Harry "Tuffy" Brooks earned his nickname in elementary school by, according to Harry, "being a mean little guy". He started playing football with the boys of Steele High School while still in elementary school and continued playing football and running track at Steele until graduating in 1937. His most glorious moment as a high school athlete occurred his senior year when he made a 65-yard run against archrival Stivers High School, getting the only touchdown in a 7-0 victory.

Tuffy went on to play football at Indiana University but, after two seasons, left IU to serve as a combat engineer in Europe. Malaria took its toll on Tuffy, leaving him unable to continue his football career when he returned. Shortly after his return from the war he brought his wife, Laura, home to Dayton where he finished his degree in Physical Education at the University of Dayton.

Tuffy's career in sporting goods began when he was a grade-schooler working for Jim Flynn's Sporting Goods. After returning to Dayton, Tuffy continued to work for Jim Flynn until 1951 when he opened his own store with his friend Preston Chappell.

Tuffy died March 19, 2004 at the age of 86. He is survived by his wife, four daughters, and (at last count) thirteen grandchildren.

Tuffy Brooks Sporting Goods

In 1951, Harry T. "Tuffy" Brooks and Preston "Press" Chappell opened Brooks & Chappell Sporting Goods at 42 North Jefferson Street in Downtown Dayton. Operating as a retail store open to the public, their primary focus soon became schools and recreational accounts. In 1959, Mr. Chappell sold his part of the company to Tuffy to become a road salesman for the Spanjian Company. After that, Brooks & Chappell became known as Tuffy Brooks Sporting Goods.

By 1965, space had become a problem and Tuffy decided to build a new 10,000 square foot building at 101 South Keowee Street. While the building has been expanded and remodeled several times since, the business is still located at 101 South Keowee Street today. 

In 1979, Tuffy sold his company to long time associate David L. Pfeiffer. Over the next ten years, Mr. Pfeiffer led the company in a retail expansion of three suburban stores. The 1990's were a hard time for the new stores as "big box" retail sports stores saturated the market. Soon, Pfeiffer and his staff had to make the difficult decision of consolidating back to one store and stop selling athletic shoes altogether. Along with the consolidation, they added a few new team sales associates and began focusing on schools, recreational programs, and corporate accounts.

In 1997, Tuffy Brooks Sporting Goods joined the national buying group, Team Athletic Goods (TAG-1). Four years later, after 46 years in the sporting goods business, Dave Pfeiffer sold the company to Jim Dineen and John Napier.

Where the Teams Buy

Over the past 60 years, "Where the Teams Buy" has become the motto of Tuffy Brooks Sporting Goods. Our reputation in the Dayton area is the result of years of providing consistently excellent service to our customers. We know that we cannot rest upon our past and assume success for our future. We will continue to do our best to provide our customers the highest quality products at a fair, competitive price. We promise to stand behind these products and services and treat our customers with respect. Every day we remind ourselves that you, our customers, are our first priority. We thank you and look forward to working with you in the future.