Former Sequoyah basketball standout Josh Brannon is returning to the Chop House bench as an assistant coach.
|Published: 3:39 PM, 07/31/2013
||Last updated: 3:39 PM, 07/31/2013
Author: Brandon Keys
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
In sports, wins and losses define the character of players and coaches. Losing can break a spirit or drive a person to be better.
In Josh Brannon's case, the latter has brought him to a place where he's very excited to be вЂ” back in the Chop House as the new Sequoyah High School junior varsity boys coach and assistant to Daniel Curtis вЂ” and he couldnвЂ™t be happier.
"At this point in my career it's good to be here," Brannon said. "I mean who doesn't want to come home. I love it here, and I'm just thankful for the chance to help with this program."
Brannon was a varsity basketball player at Sequoyah High School from 2002-2006 and has coached every year since graduation. He believes coaching at Vonore Middle School for three seasons before moving up to high school level will really help him this season.
"We went 17-8 one season, and we even beat Madisonville for the first time in a while. I was pretty proud of our guys. I get to coach some of them again, and it helps. Same with the Madisonville guys," Brannon said. "They know what I'm going to be about. Defense is what I'm going to bring to the table."
A coach's philosophy stems from his experiences as both a player and a coach. Brannon feels defense wins championships.
"I learned a lot about defensive principles, and fundamentals from (former Sequoyah coach) Perry Hull. He really showed a dedication to working hard and playing great defense, and I believe thatвЂ™s what teams need to win championships," Brannon said.
After his youth coaching at Vonore, Brannon went on to be the top assistant for coach Mitch Mitchell at Central High School. That decision led the former Chief to his biggest win on the sidelines.
Brannon was serving as interim head coach at the time of a huge matchup with a top-five team.
"We brought down No. 5 Karns, 65-64. It was amazing to be a part of that. Basketball up there is tough, and I was just so proud of our guys," Brannon said.
Former Tennessee star Jon Higgins took over the program at Central, and Brannon had a chance to once again learn from some of the best.
"I've been blessed to be around coaches that really know the game. Higgins has played with some great players, and I just was lucky to be there then. He played for (former UT coach) Jerry Green, and he played overseas, so I just took a lot in," he said.
Leaving Central wasn't an easy choice for Brannon, but he says he made the right decision.
"I just want to make sure players don't go through what I did as a player. We had so much talent back at Sequoyah, but we could never get where we wanted to be," he said. "As a player I hated that, but now as a coach I hope I can help young men strive to get the best out of them on the court."
Sequoyah Lady Chiefs' head coach Eddie Gambrell has already seen the kind of coach Brannon is.
"He's a great guy. He will help us out some this season. He just loves basketball, and we're happy to have him around," said Gambrell.
For right now, Brannon is just thrilled to be back in the Chop House.
"The JV went 19-1 this summer. I'm excited about the future of the Sequoyah program, and I'm honored to help contribute to their success," he said. "The pieces are here, at a JV level, to have success, and that's only going to help us down the line."
Brannon continued to praise Sequoyah's growth as a basketball school.
"Coaching AAA basketball is fun, and a lot of people consider that a destination job, but the fact that I get to coach some former players, and the fact Sequoyah has evolved into a really good basketball school made it an even easier choice to head home," he said.
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