Ravens longtime defensive line coach Clarence Brooks passed away Saturday morning at a hospital in Weston, Fla. at age 65, after a battle with esophageal cancer, the team announced. Affectionately called “CB”, he was the Ravens’ longest-tenured assistant, joining the team in 2005, and retained by head coach John Harbaugh when he took over for Brian Billick in 2008. Before joining the Ravens, Brooks was the Dolphins defensive line coach from 2000 through 2004.
Brooks was highly-respected among his peers, regarded as one of the NFL’s best defensive line coaches and extremely close to many Ravens’ players, past and present. He had a direct way of communicating with players that could be sometimes humorous, sometimes gruff, but always honest. Players Brooks coached got the message that he cared about them, both on and off the field.
Brooks announced he had cancer last season, and did not travel to several road games while undergoing treatment. Joe Cullen took over as defensive line coach this season as Brooks was promoted to senior defensive assistant and continued to undergo treatment.
Brooks will be deeply missed by the Ravens’ organization, and leaves behind his wife, Justa, two children, and two grandchildren.
“We knew he loved his players,” Justa Brooks said in a statement released by the Ravens on Saturday. “Through all of this, we’ve found out how much his players loved him. We thank everyone for the loving support.”