After nine years as the head baseball coach at Bryan Station, Eddie Brooks was ready for a change. He didn’t have to look far.
Brooks was named the first baseball coach at Frederick Douglass High School, which is set to open in the fall, on Wednesday. He is the second Bryan Station coach to join the Douglass athletic department, joining girls’ basketball coach Shawn Ransom.
The former All-Southeastern Conference selection and fifth-round pick in the MLB draft observed an opportunity to take the reins of a newborn and mold it into something great.
“It’s a different animal,” Brooks said. “It’s a new challenge in life and everything that we do, it’ll be the first time it’s ever done there. And whether I’m there one year or 50 years, I was the first and that group that’s gonne play next year is the first, so it’s gonna be something that’s life-changing for people.”
Brooks could have an upper hand over several of his fellow coaches at the new school in at least one regard — player-coach continuity. He knows of at least four underclassmen who were on his team at Bryan Station this season that will be enrolled at Frederick Douglass next school year.
“There’s several of them going over there cause they’re in the Carter G. (Academy) program and a couple over kids in that district are going there, so whether they liked it or not or they’re running away from me, they get stuck with me for at least another year or two years,” Brook said. “I’m looking forward to it cause all the kids that I had here are great, great young men and the future’s bright for ’em wherever direction they end up at.”
Brooks was 144-158 in his nine years at Bryan Station, which won district titles in 2012 and 2013and finished as district runners-up from 2009-2011. He was a three-time All-State baseball player at Lafayette, where he led the team in hitting during its run to the 1989 state title.
He won’t be leaving behind a bare cupboard, he noted. The Defenders will graduate only one senior from a squad that was a couple runs shy of upsetting highly-ranked Scott County in the 42nd District tournament earlier this week.
“They’ll find a great replacement,” Brooks said. “ ... I was here so long that I don’t want anything but the best for this program. A part of me’s now here.”