Donald Driver is known for the impact he made at Alcorn State as an elite wide receiver and high jumper before playing 14 seasons in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers. Now he’s making an impact at a different HBCU via his sports performance company, Driven Elite.
Driver created Driven Elite with a goal to provide professional-level performance training, nutrition, and medical recovery to clients at his facility in Denton, Texas. He expanded Driven Elite’s reach when he partnered with Delaware State University to provide its services to Delaware State student-athletes.
“Delaware State said ‘we really want to focus on creating the top sports performance training and nutritionist and recovery program,’” Driver said to HBCU Gameday in an exclusive interview.
Driver told HBCU Gameday how he planned to change the culture at Delaware State within their training and nutrition program. “You have to change the culture. That’s the biggest piece in what we wanted to do here. It wasn’t about coming in and really just focusing on the sports performance side. Driven Elite is all different types of models. When I talk about Driven Elite, it’s just not about the sports performance, nutrition, recovery. We’re talking about what happens after the game,”
Driven Elite plans to not only prepare Delaware State student-athletes for their season but also prepare them for life after their athletic careers. “I can take Delaware State and get the student-athletes to realize that their careers after the game is much more important than anything else. We really want to focus on the education side. We’re here focused on sports performance, but we had to reinvent the culture here because the culture has been stagnant,”
Delaware State has seen improvements after a few months of the partnership. “It’s been amazing, because in a short period of time we had an amazing team. Our head strength coach, coach Allen Van Norden and his amazing wife Millicent Van Norden have really been the boots on the ground to make this all happen. Seeing where this weight room that we’re sitting in right now, where it was when I first came here, it’s like night and day. Again, it’s all about changing the culture. You have to change the culture,” Driver explained.
The culture might be changing, but his work is not done. Donald Driver has more goals that he wants to reach with Delaware State. “ The next step is to make sure they have a top sports performance trainer. We have top strength coaches. I think in every single year they’ve been here, they only had one strength coach. Right now we have four and we’re gonna have four GA’s. That’s way more than they’ve ever had at Delaware State in the last 20 years,” Driver said.
“We’re gonna have a full nutritionist program for every single athlete that goes here and then we’re gonna have a recovery center where they can go and just relax, get away from everything else, and just focus,” Driver said “ The main project is to make sure that I build an educational and wellness center for Delaware State,”
Driver doesn’t want to stop at Delaware State, he wants to expand Driven Elite to all HBCUs. He realized how much HBCUs could benefit from Driven Elite’s professional-level training programs. “ My plan is to start with Delaware State and hoping that I can take this to every HBCU school across the world,” Driver said.
He recognized the differences between training during his playing days at Alcorn State and the Green Bay Packers. “When you look at an HBCU school first, we didn’t have all the lavish things. We made ends meet when we had to get to where we need to go to play the game that we need to play. Once you get to the professional side, you realize that you’re spoiled and you get all the lavish things in life and any time you’re going through a situation, they can take care of you. The medical side, the strength conditioning side, the nutritional side, we never had to worry about those things,”
Donald Driver aims to continue to change the training culture at Delaware State and hopefully within HBCU sports as a whole. His efforts should greatly impact student-athletes and help move HBCU athletic programs forward.