Pirate Pride

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

I was on the search committee four years ago that recommended the hiring of Sean Pender as the 8th Head Football Coach in the history of Brunswick High School dating back to 1968 when the football program began.

One thing that jumped out in the process was that Sean Pender came to the interview with an already developed Brunswick High Pirates Leadership Training Manual that blew away the selection committee, and the passion in which he discussed leadership ultimately landed him the BHS job.

For this story in Sean Pender’s own words is his vision for the BHS program he has built over the past four years:

“The vision of our program is clear and simple. We want to create a championship mindset. We not only want to win State Championships but we want to be champions in life. We will set an expectation of excellence. Our goals will be set high and we will formulate a plan to achieve our desired goals. All members of our team will play vital roles in our mission. We want the members of the football program to graduate with the following skills:


To look people in the eye when talking to them.

To speak about things that matter.

To commit to something and actually stick with it.

To work hard for goals that they set for themselves.

To become a good teammate who works with multiple changing personalities on an ongoing basis and makes all work together.

To receive coaching and then give mentorship once it is learned.

To learn how to win, how to handle a loss, and how to move forward with a positive take away (Learning opportunity, stay strong).

To understand how to deal with pressure with clarity of mind.

To learn the value of delayed gratification.

To appreciate structure and understand its value.


These are real skills that student athletes can take with them when they are in real situations in life.

These qualities will help them become better community members, husbands, and fathers.

Our program will not exclude students from having the opportunity to be a part of the team. All student-athletes will have the opportunity to learn.

It is our belief that good coaches give encouragement. This program will not be built strictly on motivation and hype, but rather it will be built on empowerment.

Motivation, by itself, might get us through a practice or a situation, but empowering will give us the belief that we can be something more.

Empowering our program will get everyone involved to continue the work when it becomes the grind.

We will be the type of coaches that tells all team members that they are the reason we are winners. We will provide encouragement and the opportunity for encouragement.

We will learn to fight for what we love, to belong to something bigger than self, and to work with diversity.

It is our goal to not only build championship caliber student-athletes, but to also build our team to become champions in life. So, our students can grow up to be productive adults excelling in a competitive global environment.”

The character word for this week and pretty much the season has been unity. You see a unity walk every week when the Pirates arrive at the venue they are playing in.

The kids love their coaches, and the coaches love these kids. In the context of 2020 you read, hear and see all sorts of negativity in the world.

If you want to see great things happening with young people go observe the BHS football program where young men are being developed to lead for the future.

As for the results the Brunswick High Pirates take on Lee County in the second round of the State Playoffs.

The blueprint has turned into a City and Co-Region Championship this season. The 8-3 Pirates are a very good football team; something that began with character development.

The Pender Way is the right way for Brunswick High Football. The best is still to come.