The Baltimore Ravens’ senior advisor to player development O.J. Brigance won the prestigious George Halas award, for overcoming adversity to succeed, the team announced in a release.
Brigance, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2007, has raised more than $1 million through charitable efforts including the BriganceBrigade Foundation for ALS research. Brigance was named an ALS ambassador in 2008 for Johns Hopkins University’s Packard Center for ALS Research.
Brigance is the 45th recipient of the award and the first Baltimore Raven to win it.
"O.J. Brigance is the most influential person in our organization," said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh in a release. "In a building of strong men, he is the strongest we have. You are energized each and every day to see how he attacks every day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind, and we are blessed to have such an inspiring man with us every day."
Brigance's NFL career lasted seven years across three times: Miami, Baltimore and St. Louis. He is currently in his 10th season working the Ravens’ front office.
Brigance's off-the field accolades include:
- In 2008, the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation saluted him with the Johnny Unitas Tops in Courage Award for his strength in his ALS battle. He earned an 2008 Emmy Award as the host of the team's weekly TV show, "Ravens Report".
- He was the honorary chair of the annual Fiesta 5K run six times (2008-13), and the event raised over $1 million in those six years for the Packard Center. He established his own foundation, the Brigance Brigade (brigancebrigade.org), to raise awareness and money for ALS research and patient services. The foundation hosted a 5.7k (his NFL uniform number) run in Baltimore this spring that raised $110,000.
Brigance continues to work for the Ravens as senior advisor to player development. He works closely with director of player development Harry Swayne to assist Ravens players with each career phase.