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Interview with W. Brooks, M. Crews, and W. Jackson, April 20, 1999 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with W. Brooks, M. Crews, and W. Jackson, April 20, 1999
April 20, 1999
A videotape interview with Dr. J. Marshall Crews, coach Bill Brooks, and Wayne Jackson, the voice of Seahawk basketball. They discuss their experiences and the history of UNCW
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Brooks, W./Crews, M. Jackson, W. Interviewer: Dutka, Andrew Date of Interview: 4/20/1999 Series: Voices of UNCW Length: 40 minutes

Dutka: Today is Tuesday, April 20, 1999, and the Video World History project at UNCW is recording conversations between Coach Bill Brooks, Dr. Marshall Crews and Wayne Jackson, the voice of the Seahawks. It’s an informal conversation between three friends who have known each other for a number of years and are very familiar with the history of the University.

Brooks: …and in Florida. And at the end of that year I called Coach Brogden and asked him if he knew of any job openings this way. Any place I might apply. He said give me a couple of days and call me back. So in a couple of days I called him back and he said, yeah, the position here that they were---it’s going to be kind of a split position to coach basketball at Bremerton College, and to help them in football and baseball at the high school. So I took that job and I came here in ’51 and I stayed on the split contract until ’56. Uh, in ’56 I went over to Wilmington College fulltime. From there, of course, I stayed on until I retired until ’91.

Dutka: So you were instrumental in starting the athletics program here at the University?

Brooks: Well they had a basketball team before I got here. Dr. Crews could probably tell you more about that basketball team than I can. I know that one of the unusual things that first year when I met squad and called them all together. We didn’t have a single boy out for basketball that had played regular on the first team in the high school. (laughing by everyone) and ah, of course I found out that that wasn’t really as bad as it sounds because several of them had been on the squad at New Hanover High School under Coach Brogden and been on State Championship teams. Although they were second team boys, they were still pretty good basketball players there. From what I can, been told, it was before ’91 and all these. Never did have a conference as such. They more or less played kind of a pick up schedule with all (section of the tape has nothing on it) In ’51 we joined the junior college association and started by the rules and regulations of that organization.

Dutka: Um,

Brooks: Beg your pardon

Dutka: I’m, go ahead.

Brooks: During the time---we were, I don’t know how much more you want me to talk about the Junior College now, but during the time we were a Junior College, that was up until---through 1963 year. Each year our junior college program grew a little and along about ’57 were able to get a little more help as far as scholarships go. Up until that time we had very little scholarship, but we started to get a little more and by the time we finished the junior college---time we went up in ’63, we were able to build that junior college program up to a point in that the last two years we were a junior college we played in the---we went out to the Nationals out in Kansas. So it came along as we, as we grew. We were able to get some real good people here.

Dutka: Um huh, um huh. What do you remember Dr. Crews about the athletic program and the basketball and how was the perception---were people all enthused about it and they enjoyed the programs?

Crews: I’ll give you a good example. One night I was in Administration and Dr. Randall was working as president. I was his second---first hand man. So I had to go to ball games. So I, we had a game over at Chestnut Street school. Charlie Nivens was there and just scored 58 points as a national leaguer. There were five people in attendance. Dr. Randall and I, the ticket keeper and her husband and one visitor.

Dutka: (laughter)

Crews: So that’s the enthusiasm that the town showed.

Dutka: Ah huh.

Crews: So ’56 was the deal that ah, what was the coach up in Carolina sent all those boys from New York down here.

Brooks: Frank Maguire, Maguire.

Crews: I always called them the New York bums. They were just boys, but everyone got in a fight that night. Anyway, that team could have held their own with any Atlantic Coast Conference. That’s what I thought. Most anytime. That was, that was a tremendous team---’56 was it or 7.

Brooks: Well it started---we started to get---way that came about, our recruiting situation. We had something we could offer the boys who--- actually the coach Everett Case up in NC State and Frank Maguire over at Carolina. Back in that time, that was ‘57 or ’58 is about when it started. They had a---the ACC had a rule you had to predict a 1.5 or a 1.6 to go to school and play ball there at that time. What I, the way I did my recruiting back then. I’d go see each one of those coaches and asked them who they had that they liked to get in that they couldn’t---play. (laughter in the background)

And I get two or three or four names from each one of them and I usually didn’t make but about one recruiting trip a year. I’d go up to New York. Sometime one year I went there and I’d cut across Indiana and came home. Another time I took two trips, but we were able to offer something to those boys that they couldn’t get just anywhere. And, of course, if Coach Maguire or Coach Case would recommend they come here, that had a big---had a lot of weight with those boys. Because they would tell them if you go to Wilmington and you do well and show you can play, we’ll take ya. One year we had two high school All-Americans on here at the same time. That was Skinny McIntire and Billy Gallantire. Both of them---in fact the first time I saw both of them they were on a t.v. show in New York where they introduced the five high school all-Americans, and they would dribble out onto the stage and it was surprising that after I saw them---of course, I didn’t know ‘em, never heard of ‘em being up in New York. Coach Maguire called me and asked if I'd be interested in ---of course Gallantire was so big he was so heavy---we didn’t get that much out of him. He was just so big and fat that I guess he weighed close to 280 or somewhere. When he got up to Carolina they got him on a program there and got him down to where he did play up there. And McIntire decided not to go to Carolina. He went back to St. John’s and, of course he had--- made a lot of ---had two good years up there at St. John’s.

Jackson: He became---I think he was captain, most valuable player of the N.I.T. one year.

Brooks: Yeah, his senior year he was---he also had a brother I tried to get down here that went to St. John’s too.

Crews: I thought his brother came.

Brooks: No, he never did get here.

Crews: Who was the pair that the older brother came and then the younger brother came. Didn’t he have one year like that?

Jackson: ________ boys.

Crews: Well who’s coaching? Who coached for Georgia Tech?

(Voices talking---Bobby Crimmons, Crimmons )

CREWS: Did he have a brother who came here?

Brooks: No, not that I know of.

Jackson: Bill, you mentioned the change in the players from you first came here. I was going through some of my old stuff after we got a call about this thing. I looked back in December of ’54. We broadcast the dedication game when Brogden Hall was dedicated and your team was made up of --- I think these were all native Wilmington fellows: Don Morton, Floyd Whirl, Rex Hardy, Charlie Niven, Tom Phillips and on the bench there was Weenie Brown, Bob Winsted and Hursythe. I think they all came from Wilmington, didn’t they? Or close by?

Brooks: All but Winsted. I don’t how he stumbled into here. He just showed up.

(Comments being made by participants)

Brooks: Tom Phillips and Winsted were the two, were not Wilmington people. I don’t know exactly---I mean didn’t go to high school in this area.

Jackson: But Tom stayed here after college and---

Brooks: He still---

Jackson: Yeah, he’s still here. But, o.k. that was in ’54 and then seven years later in February of ‘61--- this is the first game ever televised. We videotaped it at Brogden Hall, the junior college championship game and played it back that night. But your starting five were Gene Bogash from Iowa---

Brooks: Indiana---

Jackson: Indiana. Ed Myerschowsky---New York, Neil Johnson---

Brooks: New York. Right off Broadway.

Jackson: Kenny McIntire you’ve talked about. New York.

Brooks: New York

Jackson: And I don’t know how this Wilmington guy snuck in here, Larry Edens. Larry is still here. He buys season tickets to the Seahawk games and he’s one of the first ones to Trask Coliseum every home game.

Crews: He works at Dupont or somewhere----

Jackson: But I mean that shows graphically the change in the seven year period in the junior colleges.

Crews: I remember one year we had Weenie Brown and another boy who drives a bus for the City--- a long tall guy---what was his name?

Brooks: McCoy.

Crews: McCoy, yeah. McCoy and Brown they were the team. Old Weenie was about that tall and McCoy was about 6’1”.

Jackson: 6’6” I give him.

Brooks: About 6’6”.

Crews: They were the only two sharps we had---really.

Jackson: Well Charlie Niven was a scoring machine.

Brooks: Well he led the nation that year---what was it ’54?

Jackson: Yeah in that dedication game at Brogden Hall he had 42 points. He had eleven field goals and the other team trying to stop him. He went to the free throw line twenty---he shot twenty five free throw shots himself. He made twenty of them.

(Background comments being made)

Jackson: And there was no three point play then.

Brooks: He led the nation that year with a 37 point average. He was over 40 points, I forgot how many times---

Crews: This McCoy drives the City bus, public bus all day long and was suppose to come at night to take a couple of courses at night. I believe it was---I never did check out what his attendance record was but I imagine it was kind of scarce.

Jackson: I know we’re talking basketball and that’s the emphasis, but junior college you mentioned the last couple of years in the early sixties of junior college when you went to championship. I’d like to insert into this basketball talk that for three year---sixty one, two and three you went to the National Junior college baseball championship and you came home National Champions twice and second place the other time. So you were busier than just athletic director and basketball coach, you were baseball coach too.

?????? : Baseball was your love, wasn’t it Bill?

Brooks: Yeah, well I liked them both. If you win, you like ‘em a lot better. (laughter by everyone) This ah, I picked up one of these record books, one of these brochures and if you look at the win and losses through the years at junior college, you can tell just about when we started having a little money to get some scholarships and so forth. Up until ’57, ’58 year, I think we were 12 and 9, and only once before that had we won that over 12 game, we had 14 one winter. Starting in about 1958 we had one ’58, ’59 we had 24, 20, 24, 21 and 17 on the win column, which those last two years we got beaten in the National Semi-finals in overtime in ’63. So that’s the record. More or less you can look at that and tell just about how your program came along, what you were able to do and not able to do. Of course after the junior college, those---I usually---when I look at this program, when I look back on it, I look at it in kind of like three little segments. The junior college segment of about twelve or thirteen years, the NAIA segment of about twelve or thirteen years and then the NCAA division one from then on. So often the junior college situation, which we got a lot of help from Dr. Crews here and Dr. Randall in helping us to set up programs for these boys when they came in. We had some outstanding young men who came in here, this school, the junior college people. Some of them went on to big and better things and ---lawyers and doctors and all that---that you’d expect good students to do.

Jackson: You’re being a little modest Bill. You had of the twelve years of Junior College there were only two losing seasons and ten winning seasons. I mean when you started out you had five winning seasons in a row then you hit that slump for two years. When you broke out of it then, you had four years in row that you won over twenty games. Ended up winning just about 2/3 of your games, about 66% of ‘em. (conversation in the background going on) You can get those from the sports information office.

Brooks: I can get another one. (more background comments/conversation which is not fully intelligible)

Jackson: It was a little different record though when you got into the NAIA and first got into a four year college ranks. Goings were a little tougher than, weren’t they?

Brooks: Well, they sure were. What I mean when I say you have something to offer. What made it real tough. Cause I never did mention this too much before, but the biggest drawback we had during that time we never had dormitories or a cafeteria until 1971. We were out here a pretty good while then. If you don’t have something particular you can offer that prospective athlete, he’s not going to come to your school. What we had, we always as a junior college, we always had that tie in with the bigger school---that we could make them a ---you do this and we’ll do this. And a which was interesting for the athlete. Something he could gain by. But to come into here in 1963 and ’64, ’65, ’66, just trying to get into a Conference, we had to play over our heads to people we could beat with the players. So we ended up playing over our head most of the time.

Crews: That’s what we’re doing now isn’t it? Seems like it anyway.

Brooks: Well that’s, so in the NAIE it was a lot stronger back then, than it is now. There’s not much, too many schools round here now in the NAIA. Most of them go into the NCAA division two. Some of them division three, but there’s very few schools now down in this area that still go to the NAIA.

Jackson: But you figure there’s--- I think it’s 310 division one teams now. You never were anywhere near 310 division one teams…

Brooks: No

Jackson: When you went from---I’m trying to think back Bill---in the jump from junior college to NAIA, did some of those junior college players stay here and finish out four years or did they all pretty much depart. You notice the first three years you had winning records. I’m just wondering if some of it carried over?

Brooks: Not many of them stayed. Bogash would have been a junior. He decided to go on to Drake. And ah, no we didn’t have too many. We had a couple of them stay around. What did we have---a nine and eight---we only had seventeen games that year. Therefore, two or three years we just couldn’t get people who wanted to play us. Reason for that---the way the coaches look at it, they had everything to lose, but nothing to gain by playing us because we were just starting out.

Jackson: That hasn’t changed much has it? (laughing by everyone) I know a few years ago when Kevin Eastman was here, we went up to Reynolds Coliseum and played State, and beat State. I think that was when Darrin Moore was a freshman. I mean after that there was no way that you could get a State was gonna play a UNC Wilmington again. And if you beat somebody like that, nobody wanted especially to come around and play you on your home court.

Crews: We scared Wake Forest too the first time we---.

Jackson: Yep, and they haven’t been back since that dedication game.

???: I tell ya, I feel honored this morning to be in the presence of these two guys. They were pioneers of the athletic program. Wayne could have easily said, Oh we haven’t got time to do this or that, but he did the t.v. work and having to work with Bill and all this.

???: Well we got the Seahawk Club started. I can remember something I used to do every year. I mean television was not big until that year of ’57 when Carolina went undefeated and won the NCAA Championship and the last two games; the semi-final and final game both went triple overtime. They were on television and Carolina (talking by other parties – unintelligible) ----championship and all of a sudden television began to pick up. But even then, I think when the ACC even in some of its heyday was—would only televise one game at night during the week. I could remember when we got the schedule, as soon as I got the schedule, I would get it to Bill and say these are the nights there’s gonna be a television game and tell him who was televised. And if Bill saw he was gonna have a home game, and Carolina and Duke were gonna play on television Bill would work to change his game from Wednesday to Tuesday or Thursday. Cause you knew if Carolina and Duke was on television you weren’t gonna draw peanuts out of it.

And we worked on that quite a while. Now it doesn’t make any difference seemingly when you play because there’s one, two, three games every night on television.

Crews: A story that’s typical of Bill: one day he came to my office over here, after we moved out here. All that was a swamp down in through there. (can’t understand speaker) He said come go with me and meet a fellow down here. So I went with him down there, oh it was about where the athlete field starts. They had a fellow there was a um, what was that bushwhacker thing.

Brooks: Jim Hollard

Crews: Yeah. (laughing by everyone) Jim was headed there for ??? and so Bill didn’t want to be against what Bill Brooks wanted, against childhood and Jesus Christ, ??? but anyway we hemmed and hawed around there and Bill said Wayne ask him if you know to donate his work. He said no he couldn’t do that. He said well just try that machine out, see how she works. Before he left there he had that whole place cleaned off. I gave it up and came on back to the office.

Jackson: Bill you have been so active. Athletic Director, baseball coach and basketball coach and jack of all trades. What was going through your mind? How difficult was it for you to finally start retiring or dropping some of these sports and turning them over to someone else?

Brooks: I enjoyed doing all of it. Of course I didn’t, one of the problems that I didn’t have, I didn’t have a lot of employees to have to work with, to spend time with and plan and all that. From ’51 until end of 60’s till we moved out here, I was the only one in the athletic department. I had a couple of people, Frank Allen helped me a year or two with the golf team and somebody else helped me a year with the tennis team of so. To carry ‘em on trips and so forth, but it got---when I went over to Wilmington College full time in ’56 we had---just happened we had some good baseball teams here in town. I was coaching Legion baseball in the summer. We had two good years where we won the State and all one year. Some of those boys wanted to come to school out here, but they wanted to play baseball. So we put in the baseball. That was the most successful program I guess if you go win and lose, if you look at it from that standpoint. Cause we started off our first year in 1957, and it was a late decisions to get it started and that year we only played fourteen ball games and won six and lost eight. We joined the junior college conference. Then the rest of the time we went to junior conference we won the conference championship every year until we got out of it, and five years we went out to the Nationals. We finished fourth, fifth, first, second, first in the five years and those last three years particularly were real strong. We had people we could play with anybody in the country. In fact, we did play anybody in the country that would come through here and we could get games with, particularly in the spring. We had a very successful---out of that junior college. We didn’t play as many games as we do now. We have nineteen and seven, fifteen and four, nineteen and two. That’s the year we won the National Championship. And the other year we won the National was twenty three and four. So at that time we didn’t play as many games as you did at that time, as they do now I mean. But our junior college, I thought the last four or five years we were a junior college we pretty well dominated the baseball and pretty much so in basketball right then.

Jackson: Basketball your expenses start going way up because you have to travel so far---

Brooks: Yeah---

Jackson: ---to games. Baseball you didn’t travel nearly as much, probably close by you could get on a bus or a number of vans. You probably just used plain automobiles, didn’t ya? Crammed as many as you could?

Brooks: Automobiles and vans is mostly what we traveled in back in that time. That’s something that people have a hard time believing some of things that we did back in those days. They just --- now this is the truth---I know it’s gonna sound kind of --- We wanted to go out to Grand Junction. We won the District and we could go. We didn’t have any money to go and so forth. Dr. Randall let me have his credit card to buy gas, so we could buy some gas. And I took my car and the wife’s---we had--- actually it was my wife’s car and we had a station wagon up at the school. And that’s what we went---we went to Colorado in that. We left here with that whole pack, we left the field house out on 13th and Ann, that’s where we practiced. Figured we’d have to save as much money as we could so we left about 6:30 or 7:00 o’clock in the evening. Told them all to eat a good meal, we’re gonna drive all night. We drove from that time all night and all day and then we stopped that next night and spent the night, then went on in. But we drove all five years and it’s---we usually would drive one night out of the three to take us---it’s a long ways from here to Grand Junction, Colorado.

???: I know it. It’s well west of Denver.

Brooks: Yeah. Like Dave Miller always said I was real concerned about the boys seeing different parts of the country. He said I would go a different way each time. (laughing). We’d take the southern route, the straight route and the northern route.

Jackson: Of course you don’t see much at midnight, do ya?

Brooks: No, you don’t see a whole lot.

Crews: That was the year Dave Miller was on the team, wasn’t it.

Brooks: Dave was in the ’61 and ’62 year. He and Bill Haywood were two of the ---Raleigh/Durham ---Bill Haywood--- all those boys played pro ball after their finished up here.

Crews: You know when Bill came, was hired by Brogden, high school athletics were the king of the country now in North Carolina. Plus State wasn’t, well Carolina wasn’t up to State---that notoriety, but Brogden shoved him over on us. That was the impression we got Bill. Besides none of their coaches wanted to go to that community college. I have no proof of this, but only on instinct. That they wouldn’t go, so let the new man go there. I guess a lot of ‘em---

Jackson: Bill was yellow and hungry.

Crews: Yeah, Ha ha. Bill’s the one that got all the fame too.

Jackson: Bill, what did you have to do? What requirements were there to go from NAIA to Division 1?

Brooks: Well, the main thing you had to do is go by the NCAA rules, division 1 rules. Get your program on that set of rules and then apply. So that’s what we did. Actually, they say ’76 was our last year of NAIA, but actually ’75 was our last year, that spring was NAIA. Cause the ’76 year was what I called a dead year cause we didn’t go by any NAIA rules, regulations, which was a lot easier than the NCAA. So we started

(First side of the tape ended.) following the rules in 74, 75 or 76. That last year in baseball probably went NAIA. We had a real good year that year and won. Went out to the Nationals out in Missouri.

Jackson: Kansas City wasn’t it? Kansas City had the NAIA for many years.

BROOKS: St. Joe’s is where we went that year. Quisenberry, ya know the old pitcher that died----

Jackson: Yeah.

Brooks: ----just died and went to Kansas. He beat us up at St. Joe’s. Come out there throwing side arm on the hand and the other. We didn’t know who he was or anything. It didn’t take but about once through that line up, about once and we found out who he was. He was tough.

Crews: Since this is going on the record, I think we ought to maybe include the names of some people Bill who helped you build that athletic complex down there. The people who furnished the block for the field, furnished the plumbing. Can you name any of those off hand?

Brooks: Yeah, I know I’ll probably miss a lot of ‘em cause just about say anybody who owned anything in town was asked. (laughing) We had to build ----talking about the fields and all. We didn’t have any fields here and it’s kind of amazing to think that we had a program that we had from ’51 on up to ’62 or ’63. We never had a gym or a field or anything that belong to us. We used the county fields and so forth. When we got out here, one reason we had to have a field house someplace for the showering and dressing and all was because we didn’t have a gymnasium out here when we moved here. The Wilmington Fire Department at that time was real instrumental in helping us build that field house. Those firemen on their day off would come out and work some, particularly on the week-end. We had some Saturday and Sunday work days. Robert Shiff and Chief Wolfe. Anyway, I think he got the firemen and all to come out here and help. As far as the G.W. Godwin, I don’t know what we would have ever done without the Godwins around here all these years cause everytime I got into a real jam, I got to go see the Godwins and they donate some stuff for us. Concrete company, Mr. McQuady out at S&G.Concrete.

Jackson: Yeah, S&G. Gene McQuady.

Brooks: Everytime we needed concrete he would come through with that. There was a block company over around 8th street----North fellow---

Jackson: DC North-----

Brooks: Yeah, he sent us several loads of block and brick. Down at Carolina Beach, Mr. Bain down there helped us a great deal. He had, I guess, a big hardware-----

Crews: His daughter taught here.

Jackson: What you said. A community effort.

Brooks: It was a community effort because most people knew where we were coming from. We didn’t have a whole lot out here to work with. We didn’t have a budget and so forth to work with. So we ended up getting enough money from all these donations. Those people would give me a receipt like it was a paid receipt. The State came up with a regulation at that time for matching funds with the developing colleges or something. You’d know a lot more about that than I do. Anyway, ended up about having $20,000 worth of receipts that we turned in to the state and they gave us enough money----$20,000 that we put those lights in so we could have lights for the ball field. That’s where the money came from. About the only thing the state actually out of their money would appropriate for us----about the only thing they ever did was put a fence around it when we finished. They did favor the fence that went all away around the whole thing.

Crews: I thought that was advertisers that built that?

Brooks: I’m talking about the whole wire fence around the whole big field. Now that little wooden fence that we had out there was made out of cypress from the fellow up there around Burgaw that was cutting a lot of cypress at that time. He told me to come up there and get whatever I needed. He didn’t know how much I needed-----(laughing)

Jackson: A lot of contacts find out where to find things. Go back to basketball for a second. What went in to deciding which Conference you wanted to go into when you joined the Colonial Athletic Association back in the eighties. I don’t how many there were at the time. I know there were a lot of different conferences have come up---the big South, the Transamerica, the Southern conference, but you were aiming evidently for the Colonial Athletic Association. What went into that thinking and how did it come about?

Brooks: Well, at that particular time I had been to a meeting, two or three meetings. A group of schools, Campbell was one of them, Winthrop to what is now the Big South

I had met with them and they were. It’s kind of hard to get different schools to get into the same group together. It seemed like everytime we had a meeting, there would be one or two that didn’t like this one or didn’t like that one. We were in the process of getting pretty close to forming that Big South when something came up I heard about Colonial. There were two or three people I knew, Athletic Directors in that group, I went to see them. I just got in the car and took off. I told them I was just passing by and wanted to talk to them. Ended up Old Chuck Boone up at Richmond was one of the key people that kind of took a liking to us. He thought ----I asked him----I invited him down, he and his wife came down and showed him what our facilities were here. Put him up down at the beach. He was here a day or two. We went out and played golf out at Cape Fear. Made some arrangements out there. Chuck had a lot to do with us being accepted. Ben Carnevale who used to be an old Carolina man. I’d known Ben a long time. He was at William and Mary. So I went from Richmond----when I went over to Richmond I went back by William & Mary and talked with Ben. Dean Ayless which was an old baseball catcher way back. I had known Dean at a different place. He was over at James Madison. East Carolina was there for about a year. It was kind of holding us out a little bit. Then they changed athletic directors. Can’t think of his name right now, the fellow from California. I invited him down and he looked over our place. It ended up that there were two or three things that had to be done before we, you say the Colonial. The ECAC (Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference) which is made up of two or three hundred schools. All over the east coast and this group which is the Colonial now, at that time, and others trying to get into it was ECAC South. Anyway they had their meeting in Baltimore. I went up to Baltimore. Dr. Wagner and I went up to Baltimore. I talked with them and after I got up to Baltimore, the people on the committee I knew about half of them from baseball that we ----- baseball coaches and athletic directors that had been by here playing in the spring and so forth. Anyway we got voted into the ECAC. Then after I got into the ECAC, their side, they’re called ECAC South and they accepted us into their group ECAC South. So we played two years in the ECAC South. Then it was changed in ’85 to Colonial. So it was a lot of seeing a lot of people and doing a lot of leg work and so forth. But as it turned out, I think we had a good fit.

Jackson: See it started out with what? Seven teams and then Old Dominion came in and Virginia Commonwealth. Old Dominion wasn’t in at the very beginning were they?

Brooks: Old Dominion I think was in the ECAC South one year I think and then left went into -----Virginia Commonwealth and ------went into Sunbelt. Both of them. They didn’t go into the Colonial. Then after so many years they did come on in and that’s where they ?????? the location and so forth.

Jackson: Pretty strong conference now.

Brooks: I thought I was ----when I first heard about it, there were those schools -----I thought of it not only that it would be a good place for us, but it would also be a real good place for this school to grow. When you start talking about the academic schools like William & Mary, Richmond and some of those schools there. They ranked up at the top of the list. To be associated with them, rub elbows with them, play with them and all couldn’t do anything but help us. I never could see where it wouldn’t be good to be in that group.

Jackson: As a coach, I’ve seen the games and so has Marshall from our aspects---mine actually, I guess from broadcasting. Marshall from being a long time fan. You as a coach and athletic director, there’s so many changes that have taken place in basketball since we’ve talked about your junior college days. One of the big things I can think of is there in the 50’s and 60’s, up until integration. The teams were all white. Now most teams are a majority black. The rules have changed. The pace of the game. The size of the players. It’s like it’s a whole new game.

Brooks: That was one of the things that a lot of people don’t understand. It’s real tough in your recruiting. Until we had dormitories and a cafeteria, we had an awful hard time, I did, in recruiting any black athletes. I talked to several. Tom Jones from down near Pamlico came up and was I think our first one. To talk to the good black athlete and get him to come here----we’re gonna put you up in a room in town. ‘Course, that’s where we put everybody up in somewhere with somebody. They were not interested in that. That wasn’t going off to college for them. We had that limitation there until ----was it ’71 we opened that dormitory down there?

Crews: Yeah.

Brooks: I think it was, because I tried to hire somebody to come in here and help me coach. I wanted to get rid of one of these sports. It was hard to even talk to a coach about coming in here with the lack of facilities that we had. We opened Hanover Hall in ’65, 66. I think we opened January of ’66, I believe and that was our first time we were able to play basketball on campus. So it was hard to recruit when you didn’t have a whole lot to offer, when other schools could offer better..

Crews: Well you couldn’t let a black in the school in ’61. We had a different law and order. That was one of the hardest things I ever did. I was sitting there one day and a nice looking young black came in and wanted to go to our school and I said, “well you have to go to Williston.” The only reason was because he was black.

Jackson: One of the things also in the years since I’ve been associated with the team is the quality, not just as player, but as a man, a human being of the players that have come here. Number one, they know they’re not gonna go to the NBA. So if they’ve got any sense or very few of them were gonna have a chance. Brian Rosten was one. Matt Fish went, but he a very low career that didn’t last too long. He bounced around. Primarily a player in the--- we had and in the CAA is not gonna make it big with a few exceptions like David Robinson. So they come in here and most of them stay and graduate. They learn something. They know they need that four year degree. When I see them come back for homecoming and we go someplace and I meet them. They’re just wonderful human beings. You’re proud of them, to have known them and be associated with them.

Crews: Well, it was an entirely different atmosphere ---it was. Then what they had been accustomed to up North, say in New York. Then come down to this free caring society. It had an effect on them. They were ---- I’d like to say they were reformed people. (laughing) Chester Street school is what I was talking about. I’m sure you were the coach.

Brooks: I think that must have been the year before I got there because we played ours over at what is now the girls gym.

Crews: Did you coach David?

Brooks: Oh yeah. Yeah, I ---- It’s possible we could have played over there, because back then we had to play where ever we could find a place to play.

Crews: You used to play down at the community center. Where the community is now downtown. Ya know that gym---between 3RD and Orange. I think we played down there the first year or first two or three years.

Brooks: Yeah, that’s the school I’ve got down here.

Crews: That little old gymnasium was too short. No place to see it or anything else.

Dutka: Any games come to mind that stick out in your memory?

Brooks: Oh, I can name a bunch of ‘em. I guess if you’re talking about basketball, the one that I would probably remember the most is our semi-final game out in the National Tournament. We ended up going into overtime. At the end of the regulation game, we had----got the ball with a two point lead. Had the ball, bring it down the court with about ten or twelve seconds to go and the team we were playing against----Coach Fitzsimmons who’s been coaching a lot of pro ball lately. He’d been tied up with Phoenix and so I think he’s general manager out there now. He was coaching the other team and they had a boy who just took our boy right into the stand. Deliberate. He was trying to foul---had to foul. As it turned out, when our boy got knocked into the stands he reacted back toward the other boy and the official called it a double foul. Nobody shot. They took it and jumped it at the center. They got Tab Madar to make a Hail Mary type shot and tied it up. It went in overtime and we got beat in overtime. That would have put us in the national finals. I felt like we had a pretty good shot to win that ballgame if we had played in the national finals.

Dutka: What year was that? BROOKS: That was 1963.

Dutka: Who were you playing against?

Brooks: Mobley Junior College in Missouri. Cotton Fitzsimmons was their coach at that time and it was in his younger days. He’s been around and coached a lot of pro ball and all since then. As for basketball, I think we were----it would have meant so much to us I think at that time. I wanted to win that National Championship. We had won it in baseball in '’61 and came out second in ’62 and then this was the ’63 year. As it turned out we won the baseball national again in ’63. I thought we had a shot at both of them there. If our boy had just taken the lick without kicking back, I think we would have gotten a couple of shots----we only had about ten or twelve seconds. I think we would have been in the finals. Of course, you never know how you’re gonna do in the finals. I feel like we could have won. We would have been playing the Kansas team there that I believe we could have won.

Dutka: Dr. Crews, any game come to mind? CREWS: Not one particular games. What was the year that the New York boys, Neil Johnson and them were here---- McIntire----’57 or ’67.


Crews: Some of those were real good games. The most memorable player I think I saw was Gene Bogash. He’d go down that court looking like an old boiler humming, two horse turn plow. He’d ---- I don’t know how to describe it but he’d come up there and always be in there. He was a good player, but he had an unorthodox trot. (laughing) You remember him?

Jackson: Yeah, he looked like a farm boy behind a plow or something. He could play the game. He knew what it was.

Crews: He’s in the class Hall of Fame. What was that he joined.

Jackson: He’s in our Hall of Fame.

Brooks: Yeah, he’s in the junior college Hall of Fame out in Hutchinson, right? He was playing that same year I was talking about. Where we got beaten at the semi-finals. He was our horse that year. He was a good one. He had a jump hook which wasn’t that popular at that time. You had some of the old hook shot artists back then, but this jump hook thing that so many of them do now was his best shot.

Dutka: Who came up with the names Seahawks?

Crews: A boy named Moore. Horace Moore. Whose people owned a plantation on the River Road going toward Southport. Anyway, he was from that old Wilmington family. He was I believe the student body president that year. They were working on getting a name.

Dutka: When was that? 1951?

Brooks: Before that.

Crews: Before that, ’48 or ’49.

Dutka: Ok, ok.

Crews: Anyway, he went to Mr. Hurst who was a Professor and said they wanted to name it the something hawk. Well Hurst said, “why don’t you name it the Seahawk.” They accepted it and there you go. So I don’t know who’d you call----Hurst I guess was the one who named it, but the kid worked on it a whole lot. And it stuck.

Dutka: Wayne, can you think of any games or players?

Jackson: I can think of several games for different reasons. One was the dedication game at Trask Coliseum back in November of 77 when Wake had a real good ball club. Wake Forest came down here and was ahead of us by two with a minute to go ---81 to 79. Then got another basket and won by 84 to 79. Then I guess 87 the game that was televised between Wilmington and the Naval Academy when we had Brian Rosman and they had David Robinson and that stinker Robinson threw up about a 15 or 16 footer at the buzzer to beat us by one. Then in the early 90’s, Kevin Eastman was here and they only game to my memory where a UNCW team beat a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Went up to Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh and beat State 96 to 84 and they haven’t wanted to talk to us since. (laughing) Then I guess the CAA Tournament in ’96 when in the championship game lost by three points to Virginia Commonwealth and a chance to go to the NCAA. But then earlier in a tournament, I think we lost in a couple of overtimes to George Mason in the championship games. We’ve been so close, so many times that one of these we’re gonna win it and go to that NCAA tournament. I don’t know, there were so many and when you get into naming players it’s so---there have been so many good ones and such good people. I think as a combination, I probably remember Billy and Bobby Martin, the brothers, as much as anything. For the way they worked together and the court. They had a sixth sense. The knew where the other one was.

Crews: Didn’t we go to the NCAA one year and got beat?

Jackson: We went to the NIT and went on to play Wake Forest at Winston-Salem. That same year we went to the preseason NIT and went up to Rhode Island and gave them one battle. They didn’t want anymore of us when the game was over. They were happy to see us get out of there.

Dutka: OK, any other comments. Any other things you’d like to say about the program here and how you feel. What you have accomplished. How proud you are of what you have accomplished or your feelings.

Brooks: Well, I’ve always hoped that we could have an athletic program to keep up and be a part of this school. You know some schools, the academics and different areas of the Universities outgrow other areas. That’s one of the things I think I’ve always been kind of conscious of to make sure that we keep up with the rest of it. I feel like we have. I think we, of course, the University you don’t have to be around here long to know how much it has grown and how much everyday in the paper you’re reading something that its doing in some area or another. I feel like the athletic program has come along and come a long ways. I think it’s gonna continue to grow because it’s so much more popular now to the students. There was a time when you had to sell this school to some of the students, but not anymore. It sells itself right quick.

Dutka: Dr. Crews?

Crews: One thing I’ll always appreciate is people like Wayne and Dickson with the newspaper supporting us when it wasn’t very popular. To go out and support us to those who thought we were just a little extension of high school. That’s what they thought, but you fellows stayed behind us and helped me and all of us. Dickson was an editor of the newspaper and he really came out for us.

Jackson: I don’t think it was very hard from the broadcast standpoint to be associated with the University. I mean we were a local station and we were here to cover the local community. And tell people what was going on. And here was a college, a junior college, NAIA, division 1, whatever you want to call it that was going all over the country playing teams and had a successful program and was graduating with the players. They were here, we were here, so you cover them, do what is natural, you cover them. It was… I enjoyed doing it I think the people needed to know what was going on, on campus and the university, you know, the various programs. And that’s what we tried to do, and not just Wilmington, you get all over in ________ county and Cumberland County, and down into South Carolina. In all of those places they began to know slowly but surely a little bit more about Wilmington. Now the Nation knows us, the world knows us, we have students from all over the world here. So it’s been a real growing process.

Crews: We used to talk about the fact that one fourth of the freshman class who entered graduated on time. Well I know they ain’t run no statistics on it, but I will be safe to say that the athlete at this school will have a higher rate of graduation than that. Wouldn’t you say so Bill?

Brooks: Yeah, they would have, much higher.

Jackson: What’s interesting to learn and see is how they budget their time. More than once, not every player does it. But more than once we’ve been coming back on a bus trip from Washington D.C. after playing Washington George Mason. You’re not going to get home till 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning. And I have trouble sleeping on the bus, I’d turn around and I’d take a look and there’d be a light on. And there’d be a player there with a book open. Not all of them were doing that. But every trip there’d be one or two doing that.

Crews: An athlete usually had a course of supervision ___________.

Jackson: They also had regulations where they had to pass.

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