06/06/13 — Brooks excited about taking over CBA football job

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Brooks excited about taking over CBA football job

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 6, 2013 1:47 PM

PIKEVILLE -- A goal board in his room lists the objectives Steve Brooks hopes to achieve during his coaching career.

He's quickly -- and unexpectedly -- moved up that ladder.

Now he faces his biggest challenge.

Brooks was named the new head varsity football coach at Charles B. Aycock on Tuesday afternoon, exactly one week after he met players projected to suit up for the Golden Falcons next fall. His eyes twinkled, a smile broadened his face and he gushed with excitement about his first-ever head coaching job.

"If they can match my excitement and just the few times I've seen them, I think we're going to be OK," Brooks said. "The wins and losses, they matter, but we're going to build a foundation of champions -- not only on the field, but in the classroom and within the community. Do your best is what we're going to preach daily."

Brooks coached 16 Division I athletes, including NFL standout Mario Williams, during his time at Richlands and Ayden-Grifton. While at Ayden-Grifton, he helped guide the Chargers to the 2012 Carolina 1-A Conference championship and a runner-up finish in the N.C. High School Athletic Association state playoffs.

He humbly surmised an older, established coach wouldn't have too much difficulty getting a team to buy into his coaching philosophy. Aycock is coming off a 6-6 season that included a second-round appearance in the 3-A small-school playoffs.

"I can tell them about everything that we have done at Richlands and Ayden-Grifton, but until they see that translate into victories of their own or even small battles of their own that they win, you're still not going to fully grasp them until you get them over the hump," Brooks said.

Brooks has expressed his expectations to the players.

He gave them a summer workout calendar. The Golden Falcons will participate in a summer passing league at South Johnston and attend a passing tournament at the University of North Carolina in late July. He hopes to see the team achieve a level of success that will undoubtedly carry over into preseason practice, which begins Aug. 1.

Brooks will conduct individual coaching sessions and evaluate the team's progress. He wants every player and coach to take ownership of the team, and work as one unit.

"The kids have gotten after it, they want to be successful ... motivating themselves to get the job done," Brooks said. "The coaches can ask them to go to the weight room and ask them to do the little things, but if they're not willing to be successful, it doesn't matter.

"They're excited and the staff guys, I can already tell they are going to be a tremendous asset."

An avid fan of Steve Spurrier, Brooks plans to abandon the "three yards and a cloud of dust" mentality, and inject some life into the offense this season. Aycock will work from the shotgun wing-T and give opposing defenses multiple looks.

The scheme is a hybrid of elements that include speed, power and passing from different collegiate programs that have had success over the past few years.

Defensively, the Golden Falcons will work from the 4-4 base alignment.

Brooks didn't delve any deeper into his playbook, but knows Aycock will undoubtedly get tested each Friday night this fall. The Golden Falcons have been realigned into a conference that includes defending 4-A state champion New Bern, J.H. Rose, D.H. Conley and South Central.

His team will also battle county foes Eastern Wayne and Southern Wayne.

"If it's not the toughest conference in the state, it's in the top two," Brooks said. "Every Friday night when you put your helmet on, you better expect a game and you're going to get a game. Every night in our conference will be an absolute test of how hard are you willing to work, a question of what are you willing to sacrifice (and) will you make that extra play to be a champion?"