When he was a standout football player at Nevada Union and in college, Wayne Brooks had a motto: “If I touch it, I catch it.”

“I took pride in not dropping any balls,” he said. “Anything I touched, I wanted to catch and I did. I remember two passes that I dropped: one against Marysville at Marysville and one at Sac State that I touched and I dropped. Other than that, anything I touch, I catch.”

Football was just one of several sports in which Brooks shined, earning varsity letters in basketball, baseball, track and boxing.

“In those days a lot of the guys played four or five sports,” said Brooks, who graduated from NU in 1955. “We were never out of shape.”

For his efforts on multiple fields, Brooks is being inducted in the Nevada Union Athletics Hall of Fame Saturday.

While at Nevada Union, Brooks earned All-Sierra Foothill League honors in both football and basketball. He was also named to the All-North State First Team in football by the San Francisco Chronicle.

After graduating from Nevada Union, Brooks attended Sacramento Junior College, where he played defensive end and tight end and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.

He then left college for work, first at a gold mine then later at a saw mill, before returning to school at Sierra College. Brooks would earn All-Golden Valley Conference Second Team honors at Sierra College and later transferred to Sacramento State where he was named a co-captain his senior year and earned All-Far Western Conference Second Team honors.

After a decorated high school and college athletics career, Brooks went on to have success as a high school football coach. He said it all started at Nevada Union.

“I really think that I developed a work ethic right there at Nevada Union under coach (Homer “Buzz”) Ostrom and coach (Roger) Snipe,” he said.

Brooks said he still treasures the junior varsity football championship his team won under coach Ostrom.

After college, Brooks became a coach and an educator, putting in more than 35 years in the field, spending the majority of it in the Campbell High School District.

As a coach, Brooks found lots of success on the gridiron, winning league titles in varsity and junior varsity football 10 times. He is still the only coach in Del Mar High School history to notch an undefeated and untied season, and he did it twice (1990, 1993).

In addition to football, Brooks coached varsity baseball, varsity boys basketball, varsity girls basketball and track and field. In boys basketball, he led the boys varsity basketball team to a pair of league titles and a second-place finish in the three years he coached hoops.

Brooks did coach football at Nevada Union as an assistant for one season, and he retired in 1997.

When Brooks is inducted Saturday, he will be joining his brother Rich Brooks in the Nevada Union Athletics Hall of Fame. Rich Brooks was inducted last year.

This will be Wayne Brooks’ second Hall of Fame induction. He was inducted into the Campbell High School Hall of Fame as a coach in 1979.

Brooks currently lives in Nevada City with his wife of 58 years, Anne.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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