“In the 8 years I played professional football, I could feel the anxiety a lot of guys experienced having a lot of money at a young age,” Brooks says. “Many did not make good decisions, and I didn’t feel like a lot of us had great advice coming our way. I wanted to be a resource for people in similar situations.”
Brooks quickly learned that business owners and executives often face a similar set of problems.
“People with successful careers in any walk of life are busy,” he notes. “They put so much energy into their business or job, and then family and life stressors are pulling them in different directions. Often, being proactive in their financial life gets pushed to the wayside because life gets in the way.”
Born with a Football
Brooks wasn’t quite born with a football in his hands, but he does have a picture of his dad – then a University of North Dakota football coach – sticking a football in his hand shortly after he was born.
In high school in Grand Forks, N.D., Brooks played starting quarterback as a freshman and was named the state’s player of the year 3 years later.
In college, he was a 4-year starter at the University of Wisconsin and led his team to victory in the Rose Bowl, Sun Bowl and Alamo Bowl.
Drafted by the New York Jets in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL draft, Brooks spent 6 years in the NFL – also playing for the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions before spending time with the United Football League’s Florida Tuskers – where he was named league MVP.
After playing football, he was quarterback coach at the University of Pittsburgh, then spent 1 season as quarterback coach and 3 seasons as head football coach at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul.
Last year, Brooks was inducted into the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame – and not only for his football career. In 2000 and 2001, he was drafted the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball team, and in 1996, he was a point guard when Grand Forks Central High School won the Class A boys basketball state championship.
From Football to Finance
In 2014, Brooks’ career path veered in a completely different direction when he left football and became a licensed financial advisor.
“I really came at it from a teaching and coaching background,” Brooks explains. “I want to give people the tools they need to live their best life.”
He’s now able to use the teaching, coaching and mentoring skills he developed on the football field in his position as a senior wealth and fiduciary advisor at Bell Bank’s Minneapolis – Colonnade location at 5500 Wayzata Boulevard.
Prior to joining Bell, he worked at NorthRock Partners in Minneapolis for 3 years.
Working with clients on financial planning, investments, banking and trust services, Brooks helps mentor people through their biggest financial decisions.
“Having a trusted financial partner is helpful for everyone,” Brooks affirms. “Regardless of how educated or informed you are about finance and the markets, having wise counsel to take the emotions out of it is not only beneficial, but also essential for anybody who’s going to have long-term success in their financial life.”
Brooks and his wife, Natalie, live in Eagan with their children: Miles, Beau, Livi, Isla and Ike.
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