Homer E. (Billy) Brewer, 83, died on Saturday, May 12, 2018, in Memphis, Tennessee. Born in Columbus, Mississippi on October 8, 1934, Brewer lived a full and spiritual life and was a graduate of S.D. Lee High School and the University of Mississippi. A head football coach on the high school and collegiate level for 34 years, Brewer began his coaching career in Columbus at Lee High School, where he coached for 10 seasons without a losing record. He won several Big Eight Conference championships and finished his career as the winningest coach in school history. Billy was then hired as defensive coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana University. After two years, he was elevated to Head Coach of the Lions. During his seven seasons, his teams competed for titles in the difficult Gulf South Conference. In 1980, he became the Head Coach at Louisiana Tech University. He rebuilt the Louisiana Tech program and in his third season the Bulldogs won the Southland Conference Championship. In 1983, Billy accepted his dream job as Head Football Coach of the Ole Miss Rebels. During his 11-year career as Rebel coach, his teams competed in five bowl games. His tenure ended as the 2nd winningest coach in school history. During his time at the University, he began several traditions, including the team walk through The Grove, now known as the Walk of Champions. Prior to his first season at Ole Miss, he also brought back the powder blue helmets for the team to wear. Throughout his coaching career, Billy enjoyed coaching football and developing relationships with his players. He also enjoyed the challenges of motivating young men. His success was built on three foundations -- attitude, work habits and discipline. These characteristics would serve players well, both on and off the field. In addition to his parents, Billy was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Kay Gunter Brewer, and brothers Robert (Bobby) Brewer and Richard (Red) Brewer. He is survived by his sons Brett (Susan) of Memphis, Tennessee and Gunter (Rhonda) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and grandchildren Keaton (Kate), Blaine (Tara), Lauren, Bailey and Brogan. A memorial service is scheduled at the Pavilion at Ole Miss on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Palmer Home, P.O. Box 746, Columbus, Mississippi 39703, Oxford-University United Methodist Church, 424 S. 10th Street, Oxford, MS 38655, The Humane Society of your choice or The M-Club Scholarship fund at the University of Mississippi, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655.
Appeared in The Commercial Dispatch on May 15, 2018
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