Bill Brooks has stepped down as the head boys basketball coach at Stephenville High School, but will continue to have his classroom teaching duties.


Brooks told the Empire-Tribune on Thursday that the No. 1 reason he decided to leave coaching behind is, “to be able to spend more time with my family.”


He and his wife, Emily, have two sons, ages 3 and 5. Emily is Erath County’s assistant county attorney.


Brooks’ classroom duties will include teaching U.S. History, he said, but he won’t be involved in coaching.


The recently completed 2019-2020 basketball season was Brooks’ fifth as head coach of the Yellow Jackets. The team made the playoffs in all five of his seasons as head coach, and his overall record was 60-91.


Before being named head coach, Brooks served two seasons as the SHS junior varsity coach and as a varsity assistant under Jonathan Normand. Brooks’ first coaching experience was as a varsity assistant for six years at Burleson High School.


Brooks, a 2002 graduate of Sweeny High School, graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos in 2006 with a major in history and a minor in political science.


Last season the Jackets finished in third place in the five-team District 7-4A alignment with a 4-4 record. SHS closed out the campaign with a 74-43 loss to 8th-ranked Argyle on Feb. 25 in the bi-district round of the playoffs. Their 18-14 record marked the Jackets’ winningest season in seven years.


Brooks’ classroom duties will include teaching U.S. History, he said, but he will not be involved in coaching any sports.


Asked if he thinks he will be returning to coaching in the foreseeable future, Brooks said, “As of now, I don’t. I’m sure I’ll miss parts of it, but my family is the most important thing to me, so I want to make sure I take care of them.”


The first official word of the change came on April 1 in a news release from SISD Athletic Director Jerod Womack.


“I knew I wanted to do it, but it wasn’t an easy conversation to bring up,” Brooks told the newspaper. “But they understood my situation, and what I’ve always wanted to do with my family. They understood me wanting to spend more time with my family.”


The news release quotes Brooks as saying, “I’ve enjoyed my time coaching these young men and look forward to watching them compete next year. I am excited to be able to spend more time with my family and being the best teacher I can be in the classroom.”


Womack’s comment was, “As the athletic director, I am proud of what coach Brooks has accomplished at Stephenville. He is a great man that puts kids first. He exemplifies the philosophy of our athletic department developing young men steeped in integrity and character.


“He has a great family, and I know he will continue to be a great influence on his own children. Bill is a strong example of what we want representing our kids at SHS. Thank you for all you have done.


“We will start the search for our new boys’ basketball coach today. We hope to have someone in place as soon as possible to start leading our young men, and all students at SHS.”


Next season, the Jackets should have six returning varsity players, including three starters. The SHS junior varsity and freshman teams combined for a record of 41-8 last season. Both the 7th and 8th grade teams at Henderson Junior High School won district.


“I will still see them,” Brooks said of the returning players. “I’ll still be around. I’ll go watch their games as much as I can.”