Being a coach is a vocation that is not suitable for everyone. It takes an incredibly high level of dedication that goes beyond knowing all the X’s and O’s of a sport. Coaches – especially at the high school level and below – should be teachers, psychologists, task managers, counselors, and wear several other hats that don’t usually appear in the job description.
Our region is blessed with an abundant supply of extraordinary coaches who facilitate the fulfillment of all of these roles. Sadly, we are losing one in Brunswick High football coach Sean Pender.
Since joining the region in 2017, Coach Pender has done a great job of leadership on and off the pitch. His record on the field, while impressive, is second only to the culture he built at Brunswick High.
In the aftermath of Ahmaud Arbery’s shooting, the team not only held important conversations in their own locker room, but also promoted unity throughout the community with a unity march and other actions. “It’s all about the family” wasn’t just a team motto, it was a call to action for the Pirates.
While Coach Pender’s contributions to the region will be missed, we believe the school system did the right thing in replacing him.
Garrett Grady — Brunswick High’s assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, offensive line coach, scouting coordinator and more during his tenure with the Pirates — was officially named Pender’s successor Thursday night at a board workshop Glynn County School.
Some may wonder if hiring a head coach for the first time is the right decision. Just show these folks the outpouring of love for choosing current players, former players, and other members of the high school football community on social media, and it’s obvious Grady was the right choice.
In the five years since he arrived at Brunswick when Pender was hired, Grady has been a consistent force for the program. He helped players get noticed and earn scholarships in his role as recruiting coordinator while coordinating a highly successful offense with one of the best offensive lines in the state.
High school football can sometimes be tainted with negative influences. We hope Brunswick fans give Coach Grady every chance. We are eagerly awaiting what will happen on the pitch, but already know the players are in good hands.
Good luck next season Coach Grady, and thank you Coach Pender for your great work with the program. We wish you good luck for your next destination.