Boilermakers for Life: The Anthrop Family Legacy

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This is a podcast episode titled, Boilermakers for Life: The Anthrop Family Legacy. The summary for this episode is: <p>In this episode of This Is Purdue, we’re highlighting the story of the Anthrop family, a Purdue Athletics legacy from West Lafayette, Indiana.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>If you’re a Purdue sports fan, you’ve probably heard the name Anthrop. Brothers Dru, Danny and Jackson Anthrop were all Boilermaker athletes, and their father, John, played both basketball and baseball for Purdue, and was on Purdue’s 1980 Final Four team.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>Listen in as the family shares highlights of what it was like growing up with Purdue essentially in their backyard, traveling to away games and how they balanced academics and athletics.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>Plus, hear from Jana Anthrop (also known as Mama Anthrop) on what the Purdue community and Boilermaker spirit has meant to their family throughout the years.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>You don’t want to miss this special legacy episode!&nbsp;</p><p><br></p>

Jeff Brohm: This is Jeff Br ohm and you're listening to, This is Purdue.

Kate Young: Hi, I'm Kate Young and you are listening to, This is Purdue, the official podcast for Purdue University. As a Purdue alumni and Indiana native, I know firsthand about the family of students and professors who are in it together, persistently pursuing and relentlessly rethinking. Who are the next game- changers, difference makers, ceiling breakers, innovators? Who are these Boilermakers? Join me as we feature students, faculty, and alumni taking small steps toward their giant leaps and inspiring others to do the same.

John Anthrop: We're just truly blessed as a family to have these opportunities for myself and Jana, and all the boys to participate to Purdue. I always thought it was important no matter where the boys decided to go to school, they'd be fortunate enough to be on a team of some type, baseball, football, basketball, whatever the case may be, just to... When they go there, get some sense of belonging, a group to belong to and form those friendships. And we're just fortunate that we were able to do it at one of the greatest universities in the country. And to be 10 minutes from our house.

Kate Young: Since we started this podcast in 2020 we've had many, This is Purdue, episodes that featured people who bleed black and gold. Purdue women's basketball head coach, Katie Gerald, mentioned in her episode that she wanted her players to be proud to wear Purdue on their chest, to be women who bleed black and gold. And of course in our super fans episode back in November, we featured multiple Boilermakers from all different backgrounds and different ages who absolutely love Purdue and bleed black and gold. This local West Lafayette family we're featuring today is no different. Their boilermaker spirit and sense of community thrives whether they're right on campus or across the country. If you are a Purdue athletic span, you've probably heard the name Anthrop, or maybe you've seen the God bless Mama Anthrop tweets as Purdue football star wide receiver, Jackson Anthrop scored a winning touchdown. John and Jana Anthrop both went to Purdue. As Jana told me, growing up in the West Lafayette area, that was the thing you wanted to do. You wanted to be a Boilermaker. John played both basketball and baseball here. Oh, and he played on Purdue's 1980 final four team. No big deal. This Boilermaker couple had four sons who all attended Central Catholic in Lafayette and surprise, all played sports. Well, more like they excelled in sports. While the oldest Anthrop brother Jade didn't attend Purdue, he was a college athlete as well. Jade played both basketball and baseball at St. Joseph's College and Rensselaerite, Indiana. Here's Drew Anthrop, their second- oldest son, on what it was like to grow up in Purdue's backyard.

Dru Anthrop: You know growing up, both of them took us to football games, basketball games, volleyball games. It's 10, 15 minutes away from our house, so we went over there for quite a few different events. It almost just felt natural, but it wasn't until you're entertaining playing college sports that you even think about, all right, well, I might actually go to this school. But Purdue was always in the back of my, number one choice.

Kate Young: Drew took after his dad and was a walk- on, later turned scholarship player on Purdue's basketball team before graduating in 2013. Danny, Drew's younger brother, was a wide receiver on Purdue's football team. At Central Catholic High School, Danny won multiple football state championships. And he became the first local player on scholarship for Purdue football since tight end Dustin Keller, came out of Lafayette's Jefferson High School in 2004. Danny discusses why he chose to pursue football?

Danny Anthrop: Yeah, we played several sports growing up. I won my sophomore year of high school. I ran track as well as played baseball, and basketball obviously. My family's a big basketball family, I was not as gifted as the others in the sport of basketball. So I was the first of us to play football in high school. And that was kind of my path to be my own person, and I think we cracked the code a little bit. I explained to Jackson when he was going through the recruiting process, I was like, hey, for baseball, there's like a dozen scholarships. And for basketball, it's about the same, but for football, there's 75 scholarships. So your chances are a little bit better. Yeah, that was kind of how I looked at it and just happened to get that opportunity and had a lot of good teammates growing up and had some success in high school. And then it opened up the opportunity to be a Boilermaker.

Kate Young: And then of course, there's Jackson. The youngest of the Anthrop brothers. He is finishing up his master's at Purdue and played on Purdue's football team as well. Jackson was a key contributor in several of the big Boilermaker wins in 2021 against top ranked teams like Iowa and Michigan State. But did Jackson always know he wanted to go to Purdue along with his brothers?

Jackson Anthrop: Yeah. I knew just from being in the family and hearing stories of my dad, my brothers. I always wanted to play at Purdue one way or the other, whether it was basketball, baseball, or football. And to be honest with you, football was probably the least expected just because Danny was the only person that ever played football, just because Danny did that, I wanted to do it. So I thought it was kind of cool that as time went on, things kind of worked out and Danny did well while he was here, and then I did well while I was at Central Catholic. And over time, his coach was able to look at me a little bit more than maybe some other people. So, I think it was kind of a blessing that Danny was there kind of when I was coming through. So it was almost kind of right place, right time.

Kate Young: And what was it like for you to kind of have Drew and Danny pave the way within Purdue athletics? Were you always at the games or the coaches probably started to get to know you a little bit already?

Jackson Anthrop: Yeah. I don't think there were too many games that I missed. If I did, it was probably because I had a game too. Especially Danny, Danny's were play a game on Fridays, go to film the next morning and then just fly on over there and I would either be there a couple hours before, depending on whatever time it was, or I'd be running in right at kickoff, which the worst part was I'd have to show up late, so I'd have to park right next to the West Side High School. So, I'd have to walk all the way there and it felt like it'd take 45 minutes. But with Drew, I went to a lot of him. His were a little bit more difficult just because so many people in the family were trying to get those seats and come watch him play. And he usually had to ask a couple guys who were on the football team, there's more guys to ask for tickets to share from. So it was always really fun to go to Drew's basketball games, and it was lucky if we caught one where I didn't have a basketball game as well.

Kate Young: So, was there any competition with four boys in the house? Four boys who are all incredible athletes? Here's Jana.

Jana Anthrop: Do we want to talk about that really? Yeah, this house is pretty competitive. It was never me, but they're pretty competitive, no matter what we're playing ping pong or whatever, but-

Kate Young: Yeah, I had a feeling. Here's Jackson on the family's competitive spirit.

Jackson Anthrop: Oh, it was very competitive. I remember we'd always do D's verse J's, Danny and Drew versus Jade and Jackson. It was hard early on because I was the youngest. So I couldn't really do as much as everybody else could and I always wanted to win. It was always competitive because I know Danny would always be chirping you if you lost, and Drew was pretty good. He was at the right age to where it was a good combo to have those two on the team, and then me and Jade there was quite the age gap. But whether it was in the basement playing nerf baseball and, or just playing basketball down there, or outside playing basketball in the yard, playing wiffle ball, it didn't matter, we were always going at it with one another. But I think that was one thing that kind of molded us into who we were, didn't matter the circumstances. Whoever won, they had the bragging rights for the rest of the day or at least until we played the next game.

Kate Young: You know, your dad was a super successful athlete at Purdue, but was there ever a moment where you guys were like, I don't think I want to play sports or it was just like ingrained in you guys?

Jackson Anthrop: I don't think that ever crossed our minds. Not one bit.

Kate Young: Not only do these men excel in athletics, they also look alike. You can certainly tell they are brothers. Here's Drew on the countless times people have mixed up the three brothers.

Dru Anthrop: For me, it got to a point where Daniel, I'd be at his football game and I'd be just walking by the stadium, somebody's like, hey Danny, great game, like yell at me. And I, instead of being like, oh no, I'm Drew, that's not me. I got to a point it happened so often I'd be like, hey, thanks. Just keep going because it happened to me, it happened to him, it happened to Jackson, now he is there. And that was something that was happened every Saturday.

Kate Young: From John to Drew, to Danny, to Jackson, the Anthrop athletes had to balance a rigorous schedule between practices, games, workouts, and of course academics. How did you guys manage that workload and balance all of that?

John Anthrop: Some times has changed, I'm sure for these two than what I went through, it's still a busy Schedule for me because I did baseball and basketball. So we'd have baseball practices and then I just ran right into basketball practice and games, and then after that was over at spring baseball. So I could probably count on one hand a number of days that I didn't have to go to Mac year baseball field during that time. So it teaches you a lot of time management and you know how to prioritize your time to get everything done. And we're fortunate to get the use of tutors, time blocks with your schedule and things like that to make that all possible. You miss things, there's, I think everybody in this room has to sacrifice something to have the opportunities that we all did. There are things that you're going to miss out that a lot of your buddies are doing, so you got to be willing to pay the price to do what you want to do to be successful. So, that's one of the things that I learned to try to pass that onto these guys as they were growing up.

Jana Anthrop: Yeah. I'm a retired teacher but I was always big, as they were growing up, get that homework done. So I'm hoping that might have helped when they moved on. They've done okay.

Dru Anthrop: It was tough early on. I remember showing up, I was in Krannert and so I went to my first accounting class and we covered everything, we covered an entire semester in the first week. And so I was like, okay, this thing's rolling. And the first time we went to a small school, I graduated 49 people and I have a lecture in class of 50 with 300 students sitting there as the professor, just going on. That was a big adjustment for me. And then always did fine, I think I was Academic All- Big Ten for all the years I was eligible for. But it took me a little while to realize that tutors were there to help you, and it didn't mean that you couldn't do it on your own or that you weren't smart enough. The resources that they provided to the players was great. Some tutors were phenomenal and they'd just been doing it for years and they would sit there and you'd give them your schedule about, I have class, I've got weights, I've got practice, I have to check in the training tables after this and get some food and then I can meet you at 7: 15, like, okay. And then you get in there and they'll help you learn and just accomplish your tasks that you need to do day in and day out, try to get ahead. That was the hardest part for me, basketball is a two- semester sport, so you're in big ten play and you have finals. It's hard.

Jana Anthrop: Yeah. And games are inaudible

Dru Anthrop: Yeah. Games are all the time. So you could be traveling and you, if you only have a class Tuesday, Thursday, but you got to travel and you're missing it. Hopefully, you make some friends that are in class so you can get some notes from. And it was difficult, especially some of those classes where you only have a couple exams that are your real grades. But like I said, Purdue does a great job having resources available for student- athletes.

Kate Young: Here's Jackson on how he handled this balance.

Jackson Anthrop: A lot of times you kind of credit that to your upbringing with your parents, and how you're raised and as well as to those high school that you went to and the teachers that you had, that helps a lot. So, I give a lot of credit to Central Catholic, they prepared me for this experience. And then when you get to Purdue, you're not just left alone to kind of figure it out. Sometimes you might be when you're trying to figure out a classroom, but other than that, there's resources there that if you need a tutor in a certain class they can get you a tutor in a certain class. And it's great that we have those resources just because, you might be going from weights to practice, to film and then you're like, okay, now I got to go to class. Okay, well I didn't really understand what was going on. Just because the subject's a little different for me, and I've got a bunch of other things that I'm trying to worry about right now. And so later on, you'll set up a tutor time and you'll go to that. I remember I'm in stats and I was like, I don't know what's going on right now, and I had a very nice person come in and help me. I was like, wow. I didn't think of it that way, they actually broke it down.

Kate Young: Jackson Graduated in December with a sales degree from Purdue and he's currently finishing up his masters in technology leadership and innovation, which relates to OLS, Organizational Leadership. Oh, and he also declared for the NFL draft back in January.

Jackson Anthrop: So basically, put your name in the draft, the process kind of starts a little bit earlier, especially with people that are eligible to come out. I think it's during the summer teams will come in and you take a wonder test, they do that test and then they measure your hight, weight, whatever they want to measure, they're out here measuring. And then we get into the season, you go through that part of the year. And then when it's time, if you go to a senior bowl, you could do that if you get that invite, and that's kind of when you see other people start to either say they are playing in bowl games or they're not playing in a bowl game. So then that happens, and then right now, once the year's over you take like a week or so off depending on what your schedule looks like, and then you just basically go right into training.

Kate Young: Jackson recently took part in Purdue's Pro Day at the end of March working for a few dozen NFL Scouts, but he won't know if his NFL dreams will come true until later this summer. I asked Jackson what his relationship to Purdue football head coach Jeff Br ohm means to him, especially as he's trying to pave his pathway into the NFL.

Jackson Anthrop: Coach Br ohm and myself, we have a very good relationship. Just coming in 2017 season, I was just coming off my retro freshman year and we didn't know what we were going to be coming into with Coach Br ohm, all the guys on the team. The second he came in, everybody could tell that things were going to be different. He was a player's guy, he wanted to win just as bad as anyone else, probably even more. And you could probably tell that from the sideline sometimes, but just being able to see him and talk to him, he's always around the facility. If you have a question, you can talk to him about it, if you just want to talk about anything else, you can sit there and talk to him about it. I think that's one thing that kind of helps players have success at Purdue is they have a coach that can, you can trust him, he's always there for you. You can actually be a human around him, you don't have to act different whenever you see him in the hallway or something. But I think with coach, just the mentality that he brought to Purdue football has carried us a long way. We've had some bumps in the roads, that's for sure, but at the same time I think after this year you kind of saw everything kind of come full circle and everybody was playing at their best, and that's a huge reason because of him.

Kate Young: By the way, if you haven't checked out our, This is Purdue episode with Coach Br ohm, head over to purdue. edu/ podcast. This year Purdue's football team took its first trip to a postseason bowl game since 2018. After an intense game including overtime, the Boilermakers defeated Tennessee 48 to 45 on December 30th, before a crowd of nearly 70, 000 people at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. The game drew 5. 6 million viewers on ESPN, making it the second most viewed non- new year's game. And the final 15 minutes, which included overtime, drew 8. 9 million viewers according to ESPN. Jackson reflects on this victory. When we talk about success, you guys won the Music City Bowl, millions of people tuned in. Tell us about that game, that was your last collegiate game too. So what was that experience like?

Jackson Anthrop: Oh, that was so exciting. We really didn't know what we were going to get into. So we knew Tennessee was going to be a good team, we also knew that we were already starting the game off down to all Americans. And so we're like, man we're already hurting in certain position groups just from guys getting hurt throughout the year. So already having that and losing David and George that was pretty tough, but I think most proud that I ever was, was just seeing how every single person made plays that day. You know, it didn't matter if it was pain, rock who was playing on pretty much one leg, Aidan, Zander and King, Garrett. Everyone was out there making plays at one point in the game, even Deion Burks made a huge play in the red zone and then just seeing it, how no one gave up, even when it got a little sketchy, when it was 21-3, I was like, ah, gosh. But we kept fighting and we just kept making plays and stayed in it, at the end we came out on top and that was one thing I was so proud of.

Kate Young: Yeah. And you were kind of the underdogs. I mean it was basically a home game for them, right?

Jackson Anthrop: Oh yeah. It was all orange in there, it was unbelievable. I've never seen anything like it.

Kate Young: Do you have a favorite memory? I'm sure that the Music City Bowl is up there. Any other favorite stories or memories from your time on the team?

Jackson Anthrop: Yeah. I mean, I would say the Music City Bowl is way up there, obviously Ohio State with Tyler Trent and everything that went on with that game, that was always memorable. Michigan State this year, that was a good one. Even at Iowa. I mean, Iowa's not a easy place to win and we went there and shut them down pretty good and handled what we needed to do. And then I think one that kind of comes to mind is Indiana a few years ago, one of the balls got hit off Price and Hopkins and over time and I was just right there, right place, right time and just kind of fell all right into my hands. That one was something that was pretty cool at the moment too.

Kate Young: And you better believe John and Jana were there to cheer Jackson on during all of those memorable games. They have been supporting their sons at Purdue for more than a decade now. In fact, they try to make it to every game, home and away.

John Anthrop: It's great to go around to the different universities and schools and see their traditions and their tailgating strategies and all the things that they do and the stadiums and compare. And some schools are more fun to go to than others, and the fans are more friendly and-

Jana Anthrop: Yeah.

John Anthrop: It's just a weekend trip. Those are, could've been our vacations over the years and we look at the, all the road games we're going to go to. I know for football games for both Danny and Jackson, I think we've only missed two in the eight or nine years they've been playing and that was due to-

Jana Anthrop: Nevada.

John Anthrop: Due to snow and distance. So it's, we look forward to it. Those are our little trips and it's exciting.

Jana Anthrop: Another fun memory too, when they do the Purdue basketball alumni game, then everybody goes to Painters and then the crowd dwindles a little bit, and then that everybody comes here. It's just fun to see how silly they all get, he has these opening day ceremonies with fireworks and it's just total silliness with the, all the people are such good friends. And they're already talking about the next one.

John Anthrop: Yeah. We like to have a good time.

Jana Anthrop: Yeah.

Kate Young: Both Danny and Drew are not playing professional sports now. Danny was sworn in as a patrol officer with the Lafayette Police Department in 2017. I asked him how Purdue prepared him for a life off the football field.

Danny Anthrop: Purdue prepared me for my career after sports. And one of the biggest things I learned at the university is, if you walk down campus, if you walk from Cary quad all the way down to the fountain, you're going to see so many different people from every corner of the earth. And being able to communicate with these people and experiencing different people's backgrounds, and what motivates people. So like on a football team, you have 105 players give or take, I think they have more this year with the COVID rule, but I was a team captain my senior year. And what motivates somebody like Jackson, is going to be a different motivation than someone that's from a different corner of the earth. And you have to be, understand that and keep that in mind when you're motivating people or you're leading people. And that's what I learned, and that helps me in my occupation today because America's a beautiful place and there's so many different people.

Kate Young: Okay. So remember how I said Danny and Drew didn't play professional sports? Well, actually Drew works in professional sports for a little team called the Los Angeles Lakers, you may have heard of them. Drew who is a 2020 NBA champion with the team and has the fancy ring to prove it, discusses life following his D1 basketball career.

Dru Anthrop: Like graduation day and the ball stops bouncing for everybody at some point. And for me, I just knew I wanted to stick in basketball at some way. So I met with Coach Painter when I was done and he helped set up an interview with a Pacers front office scout, and that went well. And I got to meet with assistant coaches and eventually Frank Vogel, who's the head coach. And I was lucky enough, it's all timing and luck when it comes to sports and things. So it just happened to work out that I hadn't accepted another job anywhere else. And they called me up and they're like, hey, can you start on Monday? Sure. So I moved to Indiana and I worked for the Pacers. I worked for St. John's when Chris Mullin took over that program, then I also went to Orlando Magic when Frank Vogel hired there, spent a season in Memphis with the Grizzlies and a brief stunt at Vanderbilt Men's Basketball before I got the job with the Lakers. So I've been in LA for the past two seasons and that's where I'm at still. It's just one of those things that it's a combination of everything from my parents to Purdue, to Coach Painter, to just friends and mentors all along the way that help you. At the end of the day, it's still basketball for me and so it's still fun, but it's all about preparation and having solutions, and being available, and just work really hard and be a good person and things tend to work out for you.

Kate Young: And what does this Purdue community mean to a family who has been so immersed in the Boilermaker athletics world for so many years? What does this Boilermaker family and community, when it comes to basketball with Coach Painter, when it comes to football with Coach Br ohm, what does that mean to all of you guys?

Jana Anthrop: I'll go first on this one, but when Drew played basketball at Purdue, we got to be such good friends with the Hammons and the birds and the Carols. And as a matter of fact, last weekend, we were all together at the Carol's Lake House and you just have a friendship forever. So, that's been really fun for me to make those friends.

Dru Anthrop: Yeah. Just keeping on the basketball side of things. I've been in a handful of my teammate's wedding or I've gone to them and attended them. You go through a lot of different struggles playing, wins, losses, tough practices, conditioning tests, weights, tutors, homework, study tables, there's so much that goes on that people don't know about or just don't care about. All they see is all right, there's your game tonight at seven, it's on ESPN, they turn it on. They don't, it's kind of hard to put themselves in those shoes but when you're in the locker room every day and you're out there and you just build friendships with guys that, and Coach Painter, he was awesome to me. And he recruited, luckily, some of my lifelong best friends. So I'm grateful for that. It's unbelievable we still keep in touch, we have group chats and text back and forth every time there's a basketball game or football game that everybody's watching it from somewhere if we can't be together.

Danny Anthrop: It's amazing to me. Because I'll go a year or two without speaking or seeing these guys, and I'll run into them and we just pick right back up. But there's a lot of guys that keep in constant communication with.

Jackson Anthrop: It's funny because I always say I play college football closer to home than I did going to high school. So, just being able to be from West Lafayette, went to high school in Lafayette, having your parents know everybody, if you did something your parents would know by the end of the day and it didn't matter who told them. And the amount of times that I might've done something, got home and my mom would be like, why'd you do this? And I was like, oh yeah.

Kate Young: How did you already find out about that?

Jackson Anthrop: Yeah. And like, well I play tennis with her, yada yada. I'm like, OK. But just being from this area it means so much, especially with Purdue athletics just to have their support and just always wanting to grow up being a boilermaker. Now I always, almost every game I always look back and I'd be like, man, it's weird how I would either be in the parking lot, or the golf course, or on this hill playing football before we would go into games. And it was hours before we'd be there, for like four hours before just you and your buddies growing up, you'd be out there throwing the ball back and forth. You'd hear Ross- Ade's music and everything. And then if you were lucky enough to get a ticket, you ran on in. It's crazy to think that now I was in that position and you see other kids doing that and you're like, well maybe they'll be the next one that comes from the local area. But it just means so much, it's special. I think Kelly Kitchel might have sent out a tweet about local guys having the opportunity to play at Purdue, just means that much more. I always talked about how you could go to playing Florida if you're from Indiana and you might lose and just be like, well, I played well. Then go on about your day and the kid that's from Florida's mad and that's kind of how it is here. It just means more like when you lose, you feel like you let everybody in the community down, like when you go to church, you're like, oh, sorry. So it just kind of digs at you a little bit, and it makes you go that much harder the next week. So, it was definitely a dream come true and blessed to have the opportunity to do it.

Kate Young: Yeah. And I've talked to Coach Br ohm, I've talked to Coach Painter, Coach Gearld's the new women's coach, she's incredible. And they talk about how, what these fans and this Boilermaker spirit means. What does that mean to you as you said, like a hometown kid that all these people are coming to see you and know your name and are cheering for you, and even when you do lose, they come back the next week?

Jackson Anthrop: It's unbelievable. I mean just like every fan base, it can be ups and downs throughout the season and you'll have the people that will get mad on social media and then you'll have the people that just show up every single week at Ross- Ade. It's unbelievable how there were some games where it was either two degrees outside and windy, or it was raining. And at some point you're almost like, I don't even want to be here. Not really, but at the same time we were like, it's just miserable out here and they're all out there cheering for you. And there was nothing better than when Ross- Ade gets loud, whether it's a big play or a touchdown or whatever it is. And everybody just starts yelling, that is one thing that I'll never forget on the Michigan State play. When I was cutting back, when I cut back, it was almost like my ears hurt with how loud the crowd got. And I was like, well, I better score this thing or everybody's going to get upset. So, it's special just to be part of the game and know that your presence is felt by the home team and by the away team. Because other teams feel it, especially, we feel when we go to other places especially at Iowa. They always pride themselves on their fans showing up, and there are certain times where you can feel it in your chest and it's wild. So, and I know that other teams can definitely feel that when they come to Ross- Ade.

Kate Young: Yeah, absolutely. I got to be on the field for the first time for the podcast. And I was like, this is amazing.

Jackson Anthrop: Yeah. This is a lot different for sure.

Kate Young: The Anthrop family discusses that Purdue spirit that Drew experiences, thousands of miles away in LA and the lifelong relationships the family has created through Purdue athletics.

Dru Anthrop: I'm happy that it all worked out for all of us. I still remember something I said in my senior night speech was that, you can go anywhere in the country and walk into a mall and you can find a Duke basketball t- shirt or a Notre Dame football hat. But to me there are no just random fans of Purdue, everybody has a personal connection to the university and that's what makes it special is, even for me in LA, I'll walk around with my Purdue hat on and if somebody will see it and they're like, hey, boiler up, when did you graduate? Where you go to... Oh, okay. Do you know that they watch the football games at this bar, on this time, just instant connection with people. I don't see that with other places. So, that's something that I thought was special and just always the continued support, all the programs have seen. I think that's something that's pretty unique.

John Anthrop: We're just truly blessed as a family to have these opportunities for myself and Jana and all the boys to participate at Purdue. I always thought it was important no matter where the boys decided to go to school, that they'd be fortunate to be on a team of some type, baseball, football, basketball, whatever the case might be just to, when they go there, gives them a sense of belonging and a group to belong to and form those friendships. And we're just fortunate that we were able to do it at one of the greatest universities in the country. And to be 10 minutes from our house, it's just amazing that it's all worked out the way it has.

Jana Anthrop: It's our favorite thing, is to go to sporting events. So.

Jackson Anthrop: And there are a lot of highs and at the same time, there are a lot of lows that you almost didn't want to show your face sometimes. But I just want to say, I appreciate you and just know that I gave everything I had for Purdue. And if someone asked me to do it all over again, I would. So I just want to say, thank you and I hope that I was something to be proud of in the community and that people could know that Jackson went hard and he cared and he wanted to win more than anybody. So, I just want to say thank you for all the support over the years and I'll be back, I'll be around that's for sure.

Kate Young: What does it mean to you that the Anthrop legacy is ending for now?

Jackson Anthrop: It's definitely a little weird. People always will talk about it, but you really don't understand until there is none.

Kate Young: During the 2022/ 2023 school year, there will not be a representative from the Anthrop family within the Purdue athletic department for the first time, since the 2008 and 2009 school year. But Jackson says there could be future Anthrop Boilermakers coming soon.

Jackson Anthrop: It's different. But my oldest brother, he's got a few kids of his own. They're a little bit little, so we'll see how they turn out and they're already playing sports, and they're pretty good for their age. So I'm excited to see how they end up and where they end up wanting to go. But it is different, but it's a blessing that it happened.

Kate Young: I love all the tweets about just your family and your mom and stuff. It's so funny.

Jackson Anthrop: Yeah. Mom does get a lot of love.

Kate Young: Okay Boilermakers. What do you think? I think we need some more Anthrop athletes at Purdue ASAP. If you enjoy this episode please follow, This is Purdue, on Apple podcast or Spotify. Thanks for listening to, This is Purdue. For more information on this episode, visit our website at purdue. edu/ podcast. There you can head over to your favorite podcast app to subscribe and leave us a review and as always, boiler up.


In this episode of “This Is Purdue,” we’re highlighting the story of the Anthrop family, a Purdue Athletics legacy from West Lafayette, Indiana.  

If you’re a Purdue sports fan, you’ve probably heard the name Anthrop. Brothers Dru, Danny and Jackson Anthrop were all Boilermaker athletes, and their father, John, played both basketball and baseball for Purdue, and was on Purdue’s 1980 Final Four team.  

Listen in as the family shares highlights of what it was like growing up with Purdue essentially in their backyard, traveling to away games and how they balanced academics and athletics.  

Plus, hear from Jana Anthrop (also known as Mama Anthrop) on what the Purdue community and Boilermaker spirit has meant to their family throughout the years.  

You don’t want to miss this special legacy episode!