Former Washington-Wilkes coach Brooks dies; served on Georgia Tech staff

ajc.com

Butch Brooks, a football coach who led Washington-Wilkes to four state finals and later served as Georgia Tech’s director of football operations, died Sunday night at his home in Arnoldsville, his daughter Lara Brooks Norton confirmed Monday morning. Brooks would have been 75 on Wednesday.

Brooks won six region titles and compiled a record of 140-64 as Washington-Wilkes’ football coach from 1981 to 1997. His teams were Class 2A runners-up in 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1995.

“His kids loved him,’' said Kenny Moore, a close friend who coached with Brooks for four seasons at Washington-Wilkes. ‘‘He was a very in-your-face guy and very straight-forward; you knew where he was coming from all the time, but very loyal to the program, loyal to the kids and driven to be successful. He was the kind that kicked your butt but also hugged your neck.’’

Brooks became Georgia Tech’s director of high school regionals in 1998 under coach George O’Leary and later director of football operations. He retired in 2008.

A North Carolina native who moved to Georgia at age 12, Brooks served in Vietnam War as pararescueman, or PJ, and was stationed at Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta.

Brooks began is coaching at Valdosta High in 1972, hired by Wright Bazemore, and was co-offensive coordinator on Valdosta’s 1978 state-championship team under Nick Hyder. Brooks lettered in baseball at Georgia Southern and won four region titles and one state championship (1978) as Valdosta’s baseball coach. He was a golf coach at Washington-Wilkes and won eight region titles in that sport.

Brooks was inducted into the Wilkes County Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Valdosta Wildcat Hall of Fame in 2020.

No funeral services or memorials will be held per Brooks’ written wishes.

The family asks that photos, videos and memories be shared on a virtual guestbook called ‘‘Take Part’’ , a downloadable app, and using the guestbook code E9GEZ.

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