Brookins says he's still Central's coach for now

Friday, January 4, 2008
Central football coach Lawrence Brookins led the Tigers to a 2-8 record this season. (Fred Lynch)

The Tigers' coach is out of town in Fulton, Mo., for his mother's funeral.

Central football coach Lawrence Brookins denied reports Thursday that he has filled out resignation papers to step down as the Tigers' leader.

But all signs point to Brookins resigning sometime next week.

Brookins said he has been dealing with the death of his mother, Wonna Dean Brookins, 70, who died Dec. 31.

The Central coach has been spending time in Fulton, Mo., where his mother lived. He said he heard about the reports from school administrators who called and asked him about it because they were surprised to hear about it.

Brookins called the reports inadvertent and said that he's disappointed by them.

"They jumped the gun on something they thought they heard and that's not right," Brookins said Thursday. "And it is not a good time with the personal things going on. But ... I'm not the only person in the world today who's lost a loved one. That's just part of life, just like this coaching thing."

Brookins said there is a possibility he will resign in the near future. But he added that he has not taken any steps and has not spoken with his administrators or the board of education about the possibility of stepping down.

Central athletic director Mark Ruark echoed his coach's assessment.

"He has not officially resigned," Ruark said. "So really until that happens, I would not be at liberty to comment other than I believe it is his intention to do so. And of course his mother passed away this week and he is in Fulton dealing with the death of his mother and burying his mother. Football is not at the top of his priorities at this point.

"I think his intention is to do so. And I think probably next week when he returns, ... although I don't want to speak for him, I think that will occur. But beyond that, I can't speak officially on something that hasn't officially occurred."

Funeral services for Brookins' mother will take place at Calvary Baptist Church in Fulton on Saturday at 2 p.m., according to an obituary in the Jefferson City News Tribune.

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