The tight end met Kostek while she was a cheerleader for the New England Patriots, who selected him in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft.
“How it’s going vs How it started 👀,” the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model captioned a November 2022 Instagram slideshow while reflecting on the pair’s lasting love. “9 years ago today we were volunteering at the @patriots Thanksgiving in a Basket event with @goodwillboston where Rob slipped me his number through @jwiggs85 😅 yes I broke the @patriotscheerleaders rules at the time and called him up … but it was worth it ❤️❤️❤️❤️.”
Gronkowski and the Wipeout host went public with their relationship in 2015. Since then, they’ve given glimpses of their strong chemistry via social media — but the NFL pro has yet to pop the question.
“If he were to get down on one knee, I’d be excited,” Kostek exclusively told Us Weekly in April 2022. “He’s my best friend. I would spend the rest of my life with him.”
At the time, the TV personality noted that she and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers behave as though they were already a married couple since they live, work and travel together. “[We’re] blessed to wake up next to each other every single day,” she gushed.
When it comes to having children, Kostek told Us that her heart “bursts” when seeing Gronkowski spend time with kids. “He’s so good with his nieces and nephews. It’s so fun to watch him,” she said. “And then even just like the fans that he interacts with, he loves the kids the most.”
“You motivate me to be better, you show me that limits can be pushed and that challenges make you stronger,” she captioned an Instagram post at the time. “If you ask me, you’re the best to ever do it. … For all the people that have come up to us to tell you they are your biggest fan, I quietly smile because I know I’m yours and I will continue to root you on in all that you do WE LOVE YOU PATS NATION & @patriots !!!! #retirement #87 #HallOfFamer.”
Gronkowski eventually walked back his retirement, returning to the field with pal Tom Brady as part of the Florida-based team in 2020. After two seasons with the Buccaneers, the New York native retired again in June 2022.
Scroll down for a look back at Gronkowski and Kostek’s relationship: