New Head Football Coach at St. Joseph’s High School, Brandon Bennett, is a former NFL player who plans to make a big difference in kid’s lives. The Taylors, SC native has played high school, college, and professional football with record-breaking impacts. Besides his long list of awards and accomplishments, what matters to him most is family and coaching kids to be their best. This is his first Head Coach position for a football team, but he’s no stranger to coaching. With twelve years running an athletic consulting business, twenty plus years of amateur and pro football experience, Bennett will undoubtedly elevate St. Joseph’s football team to elites.
Bennett played football, basketball, and track at Riverside High School. When he graduated, he was the number one safety in the country. He was also the second best running back for the football team. He went to USC where he earned a business degree in retail administration. In college, he was a kick off returner and running back. There was a major difference between all levels of football he reminisces, “In high school it was nice because you were just having fun. College was more serious with the top players in the country. When you get to the pros you’re just happy because you made it and you can take care of your family. Each level had a different importance and different fun level to me.” During his ten years of NFL experience, he played for the Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Carolina Panthers. He started on the kick off specialist team and played running back. After he left the NFL, he dabbled in football camps and started his own business called 36Elite (which is still in business). In 2007, he started speed and agility training for kids at Christ Church School. Then, he went to work for Southside Christian School. On June 1st, he officially started at St. Joseph’s, “I love it. It’s given me the opportunity to do the things I feel are important. I want to hang out with the kids, know what’s going on in their personal lives, and make sure their grades are on point.”
Family is at the center of his success and focus. He and his wife Shannon, who is a teacher at Bethel Elementary, have been married for seventeen years. They have two sons, Brandon (17) and Braydon (15) who are equally athletic. Both play football and Braydon has even won the club nationals for track and field. When they aren’t busy with work and school, the family travels to different states for competitions. Bennett describes what it’s like to coach his own sons, “It’s awesome to be able to be with my boys every day and coach them – to share my knowledge of the game and how they can be better as young men. Not just athletes.” He emphasizes their purpose, “Football isn’t who we are…it’s what we do.”
Bennett is passionate about growing the program at St. Joseph’s. Right now, there isn’t as much interest as he would like for students to play sports, “I want to get more kids to play sports. Football helps with teaching strength, confidence, thinking skills, how to work with one another, how to win and lose gracefully.” He’d also like St. Joseph’s to become a one-stop-shop for athletics and academics – a place where kids can get the best education, get into great colleges, and grow in true-life skills through sports.
Currently, the St. Joseph Knights have won three games and lost three. Despite a few losses, Bennett continuously strives to push his team to greatness. He truly cares about the success of his students. That’s why his football strategy aims to be more than just a football coach; he strives to be a life coach as well. Like a true mentor he says, “I win by what they do in life. We have a great opportunity to change their lives. We need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make them successful.” The only way for kids to grow and achieve greatness is to witness someone who embodies those qualities. Leadership is in his blood and he will surely breed excellence. Bennett won’t need a Hail Mary to become successful as Head Coach. Win or lose, he’s already triumphed!♦