The Mobile County Board of School Commissioners on Monday recognized Vigor alumnus and former employee Robert Brazile, who was inducted this year into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Brazile played linebacker for 10 years for the NFL’s Houston Oilers, earning seven Pro Bowl invitations and making first-team All-Pro five times. After retirement, he returned to Mobile and worked for MCPSS as a paraprofessional and served as a volunteer coach at Vigor.
“The Mobile County Public School system saved me,” Brazile said in accepting the recognition on Monday. “It made me a better person. It got me off that high from being All-Rookie, All-Pro, and got me to be a father. That was a rare thing that I saw was needed here. When I went to the school, in my classroom, I saw my kids sitting out there. I didn’t see students; those were my kids.
“I want to say thank you for allowing me to work for you all over those years.”
In presenting Brazile with the recognition, District 3 Commissioner Dr. Reginald Crenshaw said he not only watched Brazile through his college playing career at Jackson State and his NFL career, but he saw his impact as a paraprofessional at Booker T. Washington Middle School.
“I heard this big gentle giant walk around: ‘OK, let’s go to class,'” said Crenshaw, whose children attended Washington. “The thing about Mr. Brazile: He would walk the kids home through the community. That’s very rare. … We want to say how much we appreciate his contribution to Mobile and especially the City of Prichard.”