Mike Brodowicz, the new head football coach at Charlotte Catholic, said the Cougars will still run the football the way they always have, but he said the schools infamous Wing-T offense is going to get a new wrinkle or two.
Were going to modify it a little, said Brodowicz, a 50-year-old Elon graduate who has worked at the school since 2002. But were still going to run the football. Thats what we do here. We will still run the ball and be physical. Ive seen the success weve had. I wont be dumb and reinvent the wheel here.
Brodowicz, who played quarterback in college, was named Friday as the replacement for legendary coach Jim Oddo. Oddo, who has been the schools head coach since 1973, coached more than 500 games, finishing with a record of 358-145-2. He finished last season as the states active wins leader. Under Oddo, the Cougars won three N.C. High School Athletic Association championships in 1977, 2004 and 2005. Charlotte Catholic made the N.C. 4A semifinals in 2013.
This is Brodowiczs first high school head coaching job. He was previously a JV head coach at Providence Day, and an assistant at Elon and at Eastern Alamance High. Catholic athletics director Kevin Christmas said he was convinced he had found the right guy to replace Oddo in Brodowicz.
Hes been a part of the system, Christmas said. He knows the tradition and he has some innovative ideas.
Oddo, too, likes the choice.
I think hell be pretty good, Oddo said. Any one of those three coaches wouldve been great. Theyre all talented, knowledgable and theyre smarter than I am. I think Mike is well prepared. Hes got a good background and hes a worker.
Oddo said it will be weird to not coach football this fall for the first time since the 1960s.
Ive got mixed emotions, he said, but its time. I let my gut steer me and I cant do the things I used to do and I cant see the things I used to see. Im realistic enough to know its time to step aside. Anybody Charlotte Catholic gets will do well. Theres a good spirit there that comes from a lot of places student body, parents, alumni that have been very supportive. (Holy Trinity) middle school is a great asset. We get to see kids well have before they get to us and know who plays what positions. We have a camp and gets kids in second, third, fourth grades involved. They wear T-shirts to games on Friday nights and they know the players. Its a really nice situation to stay competitive. Im not saying they win nine games every year, but theyll be competitive.
Brodowicz said thats the plan remaining competitive.
He and his wife, Lorie, have three children, all in Catholic school. Hell coach his oldest son, who will be a 10th-grader next fall.
Ive thought about this and thought about it, Brodowicz said. Youll never replace coach Oddo. Hes one of the best coaches not only in North Carolina but in the country. Hes in the top 1 or 2 in the last 50 years in North Carolina. Luckily, Ive had the opportunity to work with him for (11) years and gain a lot of experience and learned how he runs things. No one will replace him and I wont try. Our motto is Protect The Tradition, and the kids see what hes built and we take pride that next year well going to try to continue to build on that.
Brodowicz said five or six of the 10 assistant coaches are scheduled to return. A few may retire or will make a decision later. One thing the staff will have to prepare for, he said, is a little more wide-open offense. Catholic attempted 71 passes in 2013. That figures to change.
We have to play to our strengths, which is running, he said, but if we have to throw the ball to win the game, I would like to be able to throw it. In the past, with our style, when our offense gets behind, Catholic gets behind the 8-ball real quick. Now, hopefully well be able to give them a different wrinkle, instead of running 32 trap and Cross Buck to go down the field. If we have to throw it 30 times to win, I want to be able to throw it 30 times to win the game.
Wertz: 704-612-9716; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr
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