Brodnax was struck by a van while
riding his bicycle in
Funeral services will be held
Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Twin City Funeral Home in
An all-around athlete at
At LSU, Brodnax was a three-year starter for coach Paul Dietzel's football teams. Playing alongside Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon, Brodnax was named Most Valuable Player of the Tigers¹ first national championship team in 1958.
He went on to play professionally for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos of the National Football League and also played in the Canadian Football League.
In recent years, Brodnax did carpentry work with his older brother, Jimmy Brodnax of Berwick.
"Considering that he was in a bad car accident in 1968, he was in good shape. He still rode his bicycle and did carpentry work," said Red's son, John W. Brodnax III.
He added that he and his father had
recently discussed making a trip to
"We were making plans to go up there one weekend. Dad hadn't been there in years, and I have cousins there that I have never laid eyes on."
Brodnax's wife, Linda Dinger Brodnax, died in October.
Comments from former LSU coach Paul Dietzel:
"I am really sad about this (Brodnax's passing). Red has had some difficult times the last few years. His wife actually died just over a month ago. I feel really bad for his family."
"I recruited Red out of
"Red had to be the toughest football player I ever coached. He knocked down more people with his nose than most people did with their whole body. He was a completely unselfish and never complained. He was a fine young man and a real joy to coach."
Former LSU teammate Lynn LeBlanc
"There isn't really all that much I can say about "Red" Brodnax other than just how tough he was. I don't think there was ever a tougher football player than him. I really don't know if Billy Cannon or Johnny Robinson would have been as good as they were without him blocking for them. He was a real hard nosed football player. I don't know if he ever got hurt."
‘"Red' got hurt in a car accident early on and it took its toll on him throughout his life. We actually went down and visited him back a few months ago to try and give him so help after the hurricane and he seemed to be doing really good. But then I heard his wife died and now this happened."
- Matt Deville contributed to this report
- Obituary -
John Willis Brodnax, Jr.
Mr. John Willis "Red" Brodnax, Jr.
died on Friday, Jan. 6, 2006 after a tragic accident. A memorial service for Mr.
Brodnax, 69, of Berwick, La., formerly of Bastrop, will be held on Tuesday, Jan.
10, 2006 at 3 p.m. in the chapel of Twin City Funeral Home in Morgan City, La.
with Bro. Charlie Driskill officiating. Burial will follow in the
The 1950's saw the rise of star
fullback J.W. "Red" Brodnax, a 1954 graduate of
Brodnax was MVP on the LSU National Championship Team of 1958. He was also selected as Outstanding SEC Blocker by the Birmingham Quarterback Club. In 1957, he returned a kickoff 99 yards, which still stands as an LSU football record. For outstanding achievement in academics, athletics, sportsmanship, and citizenship, he was awarded the Nelson Award in 1958. Brodnax was a three-year letterman and went on to play professional football for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, and in the Canadian Football League.
Mr. Brodnax was preceded in death by his wife, Linda Dinger Brodnax; son, John Maurice Brodnax; and parents, Hattie Harmon Sprayberry and John Willis Brodnax, Sr.
He is survived by his sons, John David Brodnax of West Monroe, John Willis Brodnax III of Berwick, La, James Terrell Brodnax of Patterson, La., and Billy Joe Brodnax of Denver; daughters, Debra Ann Lolley of Ruston, Vicki Denice Currie of West Monroe, Robin Gale Brodnax of Dallas, and Tammi Lynn Bourque of Beloit, Kan.; brother, James A. ³Jimmy² Brodnax of Berwick, La.; and sixteen grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can
be made in honor of J.W. "Red" Brodnax, Jr. to the Louisiana High School
Athletic Association Scholar Program,