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Drew Brees tells Hoda Kotb about life after football ... and which of his 4 kids is secretly his favorite

“There’s nothing that gives me more pride than walking around my kids’ school and them calling me Coach Drew.”

New episodes of Hoda’s podcast are available every Wednesday — just search “Making Space” wherever you get your podcasts, or click here.

Football will always be a part of Drew Brees' life. But after spending 20 years as an NFL quarterback with the New Orleans Saints, Drew is ready to spend the next phase of his life focusing on his family.

In a new episode of “Making Space with Hoda Kotb“ released April 10, Hoda chats with Drew about football, family, faith ... and their mutual connection to New Orleans.

In fact, Drew sat down with Hoda and Jenna Bush Hager in person when they traveled to New Orleans to celebrate their 5th anniversary of co-hosting together.

After a resounding cheer from the crowd as he was introduced, Hoda asked Drew, who retired from the sport in 2021, what it's like now that he has more time to spend with his family.

"This is what I wanted to do in my in my second chapter," Drew said. "Honestly, it goes back to the old adage about 'it takes a village to raise a child.' I want to be that influence in other kids' lives as well. So being a coach, yes, it's about spending more time with my kids. But it's also about being able to influence their friends and being 'Coach Drew' to them in a really positive way." 

"It might be slightly intimidating to have Drew Brees as your coach," Jenna joked.

"I have a certain level of intensity that have to tone down at times," Drew laughed. "I asked the kids to forgive me ahead of time. I just ask them, I say, 'Do you want to be great?' 'Yes.' 'Do you want me to coach you hard?' 'Yes.' 'OK, here we go.'"

Drew met his wife Brittany Brees when they were college kids at Purdue University. They were married in 2003, and together they have three sons — Baylen, 15, Bowen, 13, and Callen, 11 — and one daughter — Rylen, 9.

Drew told Hoda on the "Making Space" podcast that his relationship with his boys is "different" than that with his daughter. Rylan "will always be 'Daddy's little girl.' And yes, she is my favorite," admitted Drew.

The boys are teenagers entering a new phase of life, and don't always pay rapt attention to Mom and Dad.

"It's like they don't want to hear it. They don't want to listen to that anymore," Drew said. He added that the challenge for parents of teenagers "is to put their teens in front of adults who will impart a similar wisdom, like teachers and coaches. Teens will listen to the lessons parents want to teach them ... but only if they come from a different source."

Just as Drew turns to his kids' teachers and coaches, he acts as the guide for other people's children through his coaching and mentoring.

"I have a chance to be a powerful influence in the lives of those kids. That's why I love to coach," he said. "Honestly, I think there's nothing that gives me more pride than walking around my kids' school and them calling me Coach Drew."

Drew Brees, his wife Brittany, and their children Rylen, Callen, Bowen and Baylen kick off Rylens 7th birthday celebration during Minnie & Friends  Breakfast in the Park at Disneyland Park on August 21, 2021 in Anaheim, California.
The Brees family kicks off Rylen's 7th birthday celebration at Disneyland Park. Richard Harbaugh / Disneyland Resort via Getty Images

Read on to learn more about Drew's children.

Baylen Robert Brees

Drew and Brittany welcomed their first son into the world on Jan. 15, 2009.

Baylen has been involved with the New Orleans Saints throughout his father's storied career. From starring in hype videos to designing shoes for his dad's teammates, Baylen has been on hand to celebrate his dad's wins.

Bowen Christopher Brees

Prior to Bowen’s birth, Drew asked Twitter users to suggest names that started with B. He received 6,000 responses, and Bowen won.

Bowen joined the family on Oct. 19, 2010, and he appears to be a standout multi-sport athlete.

Drew has cheered Bowen on in football, lacrosse and baseball. Last spring, he posted a video of Bowen hitting a home run on Instagram. He captioned the post: "Proud father moment … Bowen has been putting in the time and reps … Hit his first home run today over the fence. GRAND SLAM actually … and the best part was seeing little brother as the first one to jump on him at home plate!"

Callen Christian Brees

With his arrival, Callen helped the Brees kids outnumber their parents. Like his older brothers, Callen plays a number of sports ... and he's got some pretty great warm-up moves, too.

Drew posted a photo with Callen as they enjoyed a post-basketball sweet treat in December 2023, and Callen copied his dad's memorable spin move that earned the Saints a pivotal touchdown in 2018.

Callen also appears to like the outdoors. Drew and Callen spent some one-on-one time fishing, and they seem to have done well for themselves!

Rylen Judith Brees

Drew and Brittany introduced a girl into the Brees household on Aug. 25, 2014.

Drew has shared images of Rylen atop the podium at gymnastics, and even with her arm in a cast, there's no stopping her.

Drew told Hoda that Rylen reminds him of his athletic mother, who passed away in 2009. "My daughter is such a little athlete," he said. "She probably does more cartwheels than she actually walks."