‘Shock. Joy. Pride.’ Old Colony’s Mendez reflects on coaching career, MIAA honor

Jan 26, 2024

ROCHESTER — “Initially, I was shocked — I didn’t even really consider it.”

That was Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School Football Coach Brandon Mendez’ first reaction when he was named Massachusetts Football Coach of the Year by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association on Dec. 6.

2023 was a successful year for Mendez and the Old Colony football program. The Cougars finished the season with nine wins, two losses and a Mayflower Athletic Conference small division title.

In a span of five games from Oct. 6 to Nov. 3, the Cougars scored 160 total points and held opponents to just 28 points.

“I’m just so proud of our team and happy that they are being recognized,” said Mendez. “What’s really important is the hard work and dedication of the players — past and present.

Mendez said that his program is built on a mutual respect between the coaching staff and players.

“I want them to be heard, I want them to know that they are trusted,” said Mendez.

On the field, Mendez has instilled a culture at Old Colony that values playing the game with maximum effort, and playing with respect towards teammates, opponents and officials.

Mendez also gave credit to the families of Old Colony football players.

“We have a tremendous gridiron club and we have families who really support the players and coaches,” said Mendez. “We had a playoff game three-and-a-half hours away and our whole sideline was full of parents and families.”

Mendez’ began his coaching career as a coaching volunteer for youth football when he was a student at Bishop Stang High School in Dartmouth.

His first official coaching job was at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River as an assistant in 2010. He then spent five years as assistant coach at Wareham High School before landing at Old Colony.

“Wareham is where I learned my coaching voice and coaching style,” said Mendez. “At Bishop Connolly, I was a young adult and I was just learning the ropes.”

Mendez has patrolled the sidelines at Old Colony for the last nine seasons.

“My favorite part has to be the relationships I’ve built with kids and coaches,” said Mendez. “You spend more time with them during the season than your own family. I’m lucky enough to have a portion of my family here with me.”

Mendez’ son Dylan is currently on the football team at Old Colony. Mendez’ father serves as an assistant coach at Old Colony.

“God bless my poor mom who doesn’t get to see us an awful lot,” joked Mendez.

Competitiveness and helping out the youth are two things that keep Mendez passionate about coaching year after year.

“Youth sports and high school sports were such a big part of my life growing up that I want to help young men and young women have the same opportunities that I had,” said Mendez.

Mendez also serves as the Head Softball Coach at Old Colony.

In 2024, Mendez’ main goal is for everyone involved with both the football and softball programs to have a positive experience.

“At the end of the day, these kids learning and having a healthy outlet each day is really what is important,” said Mendez.

Mendez says specific team goals will be set closer to the start of the softball and football seasons, but he hopes both teams will qualify for the state tournament.

“If you make it to the dance, anything can happen from there,” he said.