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Who We Are

In 1990, NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw recognized that the transition from football was very challenging for former players. The Professional Athletes Foundation was founded to support, strengthen and inspire players as they navigate the many obstacles of life.

Beyond offering a range of health and educational resources, over 3,600 former players have received assistance through the Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust Fund (GU PAT).

Over $21 million dollars in financial, medical, and educational assistance granted to former players, making the PAF the leading foundation assisting NFL Former Players.

This organization and platform were created for and inspired by the players and their support networks. We hope you explore all that is possible through the PAF. We encourage you to reach out to discover how action creates opportunity.

Services We Offer

  • Financial Assistance
  • Education Assistance
  • Health Care Resourcing
  • Mental Health Support
  • Addiction Counseling
  • Partner, Spouse & Family Counseling
  • Informational Symposiums
  • Budget Building Assistance

Your privacy is our highest priority, please note that our outreach effort takes every precaution to ensure that your identity is protected.

About Gene Upshaw

Our Team

Andre Collins

Executive Director

Andre, a former player himself, currently serves as the Executive Director of the Professional Athletes Foundation helping players transition out of the game. He is responsible for creating a sense of community and opportunity for former players. Andre’s driving force to make the transition smoother for former players is made stronger by his personal experiences after leaving the game. His wife Ericka and children Lola, Karis and Chet provide a balance that allows Andre to be creative and focused on former player concerns

Tyrone Allen


Tyrone serves as the Director of the Professional Athletes Foundation where he oversees the operations of the Players Assistance Trust, valued partner relationships and all emerging opportunities for the foundation. Originally from Philadelphia, Tyrone has extensive social-work experience, including over seven years working with former players. He currently resides in Washington, DC.

Caryl Banks


Caryl serves as the Manager of the Professional Athletes Foundation helping players through the Players Assistance Trust (PAT) application process while also providing support and resources the player may need beyond the PAT. Originally from West Virginia, Caryl is a clinically licensed social worker with over 17 years’ experience in the field. She currently resides in Bowie, MD and is a proud mom to PFC Banks, Dominick U.S. Marine.

Laura Stefanow

PAF Assistant

Laura serves as the Assistant for the Professional Athletes Foundation helping players through the GU PAT application process while also connecting them with the appropriate resources throughout the NFLPA. A graduate of West Virginia University, Laura brings experience in community relations, health and wellness and customer service.

Leslie Isler


Leslie Isler serves as the Professional Athletes Foundation Associate coordinating programs and developing wellness engagements for former NFL players and their families. A Washington, D.C. native,Leslie recently obtained her MPS in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University to accompany her BS in Marketing from Towson University and a Sports Philanthropy graduate certificate from George Washington University.

Board of Directors

DeMaurice Smith, Chairman
Nolan Harrison, Acting Chairman
Maxine Baker, Director
Nikki Berti, Director
Andre Collins, Director
Ned Ehrlich, Director
Ken Jolly, Director
David Joyner, Director
Pete Kendall, Director
Dewey McClain, Director
Emery Moorehead, Director
Charles Swisher, Director