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Rich Brooks Biography

University of Kentucky Head Football Coach
Rich Brooks Biography

Rich Brooks was born on August 20, 1941 in Forest, California. He attended Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley, California, where he participated in football, baseball, basketball, track, and boxing. It seems that even at a young age, Rich was destined for a life in sports.

Brooks began college at Oregon State in 1959, playing football until 1962. He first played on the freshman team as tailback. Then he played for three years on the varsity team as a defensive back. As a senior, Mark made five interceptions for the OSU Beavers, who finished the year with 9 wins, 2 losses and as Liberty Bowl Champs. He graduated with his bachelor's degree in 1963; then stayed in Corvallis, Oregon to work on his master's.

Brooks and his wife, Karen, have four adult children, daughters Kasey and Kerri and sons Denny and Brady - and four grandchildren.

Kentucky football coach Rich Brooks at press conference.
Kentucky football coach Rich Brooks at press conference.
Thanks to bjmillican at flickr.com for the picture.

Prior to his tenure at the University of Kentucky, Rich coached a variety of schools and football teams. He was the Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator or the Atlanta Falcons from 1997 to 2000. From 1995-1996 he was the Head Coach for the St. Louis Rams. His longest coaching stint to date has been with the University of Oregon where he was the Head Coach from 1977-1994. Before Oregon, Rich was an Assistant Coach for such teams as the San Francisco 49ers, UCLA, Oregon State, the LA Rams, and Norte Del Rio High School in Sacramento, California.

After Rich took charge of the University of Kentucky football team in 2002, he began to assemble a coaching staff that is well-respected in the college football world. The coaching team includes coaches with all levels of High School, College, and Professional-level coaching experience. Coach Brooks' first three seasons ended with unspectacular records of 4-8, 2-9, and 3-8. However, 2006 was a break-out season for the Wildcats. They ended the year with an 8-5 record and beat Clemson in the Music City Bowl. That was the first Kentucky bowl victory in 22 years!

After taking over a team that had endured three years of changes prior to his arrival, Brooks has had his work cut out for him rebuilding the University of Kentucky's football team. However, with his solid work ethic and abundant experience, he appears to have turned a corner with the team. Of course, as we always say"¦the SEC is soooo tough. So, time will tell.

Over his career, Brooks has received numerous awards. These include:

  • 1979 -- Pac-10 Coach of the Year

  • 1989 -- Slats Gill Sportsman of the Year (for the State of Oregon)

  • 1994 -- National Coach of the Year (Bear Bryant Award) by the Football Writers Association of America

  • 1995 -- Inducted as member of the Independence Bowl Hall of Fame

For more information about Rich Brooks and Kentucky Wildcats Football, see 2007 Kentucky Football. Check out current information about Kentucky Wildcats Football and Kentucky Wildcats Football History.

Rich Brooks Biography
Rich Brooks Biography
Rich Brooks Biography

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