East Grand welcomes new Athletic Director
The beginning of the school year is right around the corner, with the first day of classes at East Grand School District (EGSD) scheduled to begin on August 29.
When student athletes begin their seasons this fall they will have a new Athletic Director at the helm for East Grand. Brandon Wilkes will begin his tenure as Athletic Director (AD) for the EGSD this year, replacing former AD Adam Bright who did not seek contract renewal this year with the EGSD.
Wilkes is originally from Grand Rapid Mich. He was born and raised in the mid-western city and was All-State in baseball while attending high school there. After completing high school Wilkes played college baseball in Michigan for one year before heading to Rockford Ill. where he played football for a local junior college. Wilkes went on to play football for William Jewell College in Mo. before entering the professional world.
While Wilkes may have been a mid-western boy in his youth he and his family have been living in Colorado for several years now. His first teaching job was just a short distance north of Granby in Walden. He began his coaching career in Atchison Kan. at the Maur Hill Mount Academy. He has spent the last four years working as a Social Studies and Physical Education teacher and head football coach in Lyons Colo. This will be Wilkes ninth year in the education profession.
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His tenure with the EGSD will be his first foray as athletic director for a school district, though he has worked as an athletic director before. Directly after completing his college studies Wilkes was hired as the AD for the YMCA of the greater Kansas City area where he worked primarily with youth sports.
Since making the transition to public schools Wilkes has worked as both a Social Studies and Physical Education (PE) teacher along with his coaching duties. Once the school year starts for East Grand his service to the district will be divided as a half-time AD and half-time PE and Social Studies teacher. He will also be the head coach for the panther’s varsity football team.
Wilkes comes from a fairly traditional sports background with a strong base in both football and baseball but says he is excited to enter the world of formal competitions with non-traditional sports like skiing. “I am an avid skier,” Wilkes said. “But as far as ski competitions go that is fairly new. I have not supervised those sports before. But I have been skiing since I was five-years-old. I am looking forward to embracing those sports, getting outside and seeing our athletes shine.”
At the moment East Grand’s new AD is highly focused on the start of the fall sports season and the football schedule.
“I think there are a lot of high hopes and expectations for the fall,” Wilkes said. “I believe fall sports sets the tone for the whole year. Having a successful fall season, whether it is soccer, football, volleyball, that leads us off.”
Wilkes said this fall each of the teams playing for East Grand feel like they have a strong shot at winning league championships. “All the teams will be very competitive,” he said.
Local coaches held their annual preseason coaches meeting earlier this week. Training for High school athletes is right around the corner with the first day of practices scheduled for August 15. The first MPHS football game will be held in Granby on August 26. The first volleyball game of the fall season will be played the same week.
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