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Brandon brings comfort along with enthusiasm

Walking down the halls of Doyt Perry stadium, visitors see memorabilia from the past and present of Falcon football. Walking into Coach Gregg Brandon’s office, they can see Bowling Green’s football future.

Coach Brandon’s office is both calm and comfortable, a relaxing place for a very busy man. “It’s an open-door policy here,” said Jean Panning, Bowling Green’s football secretary. “Coach Brandon is willing and happy to help out any student.

Brandon was dressed in a Falcon football t-shirt and black mesh shorts. He looks ready for the physical battle he and his players call “practice.”

Brandon attended Northern Colorado University, where he played wide receiver and defensive back. He knew playing football wasn’t in his future after college, but had to remain in the sports field. Post-graduation, Brandon became a school teacher in the history department of a very small school in Colorado where he was the head football coach. Later he transferred to Chicago, Ill., where he was the receivers coach for the Northwestern Wildcats. “I love coaching schools in the Midwest,” said Brandon. “The Midwest is the heart of football.”

If spectators have ever seen Coach Brandon on the field, they see him congratulate players after a great play, and constantly encouraging his team to get the job done.

“My coaching is a work in progress,” said Brandon. “I try to be consistent and fair and use lots of enthusiasm.”

“Coach wants to be on all sides of the field,” said Teddy Piepkow, junior linebacker for the Falcons. “May it be with special teams, defense or offense he’s a real interactive coach.”

Piepkow said that Brandon practices for perfection, but at the same time shows that perfection is attainable. “He has a winning attitude that isn’t as overbearing as other division one coaches.”

From the comfortable clothing to the genuine smile, Coach Brandon’s title is just his job.

“He’s very approachable,” said Manny Banks, director of promotions, for Bowling Green Athletics. “You can’t say that about many division-one football coaches.”

Brandon promotes Bowling Green State University by means of athletics. With six nationally televised games in the 2003-2004 season and a Motor City Bowl championship, Brandon has brought more coverage to Falcon football than any other Bowling Green coach. “Athletics is the front porch to your university,” Brandon said. “You give a first-class team, you bring a first-class image to your university.”

Brandon is a coach who really enjoys his job and the environment he works in. Besides the many trophies, pictures and plaques that decorate his office, there is a relationship he shares with everyone he works with.

“He thoroughly loves what he does,” said Panning. “The day he got the job he went down the hall into everyone’s office giving out high fives.”

Brandon’s job entails more than just football.

“He’s like the captain of a ship,” said Panning. “He’s responsible for his players, his reputation and his program. But within the process he does take the opinions of others full-heartedly.”

In the past Bowling Green football has been on the back burner of division-one football. The program his been looked over and then tossed aside for another big name school; since Coach Brandon, things have changed and Falcon football has received coverage and attention that most MAC schools dream of.

“Without Coach Brandon, BG wouldn’t be ranked and ESPN would have never come to our university,” said Banks. “Previous coaches started the wins but Brandon has taken the team to another level.”

That success has been noticed on a national level. He recently took an interview with Nevada-Las Vegas, which he turned down, and is considered to be one of the best young coaches in the nation. His successes at BG are almost unrivaled. He has compiled a 19-6 record and is in the process of leading Bowling Green to its second bowl appearance in his tenure. No matter how long he stays in BG, his mark will be left on the program for the better.

“When all is said and done, Coach Brandon will leave Bowling Green with a legacy that some will never forget,” said Banks. “He will leave some big shoes to fill.”

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