Ken Brinkman named new varsity football head coach


James Keller

Ken Brinkman discusses a play with senior quarterback Qadir Ismail, junior linebacker Darrius Lloyd, and junior left tackle Ben Blessing against Archbishop Curley on Nov. 4. Brinkman is the new head coach of the varsity football team.

Next season, the football team will be led by new head coach Ken Brinkman. Brinkman is replacing Keith Rawlings, who was the coach for the past four seasons.

Brinkman previously coached under Rawlings as the offensive and defensive line coach. On Oct. 24, a school-wide email was sent to announce that Brinkman would be taking the head coach position following the final game of this season.

Senior lineman Cody Copinger played for Brinkman for the past three seasons and believes he’s right for the job. “He’s a phenomenal coach, and his track record shows that,” Copinger said.

He’s a phenomenal coach, and his track record shows that.

— Senior lineman Cody Copinger

Before coaching at JC, Brinkman was an assistant coach at Edgewood High School and the head coach at North Harford High School. In 12 seasons at North Harford, Brinkman led the Hawks to an 89-48 record and four Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Championships.

For Athletic Director Steve Teter, Brinkman’s success at North Harford was key when deciding to give him the job. “The biggest thing for [Brinkman] was a proven track record in Harford County as a head coach when he was at North Harford,” Teter said.

While Brinkman will be the head coach, he knows the importance of having hard-working assistant coaches. “A lot of credit goes to our assistant coaches that I’ve had over the years who have worked tirelessly to mold the young men that have been underneath our leadership,” he said.

Key assistant coaches from this year’s time will be returning next season. Bill Lewis will be back as the offensive coordinator. Lewis has been coaching at JC for 10 years, and Brinkman is looking forward to working with him. “We have a lot of the same philosophies on the expectations and the goals of our program as we move forward,” Brinkman said.

With Lewis on the sidelines, Brinkman expects to produce a championship-contending team. “Our expectation is that after week eight, nine, 10 that we’re in the running to play in the championship every year,” he said.

In the upcoming years, Brinkman’s goal for the program is to “grow in numbers and hit the ground recruiting [and] add as many high quality student athletes into our program that want to be at John Carroll,” he said.

Copinger believes that Brinkman will attract talented football players to JC. “He’ll do a great job recruiting. The program will be more intense, aggressive, and stronger,” Copinger said.

Junior linebacker Darrius Lloyd describes Brinkman an intense coach. “He brings an intense environment to practice everyday,” Lloyd said.

While Brinkman acknowledges he’s an intense coach, he credits it to a passion for the game. “I have the passion and intensity, but if it transforms into what [the players] see and they develop that same passion and energy that we have 30 leaders on the field … We can have a lot of success,” he said.

Brinkman holds all of his players accountable for their actions on and off the field. “I believe in being fair and holding everybody accountable … whether it’s the superstar on the team, or the person who maybe isn’t the superstar, that everyone is held under the same accountability,” he said

This winter and spring, Brinkman will have the team in the weight room to prepare for next season. “We are going to begin our off-season weight training program the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. We will run that two days a week, and when lacrosse season begins, we will go to three days a week,” Brinkman said.

Chris Roberts is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and