R.I.P. William Brockenberry
William Brockenberry, one of the most unlikely standout quarterbacks in the history of D.C. high school football, who subsequently did yeoman’s work coaching Ballou’s girls’ basketball, volleyball and softball teams for more than a decade, died Thursday morning from complications following heart surgery. He was 45.
According to his cousin, McKinley boys’ basketball coach, Eric Brockenberry, William underwent scheduled heart surgery Wednesday at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, but complications arose afterward.
“He just never recovered,” Eric Brockenberry said. “I can’t believe he’s gone.”
Built like a lineman at 6-feet-5 and weighing as much as 280 pounds during his All-Met career at Dunbar, William Brockenberry was among the most highly-touted players in the country before graduating in 1982. But since no other quarterback was built like him, colleges didn’t recruit him at that position, and Brockenberry didn’t want to change positions. He wound up playing quarterback at Elizabeth City (N.C.) State, a Division II school, where he was named all-conference.
Brockenberry had an NFL tryout in 1986 with the Indianapolis Colts before giving football one last hurrah with a semi-pro league for nearly a decade. He subsequently worked for the District’s Youth Services Administration and once said he found his calling working with teenage athletes.
Brockenberry was a fixture at Ballou athletic events over the past decade. He was outgoing and always quick to joke with his company and slow to praise himself. While discussing his girls’ basketball team a couple of years ago, Brockenberry said, “I’m gotten my press, so you don’t have to write about me. Write about my kids.” While discussing his girls’ basketball team a couple of years ago, Brockenberry said, “I’m gotten my press, so you don’t have to write about me. Write about my kids.”
Brockenberry was not retained this year at Ballou, and served as the dean at Hart Middle School in Southeast.
March 19, 2010; 3:05 PM ET
Categories: Ballou , DCIAA , Dunbar
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