Last week, Miami Jackson Senior High hired Lakatriona Brunson, a physical education
I was also brought on board as defensive coordinator and associate head coach. I have always wanted to run my own high-school program, but this is the next best thing.
Because of Miami-Dade County Public Schools' archaic rule, head football coaches must be certified teachers. And I wasn't about to try head-coaching at a private school like Gulliver or St. Thomas Aquinas. I don't believe in their philosophy of recruiting black student-athletes solely for football purposes.
Some time ago, I began talking with Jackson administrators about assisting Brunson, who goes by the name Bernice and works for Tremont Towing, the company depicted on South Beach Tow. She's a no-nonsense coach and educator.
Bernice played for a professional women's football team called the Miami Fury a decade ago and is a former basketball and track star at Miami Northwestern Senior High. Once we met face-to-face, I knew we were on the same page.
At the end of the day, the head coach acts like the CEO of a major corporation, laying out a vision for the assistants, who are like the company vice presidents. Bernice will let me concentrate on making Jackson's defense impenetrable and ensuring all my players get a chance at a college education.
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While my defensive teams at Miami Northwestern and Miami Norland have been among the top five in the state, a lot of people don't know that 95 percent of my players get into college. Miami Jackson is located just five blocks from the Liberty City Optimist Club, the youth program I cofounded 25 years ago. Now I get a chance to help many more of those young boys.
Not all of them will play for big-name programs like Florida State University or the University of Miami. But they may be able to secure scholarships to Division I schools like Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University or Grambling State.
I'll help them get there. I'll also help Bernice become the first female head coach to win a state championship.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.