Head football coach resigns citing housing woes
GRANBY — Two years after taking the reins of Middle Park High School’s football team, as well as the district’s Athletic Department, Michigan native Brandon Wilkes has left Grand County to take on his new role as offensive coordinator and teacher in the town of Titusville, Fla.
Wilkes and his family, including former Middle Park High School teacher Jessica Wilkes and the couple’s two sons, made the move to Florida roughly two weeks ago after decided to leave Colorado’s High County.
For Wilkes the decision to move south was bittersweet.
“We loved living there,” Wilkes said. “We made more close relationships in Grand County than anywhere else I have been. But my wife and I got to the point where we felt too many other areas of our life were suffering and we needed to look into improving those areas.”
Wilkes’s comment was an explicit reference to housing availability and costs in Grand County, which he said prompted the family’s decision to move to Florida.
“We couldn’t find an adequate place to live in Grand County,” Wilkes said. “I have a family of four. We have done two years living in a condo. It got to the point where we couldn’t justify living in Grand County because of the challenges in housing.”
Wilkes noted the situation is a common one many teachers experience in Grand County. While Wilkes was sad to leave Grand County he said he is very happy with his new locale. Titusville is located on the Atlantic Coast just east of Orlando and a short drive away from Cocoa Beach.
“I drive along the ocean to work everyday,” Wilkes said. “I think the whole family is welcoming the new opportunity.”
Both Brandon and Jessica Wilkes are teaching for the Titusville school system. He is serving as offensive coordinator for the local football team, which competes in the 5A classification category. While Wilkes is excited about the opportunity to coach at a larger school in a state known for competitive high school football looks back on his time in Middle Park fondly.
“I am very proud of how far the team came in the two years I was there,” he said. “I really do think they will have a special year this year. Grand County has some of the best people in the world and we will always be connected there.”
East Grand School District has already selected replacements for the positions of Head Football Coach and District Athletic Director. Longtime East Grand teacher and coach Mike Reigan will be taking the helm for the Athletic Department as the new AD. Texas native Ryan Ledford, who comes to Middle Park High School after a recent teaching and coaching stint in Rifle, will now lead the Panther football squad.
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