For Brandon Wilkes, the opportunity to return to Maur-Hill Mount Academy was never far from his mind after leaving in 2012.
“It was something that was always in the back of my mind,” Wilkes said. “I’ve been in a couple of programs in Colorado and Florida but I always thought Maur-Hill was the place I could most genuinely be myself.”
Wilkes will get that chance this upcoming season as he will be taking over the reins as head coach of the Raven football program.
Wilkes was the MHMA football coach for two years and ended a 35-game losing streak before leaving and letting now former head coach Jermaine Monroe lead the program to the recent success it’s had.
“I feel like I’m going back to finish what I started,” Wilkes said. “I already notice how remarkably different it is with inheriting a team with a 35-game losing streak to now a team that has been a perennial playoff team and a district champ.”
The Ravens won their first playoff game since 1992 this previous season.
Wilkes said he is grateful to takeover a program in such good shape.
“Coach Monroe has done an excellent job and left the program in such good shape that I get to benefit from,” Wilkes said. “My family is familiar with the place and I think we can really thrive.”
Wilkes also said that Monroe recommended Wilkes be given another opportunity at MHMA.
“Coach Monroe really made it happen by putting the seed that he thought that I would be welcomed back and I’d be a great fit to return,” Wilkes said. “He brought it up first so I just prayed about it and talked to my family about it. Clearly now it’s what God wanted is my family to be here.”
Wilkes plans to keep the aggressive style of play the Ravens have utilized in recent years on both sides of the ball.
“One of the things I’ve always been about is scoring points and pushing the tempo,” Wilkes said. “We’re going to play fast on offense and comes after you on defense.”
MHMA will open the season Sept. 6 at McLouth.