Mark Brooks, a 15-year coaching veteran from Hopkinsville High School, has been hired as the new head football coach at Ballard Memorial High School. He also will serve as the alternative school teacher at Ballard Memorial High School.
Brooks said he thought the transition to Ballard County would be easy: He grew up in a small town in mid-Michigan, with a blue-collar work ethic, and he’s familiar with the area. His daughter dated a 2017 BMHS senior. “When we came to his graduation, we were impressed with the respect and tradition for education here.”
Brooks has been the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator at Hopkinsville for the past three seasons, working under Marc Clark, the new coach this year at McCracken County High School. Brooks coached the offense in Todd County for the four years prior to that, and also has coached in Florida. He is a 1992 graduate of Hill McCloy High School in Montrose, Mich., where he played under Michigan High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame coach Tony Annese.
“We are excited to bring Coach Brooks to Ballard County to lead our Bombers out on the field. His experiences will benefit not just our football team, but also our students in the classroom,” said Ballard Superintendent Casey Allen. “From the conversations I’ve had with Coach Brooks, I think he will hit the ground running, and build on the success our Bombers have had over the last several years.”
Brooks described himself as an old-school, hard-nosed football coach. “I want to grow student-athletes and win a bunch of football games,” he said. “If I’m not coaching these kids to win districts, I’m doing them a disservice.” He said he planned to run an option offense, throwing and running out of a spread look, and will play an odd front on defense, concentrating on pressuring the quarterback and tackling for loss.
Last year’s Brooks-coached defensive line at Hopkinsville had the number-one defensive front in their class in the state, with 120 tackles for a loss. The team managed to hold opponents to less than 2 yards per carry.
“I am pleased to welcome Coach Brooks to Ballard Memorial, and know that he will guide our football team to success on and off the field,” said BMHS Principal Leslee Davis.
Brooks received his bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Michigan State University and his master’s degree in technology and education from Ashford University. He and his wife, Sarah, have two children: Mark Brooks Jr., a junior at University of Louisville, and Lexie Brooks, a senior at Todd County Central High School.