William Madison Randall Library

Buildings & Landmarks: Brooks Field Baseball Stadium
Date Opened: 1988
Location: Riegel Road
Namesake:
William Jasper Brooks (1922-2010)
Above, aerial view of Brooks Field. Below, William Brooks in baseball uniform circa 1956.

History

Brooks Field has under gone several transformations over the years as UNC Wilmington has grown. The stadium facility now includes a press box, which was placed on site in 1982 and lights for day and night use were added in 1987. Brooks Field was officially dedicated in February 1988. In 1989, a plaque was added at the entrance to Brooks Field to express gratitude to Raiford G. Trask, a Wilmington businessman who supported Seahawk sports.


Namesake

Mr. William J. ("Bill") Brooks (1922-2010) had a long career at the University North Carolina Wilmington, beginning with Wilmington College. He was a native of Wilson, North Carolina and a veteran of World War II. From an early age he was a natural baseball player. He graduated with an AB from Atlantic Christian College in 1948 and found his way to Wilmington soon after. Mr. Brooks was hired by his former high school baseball coach Leon Brogden to coach basketball and baseball at New Hanover High School and Wilmington College in 1951 in a dual appointment. Soon thereafter, he began working solely at Wilmington College, serving as its first Athletic Director, head baseball coach, head basketball coach, and chair of the health and physical education department. Coach Brooks was athletic director from 1951-1991. During his long tenure the college became a university and the interest in sports increased across the board. Awards from around the state have honored Mr. Brooks including naming the 1990 Colonial Athletic Association Most Valuable Player Award after him. In 1991, he was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in Raleigh. To date he is the only person from UNCW to obtain this honor given to "those persons who by excellence of achievements in or connected with the world of sports have brought recognition and esteem to themselves and to the State of North Carolina."