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Remembering Ole Miss Coach Billy Brewer

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Coach Brewer in Manning Center. Photo courtesy of Saturday Down South

Former Ole Miss coach Billy Brewer, age 83, died Saturday evening in Memphis, Tennessee at a senior living facility.

Brewer was admitted to Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford back in February after a stroke. He was then moved to the ICU for close observations following a heart attack.

After being released from the hospital he was moved to a rehab center in Oxford. From there he was moved to a senior living facility in Memphis that had different levels of care.

Former Ole Miss chancellor Robert Khayat and teammate of Brewer shared with HottyToddy.com about his life-long friendship.

“I knew him since I was 18 and I am 80 now. We played football together and went to school together,” Khayat said. “We played football for the Washington Redskins together. Through the years we have remained friends. He and his wife Kay, sons and my family are all friends. We were good friends and talked a lot through the years during the good times and not so good times, when he left Ole Miss.

Then he came back and got involved and we have stayed friends until now. He has been really loved by Ole Miss people and Oxford people. He has been active in our church, Oxford University United Methodist Church. I know a lot of people have supported him through the illness that he has gone through. He is going to be fondly remembered, appreciated and missed.”

Brewer played quarterback at Ole Miss under coach Johnny Vaught from 1957 – 1960. He went on to play two seasons of professional football, a year with the Washington Redskins (1961) and a year in the Canadian Football League with the Vancouver (B.C.) Lions in (1962).

He began his head coaching college career in 1974 at Southeastern Louisiana after spending two seasons there as an assistant. In 1980, he went to coach at Louisiana Tech for three seasons.

“As a coach and player, Billy Brewer shared a love for Ole Miss that was unparalleled,” said Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke. “He was greatly admired by his players and his teammates and will forever be engrained in the history of Rebel Football. Our prayers go out to the Brewer family and all of Rebel Nation during this time.”

He got the call to come coach the Ole Miss Rebels in 1983 to replace Steve Solan who went 20-34-1 in five seasons at the helm. In his first season, he guided the Rebels to an Independence Bowl berth against Air Force. It marked the first regular season winning mark since the 1977 season.

Brewer was at the helm of the Rebels for ten seasons and guided the team to five postseason bowls. The Rebels won three of those games.

Follow HottyToddy.com for further details as they become available.

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