Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mike Brennan, A Look Back

Mike Brennan decided this past week that it was time to move on and make a move closer to home. Without a doubt, Brennan has been the most scrutinized coach in Pennsylvania over the last 9 seasons. Mostly due to the online community.

Back in 2000, the MCA Board decided to take a chance on a coach who was 7-15 at his alma mater, Pottsville Nativity BVM. All Brennan did was come in a win two PIAA AA titles and one EC title in his first three seasons going 37-5.

Then in 2003, Mount Carmel lost the D4 final to Line Mountain. Yes, Line Mountain!!!! Then the online community was relentless and stayed that way to the very end.

In the end, Brennan went 84-26 at MCA with a 76% winning percentage.

As a broadcaster covering MCA from until 2005, Brennan had a great working relationship with his assistants and valued their input. His greatest talent as head coach was preparing players for the first year as varsity starters and often in different positions.

Two players that come to mind of the Brennan era are Vince Yasenchak and Trevor Demko. Both started out as quarterbacks. Both have achieved all-state status as defensive players. Yasenchak played in the early years while Demko will be a senior next season.

A few years ago, I asked Southern head coach Jim Roth about playing Mount Carmel who at the time played the Red Tornadoes in Week 3. To paraphrase Roth, the Southern head coach said no one prepares people better for varsity football better than Mike Brennan. Going into the games against Mount Carmel, we know what they have based on last season. It is hard to account for the junior varsity guys who make great strides in the off season. No one is better at that than Mike Brennan and his staff.

It is hard to say who will replace Brennan at MCA. The Red Tornadoes have alumni all over the landscape in high school and college head coaching positions. You can even watch Brett Veach on the Philadelphia Eagles sidelines next to Andy Reid. The board and five votes will eventual pick the new head coach. Asking a simple question, would you want your son to play for this person?

Mount Carmel has been in good hands for 9 seasons.

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