Helen Cox's first, only football coach, Willie Brooks, stepping down _lowres

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Cox running back, Jormaine Coleman (3), weaves through the pack as Chalmette's Tylon Richard (50) leaps after him during the first half of the Chalmette vs. Helen Cox high school football game at Hoss Memtsas Stadium in Harvey on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.

For the first time in school history, someone other than Willie Brooks will be pacing the football sidelines at Helen Cox next fall.

Brooks, who has been the school’s head coach since Cox became a high school in 2004, announced his resignation on Friday.

“I’ve been there since the beginning and seen the highs and lows, the ups and downs. I enjoyed every minute of it,” Brooks said. “My time at Cox has been great. Nobody forced me out or anything. I had been contemplating it for a while and prayed about it and talked to my family about it.”

The Cougars finished 3-7 this season.

Brooks' best season was 2008, when the team was ranked No.4 in Class 4A and reached the second round of the playoffs. The Cougars made the playoffs for five straight seasons from 2006 to 2010.

Brooks says he will remember more than just the field though.

“It’s not about the individuals games for me, but about the people I worked with,” he said. “I’m thankful for the the guys I worked with, the lives that impacted my life and hopefully I impacted theirs.”

Prior to coaching at Cox, Brooks spent nine seasons as defensive coordinator at Karr, helping lead Karr to the championship game in 1995 and 1999. Before that, he spent a season as defensive coordinator at St. Augustine.

“I’m going to be coaching next fall, but I just want to weigh some options,” Brooks said. “I’m honored to have been the first coach in the history of the school, laying the ground work. I’ve worked with some tremendous coaches who have become head coaches and some great administrators and players. I’ve just had a great time.”