1993 Hall of Honor
Top rebounder, dependable scorer, superb ball handler, confident playmaker--John Brooks filled all these roles as a major contributor to the great success of the Beloit basketball teams that won 57 of 68 games during 1952-55. His value to the Buccaneers as a forward is perhaps best exemplified by the fact that, in his senior season, the team dropped three of its first four games when he was out because of a back injury. Upon his return, Beloit won a single season school-record 21 consecutive games before bowing in the quarterfinals of the 32-team NAIA tournament in Kansas City. Brooks was subsequently named to the 1955 Helms Foundation NAIA All-America team. The 1954-55 Bucs also set a Beloit record by averaging 85.85 points a contest, good for third best nationally, with Brooks scoring 218 markers to finish his career with 503. He also was a field-event standout in track, winning two letters and going undefeated in the high jump as a junior. During the Army service in Germany after college, he played on the U.S. basketball team that won the European military championship. Brooks, who has been an avid golfer over the past three decades, is vice president and controller of two life insurance companies in a group wholly owned by Deere & Company of Moline, Illinois.
Bill Mack was an outstanding football lineman whose success as a player carried over into coaching. A three year, two-way starter at linebacker and guard on Beloit teams that posted an overall 16-7 record, including a 7-1 mark in 1955, he was defensive captain and most valuable lineman as a senior. Mack also excelled in golf, playing on squads winning 26 of 36 matches from 1956 through 1958, when the team received an NCAA tourney invitation. After two seasons of semi-pro action with the Racine Raiders and selection as all-conference linebacker and team co-captain in ’59, he was drafted by the Denver Broncos of the American Football League, but acceptance of his first teaching-coaching contract and marriage prompted him to decline a tryout. In 26 years as a high school football coach, including two decades in Crystal Lake, Illinois, Mack guided teams to 154 wins and 5 ties while losing only 71 games. In 1987, he became the youngest active coach to be elected to the Illinois Football Coaches Hall of Fame; a year later, he installed the wing-T offense as a part-time assistant at Beloit College to help Ed DeGeorge revitalize the Buccaneers’ fortunes. Having also coached basketball, track, wrestling and hockey at the prep level, Mack chaired the cooperative education department at Crystal Lake Central High School before being named head football coach at North Central College last month.