Former Longhorn Leo Brooks loses battle with cancer
AUSTIN, Texas -- Leo Brooks, a defensive star for Texas during the late 1960s and the father of a Longhorns letterman from the mid '90s, lost his battle with cancer on Thursday. Brooks was 53 years old.
A second-round NFL draft choice by the Houston Oilers in 1970, Brooks played three years in Houston and spent four years with the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1976, in what turned out to be his final season, he was named to the Pro Bowl. Following the death of his father-in-law that spring, he gave up his football playing career and returned to Austin to run the family business.
Brooks was the president and CEO of the Leo Brooks Company, which interests include ranching, commercial real estate appraising and hunting leases. The holdings included the Winkel-Brooks Ranch in Llano, Texas.
His son, Corby, was a starter in the Texas offensive line 1994-95.
Born Dec. 7, 1947, in Shidler, Okla., Brooks grew up in Kermit, where he was an outstanding high school athlete. At Texas, he moved from offense to defense during his junior season of 1968 and played a critical role in the first half of the Longhorns' 30-game winning streak, which stretched from 1968-70.
Brooks was on his way to an All-America season as a dominating defensive tackle in 1969 when he sustained a season-ending knee injury in UT's sixth game of the season (vs. SMU). However, he played well enough to earn first-team all-conference honors.
He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in February 2001 and died at the M. D. Anderson Hospital in Houston.
He is survived by his wife, Judy, son, Corby, and daughter, Ashley.
Funeral services tentatively are set for Monday and are under the direction of Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home in Austin.