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Rich Brooks
Sport Football
Born August 20, 1941 (1941-08-20) (age 68)
Place of birth Forest, California
Career highlights
Overall 128–154–4
Bowls 4–4
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
1 Pac-10 (1994)
1x Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (1994)
1x Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1994)
1x Home Depot Coach of the Year Award (1994)
2x Pac-10 Coach of the Year (1979, 1994)
Playing career
1961–1963 Oregon State
Position Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Oregon State (asst. Fr.)
Oregon State (DL)
Los Angeles Rams (ST)
Oregon State (DC)
San Francisco 49ers (DB)
St. Louis Rams
Atlanta Falcons (DC)

Rich Brooks (born August 20, 1941 in Forest, California) is an American football coach and the former[1] head football coach at the University of Kentucky. Before coaching at Kentucky, Brooks spent two years as The St. Louis Rams head coach and 18 seasons as head coach at the University of Oregon, winning the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award for national coach of the year after leading Oregon to the 1995 Rose Bowl.



Brooks attended Oregon State University. He majored in physical education and played defensive back for the football team. He received his bachelor's degree in 1963 and completed his master's degree in education at Oregon State the next year. He was also a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity at Oregon State.


His coaching career started at Oregon State as an Assistant Freshman Coach while working on his master's degree. After receiving his master's degree, he moved to Sacramento, California where he accepted an assistant coaching job at Norte Del Rio High School. He soon returned to his alma mater to serve as an assistant coach for the Beavers from 1965-1970.

Brooks rejoined legendary Oregon State University coach Tommy Prothro as linebackers coach at UCLA in 1970, then accepted a job with the Los Angeles Rams in 1971-72 as special teams and fundamentals coach. After two years in the NFL, Brooks returned to Oregon State to serve as defensive coordinator in 1973. In 1974-75, Brooks went back to the NFL as defensive backs and special teams coach for the San Francisco 49ers until returning to UCLA in 1976 to coach linebackers, where he helped the Bruins to a Top-20 final ranking.

Brooks accepted his first head coaching position at the University of Oregon, Oregon State's bitter rival, in 1977. At the time of his arrival, the Ducks had not had a winning season since 1969, and only one winning season since 1965. During his tenure at Oregon, a nationwide recruiting scandal was exposed; in the early '80s, the school was placed on probation by both the NCAA and Pac-10 for violations in recruiting, misuse of funds and academic standards. [2]

In 1994, Brooks won the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award as the National Coach of the Year, and was also chosen the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Brooks' teams dominated the instate rivalry with Oregon State, compiling an overall record of 14-3-1, which kept him popular during several disappointing seasons. He became the first coach in school history to take the Ducks to four bowl games. His best season came in 1994, when he led the Ducks to the first outright conference title in the school's 100-year football history and a berth in the Rose Bowl. His 91 wins were a school record until his successor and former offensive coordinator, Mike Bellotti, broke it in 2006; his 109 losses remain a school record. Brooks left Oregon for the NFL after the 1994 season. Although his overall record at Oregon was 18 games under .500, largely due to his first seven teams winning only 22 games combined, Brooks is credited with reviving Oregon's football program.

After the 1994 season, Brooks spent two years as head coach of the rebuilding St. Louis Rams, in which the team went 13-19. After leaving St. Louis, Brooks spent four years on Dan Reeves' staff in Atlanta, and served as interim head coach for the final two games of the Falcons' 1998 Super Bowl season.

After two years away from the game, Brooks was hired as head coach at the University of Kentucky prior to the 2003 season. There was some controversy surrounding Brooks' hiring since he hadn't coached at the college level in almost a decade. Brooks inherited a team that was 7-5 in 2002, but was just beginning to feel the effect of NCAA probation imposed because of recruiting violations committed by a prior Kentucky coaching staff. In Brooks' first three seasons his squads posted records of 4-8, 2-9 and 3-8 (9-25 overall, 4-20 in Southeastern Conference games).

Brooks coached the 2006 Kentucky squad to a 7-5 regular season. The Wildcats earned their first bowl bid since 1999, against Clemson University in the 2006 Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee where Brooks' Wildcats defeated the Tigers 28-20 for Kentucky's first bowl victory since 1984.

On December 23, 2006, Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced that the University and Brooks had agreed to a contract extension for four years, plus an additional year at the University's option. Brooks' base pay is $1 million per year plus other incentives [3].

In 2007 the Kentucky Wildcats program under Brooks compiled a 8-5 won-loss record (overall) and 3-5 in the SEC East including wins over the #1 ranked LSU Tigers and intrastate rival #8 ranked Louisville Cardinals. Kentucky rose to as high as #8 in the AP poll. The Wildcats closed out their campaign in the 2007 Music City Bowl, this time defeating the Florida State Seminoles by a score of 35-28. Brooks overall record at UK is 31-38, and 13-31 in the SEC. Brooks has never beaten SEC East rivals South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee, losing six straight to each.

On January 18, 2008, the UK Athletics Department announced that when Brooks chooses to retire, former UK player and current UK offensive coordinator Joker Phillips will become UK Football's next head coach. No date has been set for this transition, but this action was taken to provide prospective recruits some assurance that there will be a smooth transition whenever Brooks chooses to step down.[4]

In 2008 the Wildcats went 7-6, defeating favored East Carolina University, the Conference USA champions, in the 2009 Liberty Bowl (the game was played in January after the 2008 season concluded). Brooks became the first Kentucky coach to win bowl games in three consecutive years. Brooks's Kentucky team currently holds the nation's second longest out of conference winning streak: 18 straight wins, second only to LSU.

A book scheduled to release in July, 2009 will discuss the dramatic turn-around Brooks has had at Kentucky, going from a probation plagued period of defeat, to becoming the first UK coach to ever win three consecutive bowl games. The book is authored by current play-by-play Kentucky radio announcer, Tom Leach.

The longest time any UK coach has held the job is nine years; Brooks is going into his seventh year in 2009. On September 30, 2009, Brooks announced on his Twitter page[5] that he had undergone a procedure to remove skin cancer from his leg.[6]

Brooks announced his retirement from collegiate coaching on January 4, 2010. [7]

Head coaching record



Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Oregon Ducks (Pacific-10 Conference) (1977–1994)
1977 Oregon 2–9 1–6 7th
1978 Oregon 2–9 2–5 6th
1979 Oregon 6–5 4–3 T–3rd
1980 Oregon 6–3–2 4–3–1 5th
1981 Oregon 2–9 1–6 9th
1982 Oregon 2–8–1 2–6 9th
1983 Oregon 4–6–1 3–3–1 T–6th
1984 Oregon 6–5 3–5 7th
1985 Oregon 5–6 3–4 6th
1986 Oregon 5–6 3–5 7th
1987 Oregon 6–5 4–4 5th
1988 Oregon 6–6 3–5 T–6th
1989 Oregon 8–4 5–3 T–2nd W Independence
1990 Oregon 8–4 4–3 3rd L Freedom
1991 Oregon 3–8 1–7 T–9th
1992 Oregon 6–6 4–4 T–6th L Independence
1993 Oregon 5–6 2–6 T–8th
1994 Oregon 9–4 7–1 1st L Rose 11 11
Oregon: 91–109–4 56–79–2
Kentucky Wildcats (Southeastern Conference) (2003–2009)
2003 Kentucky 4–8 1–7 6th (East)
2004 Kentucky 2–9 1–7 5th (East)
2005 Kentucky 3–8 2–6 6th (East)
2006 Kentucky 8–5 4–4 3rd (East) W Music City
2007 Kentucky 8–5 3–5 4th (East) W Music City
2008 Kentucky 7–6 2–6 6th (East) W Liberty
2009 Kentucky 7–6 3–5 5th (East) L Music City
Kentucky: 39–46 16–39
Total: 128–154–4
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Don Read
University of Oregon Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Mike Bellotti
Preceded by
Chuck Knox
St. Louis Rams Head Coach
Succeeded by
Dick Vermeil
Preceded by
Jim Bates
Atlanta Falcons Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Don Blackmon
Preceded by
Guy Morriss
University of Kentucky Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Joker Phillips
Preceded by
Terry Bowden
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award
Succeeded by
Gary Barnett


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