SIOUX CITY, IOWA (KCAU) – Meet Brandon Holmes, head football coach at Sioux City West.
“Ever since I got here it’s just felt like home,” Holmes said. “I felt like I belonged here.”
After serving as the team’s defensive coordinator for seven years, Brandon is in his second season at the helm of the Wolverine team, a program that coming into this year hadn’t won a game since 2018. But along with Brandon, came a culture change for the Wolverines.
“Accountability is one thing that we make sure we talk through,” Holmes said. “Every day about 2:30 in the afternoon, I go get the entire list of attendance and I make sure my boys are at every single class every single day. If that don’t happen, there’s consequences from that.”
And the results have followed. Off the field, the team holds a 3.2 cumulative GPA, compared to a 2.07 from 2019 when he arrived. But that’s not the only number that’s important to Holmes.
“If everyone brings their one percent to practice, at the end of the day we’ll have 100 percent,” senior running back Drew Benson said.
Brandon knew when he took the job that he’d be starting from ground zero, which can be a daunting task. But rather than attack it as a whole, he’s coaching everyone to share the work by bringing their one percent.
“Not only on the field, but off the field as well,” Holmes said. “If everyone brings their one percent as a team, together we can bring 100 percent as a team. Those one percent turns into two, two turns into four, four turns into eight, and so on and so on.”
That mentality came to fruition on Sept. 3 when the Wolverines finally snapped their 25-game losing streak in a win over South Sioux City in Holmes’ 11th game as head coach.
“We all think back to that day,” Benson said. “It was something none of us had experienced, it was a new experience for all of us. No one on the varsity team had won a football game, a varsity football game.”
“With that South Sioux game, I’ve never seen as many people in the stands,” Holmes said. “We had people in the stands, we had people sitting in chairs along the fence. It was an atmosphere that we’re trying to bring back to West High.”
And with that first hurdle cleared, Holmes’ next challenge is to change expectations.
“We expect it,” Holmes said. “We expect to have those good games now, we expect to be together as a team.”
“Coach B has been saying a lot these past couple weeks, he says ‘Our goal isn’t to win one game of the season, it isn’t to win two games of the season,’ so we just gotta keep pushing,” Benson said.
And at the end of the day, Brandon hopes to extend his impact on football, into his player’s lives.
“If these boys need something, I wanna be able to be that person that they’d call,” Holmes said, “I just wanna be here for the boys to show them how to be good young men and continuing that path. My legacy is their legacy, and as good as they wanna be, as hard as they wanna work I’m here for them no matter what.”