William Paul “Willie” Brooks was born December 9, 1936 in Abilene, Texas to James Paul Brooks and Mary Wright Brooks. With his beloved wife Glendene at his side, he died March 3, 2021 at Magnolia Health Care Place in Liberty, Texas. Now he truly lives in the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Willie graduated from Midland High School in 1955 where he was President of his Senior Class and the quarterback for Coach Tugboat Jones. He was voted “Best All-Around Boy” by his peers, and his coaches said he could hide the football and pass better than any quarterback Midland had ever seen. After high school, he went on to Baylor University, then to Howard Payne University where he graduated in 1960.
Willie met Glendene Philley on a blind date in May 1958, and the two were married a year later.
Willie’s first job was at Smiley Wilson Junior High in Lubbock where he coached and taught Social Studies. One year later, he was hired at Highland Park in Dallas where he stayed for 7 years. He also served in the Army reserves from 1957 -1963. From there he went to Bowie High School where he coached from 1967-69, and again from 1971-1980.
Coach Brooks is remembered by many of his football players, track athletes, and business math students. During his time coaching in Bowie, his teams earned four District Championships, four Bi-District titles, two Regional titles, and one State Semi-Finalist title. At the time, only one team per district advanced to the playoffs. By today’s UIL rules, every team Brooks coached would have advanced to the playoffs. His 1974 Bowie Jackrabbit State Semi-Final Team beat future Heisman Trophy Winner Billy Sims’s Hooks team in the Quarter-Finals. He was named Area Coach of the Year five times by the Wichita Falls Times. Brooks also coached for Midland Lee High School, Nocona High School, and Cleveland High School.
From 1974-1977, Brooks served as a director of the Texas High School Coaches Association. From 1980-1983, Brooks briefly left coaching to assist his father in the family grocery business in Copperas Cove, Texas. While there, he also served on the Coppers Cove City Council. He missed coaching, though, so in 1984 he joined Grant Teaff’s Baylor Football coaching staff as a Junior Assistant before moving to Nocona, Texas to continue his coaching and teaching career. He served as Assistant Superintendent his final year at Nocona before moving to Cleveland, Texas. In 1991, Brooks made his way to Dayton, Texas, where he served as the Dayton High School assistant principal, then principal. After retiring in 2000, he continued to work part-time for the D.I.S.D and faithfully supported Bronco Football for many years. While Dayton still had a local cable station, Brooks and friend Danny Fry broadcast football games each week.
In 2010, Brooks was inducted to the Bowie High School Hall of Honor. He was inducted into Dayton ISD’s Wall of Fame the same year for his outstanding service to the educational community. He was also named Dayton’s “Sports Fan of the Year” in 2017, the inaugural year of Dayton’s Sports Hall of Fame. He was a member of the Rotary Club in Bowie, Copperas Cove, and Dayton. He was also a member of the Dayton Chamber of Commerce and the Bronco Booster Club.
Willie was a dedicated Christian, serving as a deacon at First Baptist, Bowie; Fairview Baptist, Copperas Cove; First Baptist, Nocona; First Baptist, Dayton. He served as Chairman of the Deacons at Dayton for one year, and Deacon Emeritus after health problems prevented him from continuing as an active Deacon.
Willie is survived by his beloved wife of almost 62 years, Glendene Brooks, son Bart Brooks (Dorothy), daughter Becky Brooks Jackson (Doug), sister, Marilyn Richardson, five grandchildren, Elisa Brooks Harris (Zakk), Jake Brooks, Shannon Brooks Fitzgerald (James), Jay Jackson, and Landry Jackson; three brothers-in-law Bud Philley (Judy), George Philley (Jody), Gene (Kristin), and sister-in-law Barbra McCollum; one step-brother-in-law, Harold Wayne Allen, 5 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild, numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of former athletes and students who counted Willie as a friend.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Mary Brooks; his stepmother Estelle Allen Brooks; brothers-in-law Jim Richardson, and Joe Frank McCollum; and by one grandson, Butch Jackson.
The Brooks’ family would like to thank Adam Ott and all the staff at Magnolia Place Health Care Place for their love and care. A special thank you to Shelby, Kristen, and Ken of Kindred Hospice for their dedicated care.
Memorial service for Mr. Brooks will be 1:00 p.m., Friday, March 12, 2021 at the First Baptist Church, 202 East Houston in Dayton, Texas. Arrangements are under the direction of Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Willie’s service will be livestreamed through First Baptist Church Dayton Facebook page.
Memorials may be given to First Baptist Church of Dayton, 202 East Houston, Dayton, Texas 77535 https://www.fbcdayton.com; Brooks BOJO Student Scholarship, P.O. Box 1285, Attn: John McShan, Bowie, TX 76230; or the Brooks Bronco Student Scholarship with the Dayton ISD: Dayton ISD, P.O. Box 457, Dayton, Texas 77535; Attn: Marcie Wirick Note in memo “Brooks Bronco Scholarship”