Team Gleason is inspired by Spokane native, Steve Gleason. He attended Gonzaga Preparatory School, where he was a standout football player, earning consecutive Greater Spokane League (GSL) Defensive MVP awards and inducted into the Gonzaga Prep Hall of Fame. Steve played college football at Washington State and was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. After graduating, he was signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2000. He was released by the team after the preseason and was signed to the New Orleans Saints.
On September 25, 2006, Steve was responsible for one of the most dramatic moments in Saints history. He blocked a punt in the first quarter against the Atlanta Falcons, which was recovered in the Falcons’ end zone for a touchdown. It was the opening score in the Saints’ first home game in nearly 21 months, during which time Hurricane Katrina had devastated the city.
Steve retired from the NFL after eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He went on to attend Tulane University and earned his Master of Business Administration degree.
In January 2011, Steve was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Steve and his foundation are deeply committed to helping people with ALS live productive, inspired lives by providing access to life-affirming events and assistive technology until a cure is found.