“I love every one of you,” Brooks said during the ceremony. “I love everything you’re doing to help UNC Pembroke and Lumberton High School. I love you all.”
There will be four $1,000 scholarships per school year, with a minimum of two to be granted. The scholarship will be open to male and female student-athletes at UNCP, who exhibit character, maintain a 2.5 grade point average and has a financial need.
The scholarship will be first offered to a student-athlete at UNCP from Lumberton High School. If no athlete fits that criteria, then student-athletes from Robeson County will be eligible. If once again no one qualifies, then the scholarship will be available to any student-athlete at UNCP.
“The scholarship is endowed,” James Granger, the facilitator of the scholarship said. “I have been contacted by people as far away as Alaska and California.”
Speaker after speaker recounted stories from their past where Brooks played a significant role. Whether it was UNCP Chancellor Dr. Charles Jenkins, who coached against Brooks for three years while at Scotland High School, or former players Paul Willoughby and Dave Bullock.
“This is truly a great day in the life of UNCP,” Dr. Jenkins said. “I remember he had fantastic teams. In life, we run into people all the time who think they are a legend in their own mind. Not Coach Brooks, he never was a legend in his own mind. He certainly is one to his players and opponents as well.”
Willoughby recalled Brooks and his longtime assistant coach Finley Read bringing much needed stability to the Lumberton High School athletic program.
“I was talking to an opposing coach from one of the 3A Southeastern Conference schools,” Willoughby said. “After catching him up on the health of Coach Brooks, he told me ‘Tunney got more out less, than anyone else I ever faced.’”
Even an old rival made sure to be a part of Brooks’ special day.
“His teams were probably the toughest teams we played in football,” said former Rockingham High School coach Bill Eutsler and four-time state champion. “We had to have special preparation if we expected to win. The biggest thing I don’t understand is why he’s not in the Wake Forest Hall of Fame.”