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Loss of a Good Friend - Coach

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  • Loss of a Good Friend - Coach

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    In the 1985-1986 school year, a baseball coaching staff was put together that was simply amazing. That staff included Head Coach Tom Pile, Pitching Coach Mike Waldo, Strength Coach Billy Joe Brockhouse and myself as hitting coach. We went on to do some amazing things including winning a couple of state titles, having a perfect 40-0 season in 1998, winning 64 games in a row 1990 to 1991, average right at 33 wins a year for that time etc. It was a well oiled machine. If many of you will remember, strength and conditioning was not the norm in that time. Billy Joe was a beast and so great at motivation. Of course he was one of the biggest humans I have ever seen and his arms were as big as my thighs. Billy Joe Brockhouse passed away today. Of all of us on that staff, this simply does not make sense.

    For many of you who don't know, Billy Joe was as much a myth/legend as he was a person. I've heard people across this state tell stories about Billy Joe. Many are just about unbelievable. I coached with and against Billy Joe for a very long time. My daughter has called him Uncle Billy since she first started talking. Billy Joe took an interest in her and man, a mountain of a man would carry her around as gentle as could be. He would take her out to the basketball goal during half time and hoist her up on one hand and let her make baskets. He would get such a kick out of it. Billy Joe always had time to throw her BP. He always had time for all of the players. Isn't that what true coaches do?

    If many of you don't know, Billy Joe was also the head bouncer at many of the places and events in St. Louis including Busch Stadium. If you ever heard him talk, you'd recognize him instantly after that first meeting. That gravely hoarse voice was a classic. My daughter and I were at Busch Stadium with Billy Joe one time as guest of Joe Cunningham. (I used to get to do a lot of things with/for the Baseball Cardinals) Naturally, Billy was working. These guys had had a few too many and started cussing during the game. Billy Joe gets up, walks over to them and tells them, "Shut up. Cuss around that little girl again and I'll send you to see Jesus." They took off. Billy Joe was loved so much by both the baseball and basketball teams at Edwardsville. Those players are hurting tonight. The thing is, the stuff he taught per weights/strength and stretching were way ahead of their time for high school programs. Yet, the players bought in. I think that is why we were able to sustain those winning streaks and win that many games. Ironically, few understood then what is common knowledge now.

    RIP my friend. You are loved and will be missed!

    Darrell Butler
    Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

    I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

  • #2
    Sorry for your loss...

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    • #3
      A couple of things Billy Joe had them doing included band work and hand grips for pitchers arm/care for all. Do you remember those hand grips that had the individual finger placements? Pitchers strengthen their hands and fingers so that they could use finger pressure to make balls run. The band work was those flat color coded thera-bands. I'm sure some of you remember those. Billy Joe introduced the heavy jump rope. I took all of those ideas when I became a head coach.
      Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

      I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

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      • #4
        Sounds like the loss of a legend who did legendary things. I'm sure you could write many more stories as the memories come back. Those records are insane!
        "Whata crowd, whata crowd! I tell ya, I'm all right now but last week I was in rough shape..."

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        • #5
          Sorry for your loss Coach... Sounds like a pioneer and leader of men! RIP

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          • #6
            Thanks everyone. Billy Joe was a football All American and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, that summer before he reported, he fell off of a hay wagon and had his foot crushed. The Cowboys worked with him and tried to have doctors fix that foot but it was not possible. I think he was meant to be a coach. Baseball players are now sharing stories about Billy Joe on social media. What so many don't know is that Billy Joe would get this or that player whatever they needed when he would find out they didn't have much. He'd show up and throw the equipment at some player and tell them he found it in the his van. LOL
            Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

            I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sounds like Billy Joe was a giant of a man with a tender heart; the kind of person all want to be around, and parents want their sons to grow up to be. Sorry for your loss CB, but I know you're able to find a little solace in counting your blessings that you had the great fortune to know Billy Joe as a friend, fellow coach, and mentor for as long as you did. It's not often that one crosses paths with such a person in their life, and even less often do they get to spend the kind of special time, and have such a close relationship with them as you were able to have with Billy Joe.

              Thoughts and prayers,
              mud -
              In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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