The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Ford Motor Company paid tribute to Gold Jacket at his high school alma mater on Monday afternoon as part of the Hometown Hall of Famer™ program. An audience of 1,200 attended the ceremony at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, Fla. The crowd included the football team, other school athletes along with the marching band, cheerleaders, entire student body, and teachers.
“I had the same choices, same problems, same decisions. You guys need to understand that my time here at Booker T. Washington taught me how to be great,” Brooks shared with the students.
Hometown Hall of Famer™ is a national program that honors the hometown roots of the greatest heroes of the game with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.
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“Let me begin by saying how proud Ford is to participate in this great initiative. Ford and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have a lot in common but most importantly we share a commitment to excellence. The program is a great way for us to connect and celebrate one of Pensacola’s favorite sons, ,” Chaun Avery, Sales Operation Manager of the Orlando Region for the Ford Motor Company remarked.
Tuesday’s event was the 96th Hometown Hall of Famer™ ceremony.
Brooks was born in Pensacola, Florida in 1973. He attended Florida State and was selected by the in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. He earned All-Rookie honors, was elected to 11 Pro Bowls, and he never missed a game in his career that spanned from 1995 to 2008. In 1997, Brooks led the Bucs to their first postseason appearance since 1981. He was named NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2002 and was noted leader of Tampa Bay’s defense that posted the top defense in the NFL twice and NFC five times. Brooks was named All-Pro six times, All-NFC eight times, and was elected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s. Brooks was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.