Thoughts On UNCW's Founding Father of Athletics
William J. "Bill" Brooks

"We certainly lost a true icon, not only at UNCW, but in Wilmington and New Hanover County. Coach Brooks was a true friend, mentor and a gentleman. He had a tremendous vision for the athletics department and had everyone's best interests in mind. "

- Mark Scalf, UNCW Head Baseball Coach

"I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to be around Coach Brooks as a player and employee. He was my best friend, someone who helped me mature as a young man and gave me advice as I grew older. I'll miss him every day."

- Greg Dalton, former UNCW baseball player and Associate Athletics Director

"Coach Brooks was a soft-spoken man who influenced the lives of many people. All of us who played for and worked for him do not remember the wins and losses. We remember how he cared for us as individuals and through his influence and guidance, we became better people."

- Dave Miller, former UNCW baseball player and Assistant Coach

"I've known Coach Brooks since 1966 when I was at Baptist College. When I arrived at UNCW, he had five jobs, and how he did it, I'm not sure. We had more than a coach-athletics director relationship. He was my mentor. He was there for me while I was at UNCW and after I retired. Coach Brooks was an outstanding and humble man. That's a rarity in today's world."

- Mel Gibson, former UNCW Head Basketball Coach

"Coach Brooks was a great man, a great teacher and one of the best coaches I've ever played for. His presence in the community was second to none and he was like a father to all of his players. I'm just glad I had the opportunity to play for him."

- Bill Harris, former UNCW baseball and basketball player

"Bill Brooks is the singular reason why UNCW is in the CAA. It was the faith that the other athletics directors had in him. At the time, UNCW was an unknown and he always figured out what he needed to do to making Wilmington competitive.  He was universally respected and that's why our Player-of-the-Year award in baseball is named after him. It's a great loss. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word.

- Tom Yeager, CAA Commissione

"From the moment I arrived on campus in 1962, I knew that I had a friend for life in Coach Brooks and the door to the Brooks home would always be open. Words are inadequate to describe the impact that he has had on my life. To this day I try to apply the same Christian principles that Coach Brooks so admirably displayed both on the playing field and off. Never have I known a better man."

- Wray Ware, former UNCW baseball player