Terrance Brooks, a former first team All-American offensive guard and football team captain who played for the Tigers in their NCAA Division II glory days and later returned to Towson University as its strength coach, died yesterday afternoon during surgery at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif. He was 47-years-old.
For the past two years Brooks had served as the Director of Strength and Conditioning at Sacramento State University.
A three-year starter at right guard for the Tigers, Brooks was a first team All-ECAC choice and earned honorable mention All-American honors in his junior year while leading the 1983 Tigers to a 10-2 record, a Division II playoff berth and the Lambert/Meadowlands Award as the top Division II team in the East.
As a senior, Brooks was a co-captain who helped the Tigers to a 9-4 record and a second straight NCAA playoff spot. The 1984 Tigers advanced to the Division II semi-finals. The Union Bridge, Md. native was named a first team Kodak All-American while Towson collected its second straight Lambert/Meadowlands Award. A first team All-ECAC repeat selection, Brooks was named as Towson University's Senior Athlete of the Year in 1985 when he also captured the East Coast Conference discus throw title. He was inducted into the Towson University Hall of Fame in 2001.
"We've had a lot of special guys come through our program over the years at Towson but Terrance was one of the most special people," said Phil Albert, the Tigers' head football coach from 1972-91. "We knew him as a high character man of God, consistent and loyal. There was a presence about him. It's a tragic loss."
In 2008 Brooks returned to his alma mater as its strength and conditioning coach
"The untimely passing of anyone, especially an alum and Hall of Fame Tiger like Terry, is especially hard for all of us," said Tiger head football coach, Rob Ambrose. "Terry committed a good portion of his life to Towson University and the football program in particular. His contributions have left a footprint that shall never diminish. It is with deep sadness that we mourn his passing."
Signed as a free agent by the Cleveland Browns, Brooks suffered a career-ending knee injury before he could play in his first NFL game.
Certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a strength and conditioning specialist, he was a four-time World and five-time National Drug Free Powerlifting Champion. He was a member of the Black Coaches Association, the American Football Coaches Association, the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the United States Weightlfiting Association. He was also a certified club coach by USA Weightlifting. In 2007 he helped the United States bring home a gold medal in the North American Powerlifting Championships.
He began his coaching career at the scholastic level as the head football coach, assistant track coach and physical education teacher at nearby Lansdowne High School, earning the school's Coach of the Year award in 1996.
He embarked on his collegiate coaching career as the strength and conditioning coordinator, offensive line coach, assistant track coach and physical education instructor at Bridgewater (Va.) College. After a year at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, he returned to the college scene as strength and conditioning coordinator and assistant football coach at Shenandoah (Va.) University. From 2005-07 he was the strength and conditioning coach and head football coach at Kalamazoo (Mich.) College.
In 2008 he returned to Towson as a strength and conditioning coach, working with the football, volleyball, swimming and golf teams. In February, 2009 he joined the Sacramento State staff.
"Terrance had been here a little more than two years but from day one he took the place by storm," said Terry Wanless, a former Towson football coach and current Sacramento State Director of Athletics who brought Brooks to the West Coast to serve as the Hornets' Director of Strength and Conditioning. "His physical and emotional presence were so outstanding that people quickly respected him. He enjoyed an unbelievable relationship with our coaches and athletes. He will be missed."Terrance is survived by his wife, Dana.