C.O. Brocato stood 5-foot-11 and weighed only 185 pounds during his playing days in the 1950s. Yet, he made all-conference as a linebacker at Baylor and was drafted into the NFL. Gil Brandt said the one thing that made Brocato a standout football player — his toughness — best defined him in life.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone tougher,” Brandt, the former Dallas Cowboys player personnel director, said.
Brocato, a longtime Arlington resident and Tennessee Titans scout, battled bladder cancer to the end, dying Tuesday morning. He was 85.
“It is a sad day for our organization, as we have lost a true icon and legend in C.O. Brocato,” Titans executive vice president and general manager Ruston Webster said. “He left his imprint on everyone he met with his spirit, love of life, and devotion to both the Tennessee Titans organization and the game of football.”
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Brocato spent 40 years with the organization as a scout, originally joining the franchise in 1975 when it called Houston home, and he still held the title of scouting consultant for the Titans at the time of his death. He was with the Oilers/Titans for 599 games, working for two owners, seven general managers and 10 head coaches and drafting four players who went on to earn Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement.
He was an extremely loyal man, and there are a lot of scouts and coaches in our game that owe a great deal of gratitude to C.O. for the way he helped them and shaped their careers. Without a doubt, C.O. is one of the best scouts our game has ever known, and he’ll be deeply missed.
St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher
In April, the Titans named the draft room at Saint Thomas Sports Park the “C.O. Brocato Draft Room.”
Brocato stands among a handful of contributor candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I’m deeply saddened to learn of the passing of C.O. Brocato, a friend to me and to so many in our business. I knew C.O. for more than 20 years and always loved an opportunity to talk football with him,” said St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher, Oilers/Titans coach from 1994-2010. “He was an extremely loyal man, and there are a lot of scouts and coaches in our game that owe a great deal of gratitude to C.O. for the way he helped them and shaped their careers. Without a doubt, C.O. is one of the best scouts our game has ever known, and he’ll be deeply missed.”
Brocato, who grew up in Shreveport, La., moved to Arlington in 1971 after UT Arlington hired him as defensive coordinator. He joined the Houston Oilers as a scout in 1974, and only a brief stint with the United States Scouting Combine interrupted his time with the organization.
An all-conference linebacker and kicker at Baylor, Brocato became a 27th-round pick of the Chicago Cardinals in 1953. But after only a week in training camp, Brocato left to start a career in coaching and scouting.
Rosary and visitation will take place Sept. 8 from 6-8 p.m. at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church, 1200 S. Davis Dr., Arlington. A mass will follow on the morning of Sept. 9 at the same church, with graveside services at St. Joseph Cemetery in Shreveport, La., at 11 a.m. Sept. 10.