It’s a good day to be a local sports fan. Connecticut’s own “Baseball patriarch” is making us proud on a national level!
First off, the UConn women win 100-straight, a feat never before achieved in basketball. Now, Connecticut can get on the national stage in an equally popular sport.
Haddam Now is reporting that Haddam Killingworth High School’s baseball coach, Mark Brookes, is one of eight coaches up to win national coach of the year. The National High School Athletic Coaches Association bases the award on longevity of service, winning percentage, and championships won.
Coach Brookes founded the HKHS Cougars baseball team in 1976 and, not once, has he ever had a losing record. In 2014, he became one of three coaches to score over 600 team wins. Come on, that’s an insane amount of victories. Who wants to bet he has his eye set on 700 wins? Because it’s totally possible.
Last year, Coach Brookes made it to the Class M semi-finals with a team that lacked the “star power” it enjoyed in the past. But, due to his insistence on building trust within the team, the players were able to rally to a mind blowing 16-4 season.
“The team chemistry was among the best I’ve ever had,” Brookes told Haddam Now.
His students, along with the entirety of HKHS, wholeheartedly agree Brookes has earned his dues from the NHSACA. He was nominated back in 2004 and 2010. This year may just be his year.
And, honestly, I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the award. Coach Brookes lives and breathes baseball. His passion for the sport is infectious. Students, teachers, and parents have nothing but respect for him. Students revere him as a profound mentor who always sees the best in them.
Also, he’s just an overall really nice guy. Here’s hoping Coach Brookes brings another winner’s trophy into Connecticut’s showcase.