Mike Brasile is no stranger to the Fox Valley Conference’s Fox Division, even if becoming head football coach at Hampshire will be an entirely new experience.
Brasile will officially become a head coach for the first time at Hampshire as Dan Cavanaugh’s replacement April 14 after the School District 300 board gives its final approval. He has spent the last two years as an assistant at Leyden after being an assistant at Woodstock for six seasons.
“It’s a tough league and everybody is competitive,” Brasile said. “Every game is going to be a battle.”
Brasile feels his last stint — handling the offensive line for Leyden coach Tom Cerasani — rounded out his career and made him a viable head coaching candidate.
“The time I had at Leyden was a great experience for me to see how another program is run,” Brasile said. “I’d been at Woodstock since my first year of coaching and really didn’t know how it worked on the other side.”
Cerasani called it an ideal situation at Hampshire, “... for an excellent coach. That’s an outstanding situation for him. They’re getting a very good guy.
“That’s a school you can win a state championship with.”
Taking over at Hampshire after Cavanaugh coached there 25 seasons and made the playoffs nine times, including last year, presents a challenge for the 33-year-old Brasile.
“The big challenge will be carrying on the success Dan had,” Brasile said. “It’s a lot of pressure considering he won state there (1995), had success over the years and just made a playoff run.”
Brasile had been at Woodstock from 2007-2011 and was Steve Beard’s offensive coordinator his last three years before losing his job due to a school district reduction in teaching force. It was an especially difficult situation because Brasile had been a player at the school under Ed Brucker and played there on a state championship team before going on to Augustana and then for his teaching certificate at Colorado.
Although most of Brasile’s experience has been on the offensive side of the ball, he’s not in the fog about the defensive side.
“It’s kind of funny because that was actually where I started out in college,” he said.
“I came to Woodstock and was a defensive coordinator for a year at the freshman level, and then Steve asked me how I would feel about running an offense and he said it would be a great progression for me as a coach. So I have him to thank for getting to know the other side of the ball.”
Now he’ll face his mentor, Beard, in the Fox Division and will be bringing some new ideas to a Hampshire program that has used the Delaware wing-T approach under Cavanaugh.
“Dan ran the offense he knew,” Brasile said. “My background is more in pro sets and single back. I’m not sure about their terminology. I’m looking forward to seeing what the kids know and are capable of.”