Brent Woodall Lives On

Cal Athletics

Thirteen years after the death of Brent Woodall in the September 11, 2001, attack on the South Tower of the World Trade Center, the memory of this two-sport Golden Bear lives on in his family, foundation and University.

Woodall was a part of two bowl-winning football teams at California in 1990 and ’91 and a member of the last Bears team before 2011 to reach the College World Series. In 1993, he earned his degree in business from the University.

Brent Woodall was a two-sport student-athlete who graduated from Cal in 1993. Courtesy Cal Athletics

Brent Woodall was a two-sport student-athlete who graduated from Cal in 1993. Courtesy Cal Athletics

Brent had arrived in Berkeley as a linebacker but head coach Bruce Snyder moved him to offense, where Woodall lined up at fullback before jelling as a at tight end. A native of La Jolla, he received the team’s Frank Storment Award, awarded to the outstanding student-athlete from Southern California, in 1990, and was a member of the 1991 team ranked No. 8 in the nation after beating Clemson in the Citrus Bowl. He finished his second year with the team’s Andrew L. Smith Scholarship Award for academic excellence.

As a reliever on the Cal baseball team, Woodall was an asset as a closer during his junior and senior seasons, including the Bears’ 1992 run to Omaha. He was drafted that year by the Chicago Cubs and played two seasons for the team’s AAA affiliate.

In 1995, Woodall began his post-athletic professional career as an equities trader in New York City. Five years later he married Tracy, who was an All-Ivy volleyball captain at Columbia University. While in the Big Apple he also played rugby for the New York Athletic Club, whose coach, future U.S. National Team head coach Mike Tolkin, called him “one of the best athletes we ever had.”

Woodall was at his office in Keefe, Bruyette and Woods on the 86th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower when it was attacked on September 11, 2001, killing him and 66 of his coworkers. The Brent Woodall Memorial Scholarship Fund at Cal was set up by his family and friends within two weeks of the event.

Six months after losing her husband, Tracy gave birth to their daughter, Pierce.

In 2003, Woodall’s widow founded the Brent Woodall Foundation for Exceptional Children as an extension of her existing work in the treatment of autism, for which she holds a PhD-ABD and a Master of Arts in Developmental Psychology from The New School University in New York in addition to her BA in psychology from Columbia. The foundation has continued to empower parents of children with autism and developmental disabilities, providing educational training, counseling, assessments and aid. It serves over 300 children each year and Tracy plays an active, day-to-day role.

Pierce, now in 8th Grade, lives in the Dallas area with her mother, who has remarried and been blessed with three more children. Brent and Tracy’s daughter reportedly excels as a student and an athlete, and in a statement issued by the foundation this week, Tracy conveyed that she “enjoys telling Pierce about Brent’s accomplishments as an athlete and business man.”

The statement continued: “They are both very proud of him. We are sure Brent would be very proud of Tracy and Pierce for all they have accomplished in the past 13 years.”

On campus at Cal, the Brent Woodall Memorial Scholarship is currently held by wide receiver Raymond Hudson, a redshirt freshman from Pleasanton, Calif.

“It’s huge. It means the world to me,” said Hudson. “Knowing the scholarship is named after him, it sets a whole new standard for me to live up to and uphold.”

The Cal Athletics community salutes the spirit of Brent Woodall, his family for carrying on his name in their deeds and determination, and everyone who has endured in the years marked by this unforgettable anniversary.

This entry was posted in Families in the News, Family Foundations, Scholarships. Bookmark the permalink.
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