that won Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Every year in Cleveland, Driver holds the Donald Driver Football Camp for local kids which is held at the Cleveland High School Football field. Upon retirement, he won season 14 of Dancing with the Stars.

Donald Driver
Donald Driver at Disney Social Media Moms Conference
Driver in April 2014
No. 80
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born:February 2, 1975 (age 44)
Houston, Texas
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:194 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school:Houston (TX) Milby
College:Alcorn State
NFL Draft:1999 / Round: 7 / Pick: 213
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions:743
Receiving yards:10,137
Receiving touchdowns:61
Player stats at NFL.com

Early life

Driver was born in Houston, Texas, on February 2, 1975. He was the middle child of five siblings. Driver's parents, Marvin Driver Jr. and Faye Gray, divorced when he was just a young boy.[1] Donald had a tough childhood living out of a U-Haul truck for a period of time during his early teens, after a collection agency confiscated his family's possessions. Donald spent multiple nights in motel rooms that his mother had purchased with food stamps. Driver and his older brother Marvin III, began stealing cars and selling drugs during their teenage years in order make it from day to day. Driver was quoted by USA Today stating, "You try to do anything you can to provide for your family." At the age of 14 years, Donald would move in with his grandmother, Betty Lofton. This was the point of time where his life started to turn around.[1]

Driver shone as an athlete early in his years at Milby High School in Houston. He lettered four times each in track, football, basketball and baseball. He was a Texas All-State honorable mention in football, where he played at the wide receiver, defensive back, and kickoff return positions.[2]

College career

Driver attended Alcorn State University in Mississippi, where he lettered in both football and track & field. He finished his college football career at Alcorn State with 88 receptions for 1993 yards (19.69 yards per catch). He was a five-time "Athlete of the Year" in his conference for his track and football prowess.

Driver is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.[3]

Track and field

Driver is one of the most decorated track athletes in NFL history (he is an Olympic-class high jumper, being able to jump 7 ft 6.5 in (2.30 m),[4] he qualified for the 1996 Olympic Field Trials and could have likely qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics team in the high jump.

He competed for the Alcorn State Braves track team, where he excelled in the high jump and earned all-conference honors his senior year. He leaped 2.30 meters in the high jump, 15.62 meters in the triple jump and 7.75 meters in the long jump.

Professional career

Driver was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 7th round of the 1999 NFL Draft with the 213th overall pick. He spent his entire career with the Packers.

Green Bay Packers (1999–2012)

Donald Driver
Donald Driver on November 14, 2011.

Known as one of the most consistent wide receivers in the game,[5] Driver was solid throughout his career, often posting 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Driver had the most catches in the NFL in the middle of the field in 2006. He set a career best for yards on November 12, 2006, when he caught six passes for 191 yards, including an 82-yard touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings.[6] Driver finished the 2006 season in the top five of the league in reception yardage with 1,295 yards.[7] He also recorded the most receptions in his career with 92 of them, earning a spot in the 2007 Pro Bowl.

On December 16, 2007, during a 33–14 victory over the St. Louis Rams, veteran Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre broke Dan Marino's all-time record mark of 61,361 career passing yards. The new record came on a seven-yard completion to Driver.[8] Driver was selected for the 2008 Pro Bowl.

In the NFC Championship game on January 20, 2008, against the New York Giants, Driver had the longest play in the playoffs of the Packers' franchise history with a 90-yard touchdown catch from Favre.[9]

On October 18, 2009, Driver became the Green Bay Packers' all-time leading receiver in catches, with 596. He went on to catch six more balls for 107 yards in a 26–0 home victory over the Detroit Lions. On September 8, 2011, Driver caught four balls for 41 yards in the opening game against the New Orleans Saints and was only one yard short of becoming the Packers' all-time leader in receiving yards. Driver finally broke the Packers' all-time receiving yardage record on September 18, 2011, against the Carolina Panthers after he caught a 10-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers, surpassing James Lofton.

On February 6, 2011, Driver was injured on his second reception of Super Bowl XLV. Out with an ankle sprain, Driver returned to the game in the end for the final plays as the Packers went on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31–25. Driver finished Super Bowl XLV with two receptions for 28 yards.[10] Despite losing playing time to Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, Driver was a veteran presence for a young Packers receiving corps led by former NFL MVP QB Aaron Rodgers in the twilight of his career.

On January 31, 2013, Driver announced his retirement on ESPN2 Mike and Mike in the Morning after spending his entire career (14 seasons) with the Green Bay Packers.[11] He missed only four games in his career, the last one being November 18, 2012.[12]

On February 6, 2013, the Green Bay Packers hosted a public retirement ceremony for Driver. This was the first public retirement ceremony ever held for a Packers player. It was held in the Lambeau Field Atrium with comments made by Mark Murphy, Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, and Driver. It was sold out in 14 minutes and hundreds of fans were in attendance. The mayor of Green Bay presented Driver with a key to the city and announced that the receiver statue that previously resided in front of the former Packers Hall of Fame and is now in downtown Green Bay would be refurbished, with the receiver wearing a No. 80 Driver jersey. The street leading to the statue was also renamed "Donald Driver Way."[13]

On July 22, 2017, Driver was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame [14]

Career statistics

Regular season

Source: [1]

Season Team GS Rec Yds Avg Long TDs
1999 Green Bay Packers 6 3 31 10.3 12 1
2000 Green Bay Packers 16 21 322 15.3 49 1
2001 Green Bay Packers 13 13 167 12.8 37 1
2002 Green Bay Packers 16 70 1,064 15.2 85 9
2003 Green Bay Packers 15 52 621 11.9 41 2
2004 Green Bay Packers 16 84 1,208 14.4 50 9
2005 Green Bay Packers 16 86 1,221 14.2 59 5
2006 Green Bay Packers 16 92 1,295 14.1 82 8
2007 Green Bay Packers 16 82 1,048 12.8 47 2
2008 Green Bay Packers 16 74 1,012 13.7 71 5
2009 Green Bay Packers 16 70 1,061 15.2 71 6
2010 Green Bay Packers 15 51 565 11.1 61 4
2011 Green Bay Packers 16 37 445 12.0 35 6
2012 Green Bay Packers 13 8 77 9.6 26 2
Total 205 743 10,137 13.6 85 61

Playoffs

Source: [2]

Season Team GS Rec Yds Avg Long TDs
2001 Green Bay Packers 2 2 26 13.0 14 0
2002 Green Bay Packers 1 3 64 21.3 25 1
2003 Green Bay Packers 2 8 91 11.4 23 0
2004 Green Bay Packers 1 7 78 11.1 16 0
2007 Green Bay Packers 2 8 159 19.9 90 1
2009 Green Bay Packers 1 4 43 10.8 28 0
2010 Green Bay Packers 4 14 169 12.1 24 0
2011 Green Bay Packers 1 3 45 15.0 16 1
Total 14 49 675 13.8 90 3

Personal life

Donald Driver Statue
Driver and family pose in front of the statue dedicated in his honor.

Driver is married to Betina Driver. They have three children: Cristian, Christina, and Charity.[15] Driver is a Christian.[16][17]

Since 2004, Driver has co-hosted the statewide Packer analysis television series Inside the Huddle with Donald Driver with WLUK-TV's sports director Drew Smith. Every Thursday Donald talks football with John Mercure on Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure on AM 620 WTMJ. He previously served as host to the annual Offense vs. Defense softball game featuring members of the Green Bay Packers.

As a well-known athlete in the state of Wisconsin, Driver has been featured in marketing campaigns for companies such as McDonald's, AirTran Airways, Kwik Trip, Goodwill, Jani-King and Time Warner Cable.

Throughout his career, Driver has been very active off the field, making over 300 charitable appearances since his rookie season in 1999. In the spring of 2001, Donald and his wife Betina created the "Donald Driver Foundation", which offers assistance to ill children with unmanageable hospital bills, provides housing for the homeless, and donates to a variety of local charities. In December 2003, the foundation put two previously homeless families in new, fully furnished homes.

Donald has also donated much of his time and efforts to such institutions as Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Goodwill Industries. In 2001, Driver was awarded the "Community Service Award" by the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his outstanding community involvement. In 2005, he was awarded the Ed Block Courage award by his Green Bay teammates. Most recently, Driver was named the 2013 AMVETS Humanitarian of the Year.[18]

Driver is also the author of three children's books, Quickie Handles a Loss, Quickie Makes the Team, and Quickie Goes to the Big Game. The books are based on Driver's bedtime storytelling to his three children, and are sold statewide in Wisconsin through bookstores, participating Goodwill locations, the Packer Pro Shop and on his website. He has stated that "Quickie" is a nickname his mother gave him because, when she would chase him around the house, she could never catch him. In the Fall of 2013, Driver released his official memoir, Driven, which included many personal stories about both his childhood and career with the Packers that he had never shared before and it made the New York Best Seller list.[19] Two weeks after the book's release, it made the New York Times Bestsellers list.[20] In the Summer of 2017, Driver released a health and fitness book, The 3D Body Revolution: The Ultimate Workout + Nutrition Blueprint to Get Healthy and Lean, which featured 25 recipes and 36 exercises illustrated with clear step-by-step photos. Following its release, The 3D Body Revolution was featured as a #1 new release in Amazon's exercise injuries and rehabilitation category.

On February 28, 2012, it was announced that Driver would join the cast of Dancing with the Stars for season 14, paired with professional dance partner Peta Murgatroyd. Driver's high energy and athleticism were repeatedly praised by the judges, though Driver was also notorious for not getting a perfect score, until their freestyle, from the judges. Driver and Murgatroyd made it all the way to the finale, and despite competitions from fellow finalists William Levy's high fanbase and Katherine Jenkins' consistently high scores, Driver and Murgatroyd were declared winners on the season finale on May 22, 2012.

On June 15, 2013, Driver received a street in his name and a statue dedicated in his honor. The statue is located on the corner of Dousman Street and Donald Driver Way (formerly Pearl Street) in downtown Green Bay.[21]

In March 2014, Donald Driver created the Donald Driver Driven To Achieve Awards. Since then, the Driven to Achieve Awards have honored 18 outstanding recipients and have given away over $1,000,000.[22]

References

  1. ^ a b Kramer, Martin (2012). "Donald Driver". In Mazurkiewicz, Margaret. Contemporary Black Biography. 99. Detroit: Gale.
  2. ^ "Donald Driver 80". DonaldDriver80.com. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  3. ^ "Greeks in Professional Football 2007". Greeks in Sports. North-American Interfraternity Conference. Archived from the original on June 5, 2008.
  4. ^ "Packer Draft notes". Packers.com. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
  5. ^ Lori Nickel. "Packers' Driver determined to give back". Milwaukee Journal – Sentinel. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
  6. ^ Packers - Donald Driver Bio Archived February 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "NFL Player Stats - NFL.com". www.nfl.com.
  8. ^ "Favre passes Marino; Packers down Rams to clinch bye". TheSportsNetwork.com. Retrieved December 16, 2007.
  9. ^ "Giants vs. Packers - Game Recap - January 20, 2008 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  10. ^ "Super Bowl XLV - Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers - February 6th, 2011". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  11. ^ "From humble start, Donald Driver retires in greatness" Archived February 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Packers.com.
  12. ^ "Driver's broken thumb adds to injury woes". Fox Sports.
  13. ^ "Donald Driver, others share memories of great career". Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  14. ^ "Donald Driver, Mark Lee inducted into Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame". July 22, 2017.
  15. ^ "The Driver Family".
  16. ^ "Donald Driver restructures deal, ready to prove himself again".
  17. ^ "Donald Driver retires in Green Bay Packers colors". Archived from the original on July 24, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  18. ^ "Donald Driver to receive humanitarian award". Packers.com. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  19. ^ Driver, Donald. "Driver Q&A". Lammi Sports Management. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  20. ^ "Best Sellers". NYTimes.com. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  21. ^ Spofford, Mike "Donald Driver thanks fans for street and statue" Archived December 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2017/03/27/blackish-star-anthony-anderson-gavin-degraw.html

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
J. R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff
Dancing with the Stars (US) winners
Season 14
(Spring 2012 with Peta Murgatroyd)
Succeeded by
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani
1999 Green Bay Packers season

The 1999 Green Bay Packers season was their 81st season overall and their 79th in the National Football League. It was the first and only season for head coach Ray Rhodes. The Packers finished 8–8, posting their worst record since Brett Favre took over the helm as the Packers' starting quarterback.

2002 Green Bay Packers season

The 2002 Green Bay Packers season was their 84th season overall and their 82nd in the National Football League.

The Packers achieved a 12–4 record in the regular season, before losing in the 2003 NFL Wild Card playoffs round to Michael Vick's Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field. This marked the first time in NFL history that the Packers had lost at home in the playoffs.

2005 Green Bay Packers season

The 2005 Green Bay Packers season was the franchise's 87th season overall and their 85th in the National Football League.

This season was their worst record since their 1991 season. The Packers suffered injuries to wide receivers Javon Walker and Robert Ferguson and running backs Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport, Tony Fisher, and Samkon Gado.

As a result of the season, many of the Packers coaches were fired, including head coach Mike Sherman.

2006 Green Bay Packers season

The 2006 Green Bay Packers season was the franchise's 88th season overall and their 86th in the National Football League.

This season resulted in an 8–8 record. After the firing of Mike Sherman, the Packers hired Mike McCarthy as their head coach. McCarthy helped improved the Packers from 4–12 the previous year to a .500 win average in 2006. The Packers failed to make the playoffs for the second straight year after the New York Giants gained the tie-breaker over the Packers in the last week of the 2006 NFL season.

2008 Green Bay Packers season

The 2008 Green Bay Packers season was the 90th season overall and 88th in the National Football League. They looked to continue success after posting a 13–3 record in 2007, but they failed to do so and finished the season with a losing 6–10 record. Until the 2017 season, this was the last season in which the Packers did not qualify for the playoffs.

2009 Green Bay Packers season

The 2009 Green Bay Packers season was the 91st season over all and their 89th in the National Football League. The Packers finished with an 11–5 record but lost in the wild card round of the playoffs to the Arizona Cardinals. They scored a franchise record 461 points (currently the third best behind the 2011 and 2014 teams) besting the 1996 Super Bowl team's 456. Charles Woodson was named Defensive Player of the Year for the season, leading the league with 9 interceptions. The defense ranked 2nd overall in the league (1st against the run; 2nd against the pass).

Alcorn State Braves football

The Alcorn State Braves are the college football team representing the Alcorn State University. The Braves play in NCAA Division I Football Championship as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Chad Clifton

Jeffrey Chad Clifton (born June 26, 1976) is a former American football offensive tackle for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Tennessee, and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft. With the Packers, he won Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dancing with the Stars (U.S. season 14)

Season fourteen of Dancing with the Stars premiered on March 19, 2012. Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke Charvet returned as hosts, while Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli all returned as judges. The Harold Wheeler orchestra and singers provided the music throughout the season.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver won the competition over British classical crossover singer Katherine Jenkins and Cuban-American Telenovela star William Levy, who took 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Driver is also the third NFL player (including retired) to win, after Emmitt Smith won season three and Hines Ward won season twelve.

Green Bay Packers records

This article details statistics relating to the Green Bay Packers.

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Maria Jenkins (born 29 June 1980) is a Welsh mezzo-soprano singer and songwriter. She is a classical-crossover singer who performs across a spectrum of operatic arias, popular songs, musical theatre and hymns.After winning singing competitions in her youth, Jenkins studied at the Royal Academy of Music, modelled and taught voice. She came to wide public attention in 2003 when she sang at Westminster Cathedral in honour of Pope John Paul II's silver jubilee. Since 2004, she has released numerous albums that have performed well on British and foreign charts. In both 2005 and 2006, her albums received Classic Brit Awards as Album of the Year. She has also been seen widely in concert, including performing for British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. She has also sung at sporting events, on television shows and in support of many charities. In 2012, she competed on the U.S. television show Dancing with the Stars, finishing in second place, behind NFL Super Bowl champion Donald Driver.

List of Dancing with the Stars (U.S.) competitors

Dancing with the Stars is an American reality television show in which celebrity contestants and professional dance partners compete to be the best dancers, as determined by the show's judges and public voting. The series first broadcast in 2005, and twenty-seven complete seasons have aired on ABC. During each season, competitors are progressively eliminated on the basis of public voting and scores received from the judges until only a few contestants remain. These finalists participate in a finale, from which a winner is determined. Celebrities appearing on Dancing with the Stars include "actors, singers, comedians, musicians, entrepreneurs, athletes, reality stars, journalists, internet personalities, newsmakers, and where-are-they-now personalities".As of season 27, 309 celebrities have competed. Seven of those withdrew from the competition: Sara Evans of season three left the show to "give her family full attention" after filing for divorce; Misty May-Treanor of season seven was forced to pull out after an ankle injury; Tom DeLay of season nine reportedly withdrew "due to stress fractures in both of his feet"; Dorothy Hamill of season sixteen withdrew due to a previous injury that was unrelated to the competition; Billy Dee Williams of season eighteen quit due to a back injury; Kim Zolciak-Biermann of season twenty-one was forced to withdraw after suffering a mini-stroke, which although cleared her to dance, prevented her from flying to California from Atlanta; and Tamar Braxton of season twenty-one withdrew due to pulmonary embolisms in her lungs. At age 14, actress Willow Shields of season twenty was the youngest contestant to compete on the show. At age 82, actress Cloris Leachman of season seven was the oldest contestant to compete on the show. At age 51, singer Donny Osmond of season nine was the oldest contestant to win the competition. At age 16 years, Laurie Hernandez of season twenty-three was the youngest contestant to win. The first (and, as of now, only) contestant to pass away after appearing on the show is Florence Henderson of season eleven, who died on November 24, 2016, six years after her participation. Forty-five professional dancers have partnered with the celebrities. The twenty-seven winners of the show, in chronological order, are Kelly Monaco, Drew Lachey, Emmitt Smith, Apolo Anton Ohno, Hélio Castroneves, Kristi Yamaguchi, Brooke Burke, Shawn Johnson, Donny Osmond, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, Hines Ward, J.R. Martinez, Donald Driver, Melissa Rycroft, Kellie Pickler, Amber Riley, Meryl Davis, Alfonso Ribeiro, Rumer Willis, Bindi Irwin, Nyle DiMarco, Laurie Hernandez, Rashad Jennings, Jordan Fisher, Adam Rippon and Bobby Bones. Pro skateboarder, Sky Brown was the first junior champion. The sixteen professional partners who have won are Alec Mazo, Cheryl Burke (twice), Julianne Hough (twice), Mark Ballas (twice), Derek Hough (six times), Kym Johnson (twice), Karina Smirnoff, Peta Murgatroyd (twice), Tony Dovolani, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Witney Carson, Valentin Chmerkovskiy (twice), Emma Slater, Lindsay Arnold, Jenna Johnson and Sharna Burgess. J.T. Church was the first junior professional champion.

List of Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl selections

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are currently members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and are the third-oldest franchise in the NFL. The team has had representatives to the Pro Bowl every year since 1950 except for nine seasons. Below is a list of the Pro Bowl selections for each season.

Miss America 2015

Miss America 2015, the 88th Miss America pageant, was held at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Sunday, September 14, 2014. Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri crowned the winner, Miss New York, Kira Kazantsev, making it the third consecutive year that a Miss New York won the Miss America crown; New York thus became the first state to have a Miss America winner three years in a row. It was broadcast on ABC, UniMás, and streamed to mobile devices via the WatchABC app as well as Xbox One consoles via its live TV functionality. Tickets for the 2015 Miss America competition went on sale in spring 2014.Chris Harrison and Lara Spencer returned as co-hosts. The panel of judges included: Gary Vaynerchuk, Marc Cherry, Kathy Ireland, Lee Ann Meriwether, Donald Driver, Shawn Johnson, and retired Army Brig. Gen. Anne MacDonald.

Receiver (statue)

The Receiver statue is a 22-foot (6.7 m) tall public statue in Green Bay, Wisconsin associated with the Green Bay Packers football team.

Tadmarton

Tadmarton is a village and civil parish about 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Banbury, Oxfordshire. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 541, which is a 26% increase on the figure of 430 recorded by the 2001 Census.

The Naked Ape (film)

The Naked Ape is a 1973 American comedy film written and directed by Donald Driver, and starring Johnny Crawford, Victoria Principal, Dennis Olivieri, Diana Darrin, Norman Grabowski and John Hillerman. The film was released on August 1, 1973, by Universal Pictures.

Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame

The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame honors distinguished members of Wisconsin's sports history. The Hall of Fame hosts several annual events, including an induction ceremony to honor new members, nomination luncheons, speaker series breakfasts and more. Bronze commemorative plaques honoring the members of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, including Hank Aaron, Vince Lombardi, Oscar Robertson, Bart Starr and others, are displayed in the Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame promenade in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Your Own Thing

Your Own Thing is a rock-styled musical comedy loosely based on Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. It premiered off-Broadway in early 1968. The music and lyrics are by Hal Hester and Danny Apolinar with the book adaptation by Donald Driver, who also directed the original production. The show was a success, running for 937 performances Off-Broadway and then touring and playing in London and Australia.

Seasons
Participants
Winners
Games
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