Former Towson football All-American Terrance Brooks dead at 47

Terrance Brooks, a first-team All-America offensive guard and football team captain who played for the Towson State in its NCAA Division II glory days and later returned to the university as its strength coach, died Monday during surgery at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif., his alma mater announced. He was 47 years old.

For the past two years Brooks, a native of Union Bridge in Carroll County, had served as the director of strength and conditioning at Sacramento State.

A three-year starter at right guard for the Tigers, Brooks was an All-Eastern College Athletic Conference first-team choice and earned All-America honorable mention 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 semifinals. Brooks was named to the Kodak All-America first team while Towson collected its second straight Lambert/Meadowlands Award. An All-ECAC first-team repeat selection, he was named as Towson's Senior Athlete of the Year in 1985 when he also captured the East Coast Conference discus title. Brooks 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' football coach from 1972 to 1991. "We knew him as a high character man of God, consistent and loyal. There was a presence about him. It's a tragic loss."

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.

He began his coaching career as the head football coach, assistant track coach and physical education teacher at Lansdowne, earning the school's Coach of the Year award in 1996, then left to become strength and conditioning coordinator, offensive line coach, assistant track coach and physical education instructor at Bridgewater (Va.) College.

After a year at Woodlawn, he returned to the college level as strength and conditioning coordinator and assistant football coach at Shenandoah (Va.). From 2005 to 2007 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.

Brooks was a four-time world and five-time national drug-free powerlifting champion and in 2007 helped the United States win the gold medal in the North American Powerlifting Championships.

Brooks is survived by his wife, Dana.

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