From Staff Reports
Ste. Genevieve native Sid Brooks will be among those honored at the National Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Oh., on Aug. 7.
Brooks served as equipment manager for the San Diego Chargers, 1973-2000. That included the entire “Air Coryell” era (1978-1986) featuring Head Coach Don Coryell and quarterback Dan Fouts.
Brooks was the second son of Wil Brooks, a huge figure in the history of minorities in Ste. Genevieve. Brooks, who died in 1984, was honored when Brooks Drive off of Basler Drive was named posthumously in his honor.
Sid Brooks is one of 20 individuals from four groups that work to drive team success within the sport of professional football who have been identified for Awards of Excellence under a program the Pro Football Hall of Fame has launched to recognize significant contributors to the game.
Among those receiving the awards for 2022 are: Assistant Coaches Alex Gibbs, Jimmy Raye, Terry Robiskie, Fritz Shurmur and Ernie Zampese; Athletic Trainers George Anderson, Otho Davis, John Omohundro, Jerry Rhea and Fred Zamberletti; as well as Brooks and three other equipment managers, plus PR personnel.
“These 20 outstanding assistant coaches, athletic trainers, equipment managers and public relations personnel not only helped to determine results on the field, but they also helped to promote the game’s growth, safety and popularity over several decades of devotion to their teams and to the National Football League,” Hall of Fame President Jim Porter said.
Brooks is credited with co-inventing the color facemask, colored football shoes and three-color jersey numbers among other innovations.
Prior to joining the Chargers, he spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, earning the rank of senior master sergeant. He supervised the Cadet Athletic Supply Branch at the Air Force Academy. He served in the Korean War and Vietnam War. He was awarded numerous awards, including several Most Outstanding Airman of the Year commendations.
From 2000-05, served as the director of equipment operations at the University of Southern California (USC).