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The Governor

The late Gene Upshaw

In the Spring of 1990, the late, the great, Gene Upshaw and the NFLPA founded a non-profit organization, the Professional Athletes Foundation (PAF). No stranger to the game, former player turned Executive Director Gene Upshaw recognized the many challenges players faced after their playing careers concluded.


After learning what these former players needed to succeed, through his namesake, the PAF’s Gene Upshaw PAT grant awarded its first $1,000 grant to a former NFL player.

Today, after 30 years of operations, the PAF has assisted more the 4,500 former players through difficult challenges to the tune of $26,000,000.


Without the foresight and leadership of Upshaw many years prior, the foundation would not be where it is today.

GU63 Final.jpg

Painting by Veronica Jenkins

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