Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Tim Brewster
Former Illini tight end Tim Brewster celebrates his 53rd birthday Sunday. A native of Phillipsburg, N.J., he originally enrolled at Pasadena City College. He walked on to Mike White’s 1981 team, joining a recruiting class that included quarterback Jack Trudeau. After redshirting in ’81, Brewster set a record for receptions by a tight end with 46 catches for 550 yards. His senior season in ’83 was even more impressive, tying David Williams for the team lead with 59 grabs.
Despite only playing two seasons, Brewster finished his collegiate career in third place on Illinois’ career receptions list (105 for 1,178 yards). He tried out for the New York Giants in 1984 and the Philadelphia Eagles in ’85, but he didn’t make the final cut either time. Brewster began his coaching career as a grad assistant in 1986 at Purdue under Leon Burtnett, then was hired as head coach at Lafayette (Ind.) Central Catholic High School. In two seasons as CCHS, the team went 15-8. Brewster was an unpaid volunteer assistant for Mack Brown’s North Carolina Tar Heels in 1989 and impressed Brown so much that he became a full-time assistant at North Carolina for the next eight years. Brewster followed Brown to Texas following the 1997 season and was the Longhorns’ tight ends coach through 2001. He decided to give the NFL a try and was hired by the San Diego Chargers in 2002. Following three seasons in San Diego, he moved to the Denver Broncos in 2005 and ’06. On Jan. 17, 2007, Brewster was named as head coach at the University of Minnesota. In his 31/2 seasons with the Gophers, Brewster had one winning record and was terminated midway through the 2010 campaign. In 2012 he served as an assistant coach at Mississippi State and is currently in his first season as Florida State’s tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. Brewster and his wife, Cathleen, have three sons.
Sunday: Derek Harper, basketball (52)
Monday: Bill Cubit, football coach (60)
Tuesday: Scott Weaver, football (40)
Wednesday: Corey Lewis, football (24)
Thursday: Tom Tanner, swimming (56)
Friday: Dave Wohlwend, baseball (41)
Saturday: Jim Klein, football (42)
By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore
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