M basketball coach Willie Booker, who had just started a new job as athletic director at Palm Beach Community College, has died. He was 65.
M sports publicist Alvin Hollins.
Booker led the Rattlers to their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament title in 1991 and had a 137-25 record from 1984-1993. His teams made the finals of the MEAC tournament four times between 1988 and 1992.
``On the surface, coach Booker was a low-key guy, a calm demeanor on the sideline,'' Hollins said Wednesday. ``When things seemed to be going crazy he always seemed to be at peace and in control.
Booker was a multisport star at Rochelle High School in Lakeland, where he graduated in 1959. A basketball star at the former Gibbs Junior College in St. Petersburg, Booker completed his college career at New Mexico State, where he played from 1961 to 1963.
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