Long-tenured Big Rapids assistant coach Brennan Walsh will begin his first season as varsity head coach this winter, but it will not be in Cardinal blue.
Instead, Walsh will be taking over the reins at rival Reed City just 12 miles up the road. He replaces
Stephen Ernst, who resigned after just one season with the Coyotes.
“I’m excited about the group I have.” Walsh said. “I know coming into this situation we are built to win
ball games next year.”
Walsh was one of eight reported finalists for the position according to Reed City Athletic Director Ryan Hanson.
As a former alumnus, Walsh has coached for Big Rapids for over 19 seasons at the high school level.
The Cardinal grad was also a former all-conference honoree in basketball himself. While he has spent a vast majority of his career in Big Rapids, Walsh did spend a year with Reed City under Jesse Kailing in 2005.
“We had to hire somebody who looked at team building and relationships as our number one goal,”
Hansen said. “Coach Walsh fits that mold and on top of that, he has pure passion for life and
Outside of coaching, Walsh is self-employed in the construction and contracting business. He and his
wife of 18 years have one child and live in the Reed City school district.
“The most important thing in our household is our family,” Walsh said. “That’s what we’re all about and I’m lucky enough to have a wife that has bought into it.”
Walsh has learned a lot during his time under multiple successful head coaches, including current
Cardinal head coach Kent Ingles. When asked about the insight going into this role, he said mentioned consistency and continuity.
“(Ingles) always stressed to utilize the skillset the boys had. I think being able to adjust to what you have is huge.”
Walsh’s staff has not been announced and the school is currently accepting applications for the assistant coaching positions.
This upcoming season will bring a third new head coach onto the Reed City sideline since 2018. Reed
City will be looking to build off a 14-7 season a year ago, finishing third in the CSAA Gold conference
behind Fremont and Big Rapids.
“We’ve got a great group of young men,” Hansen said. “While there were some eyebrows raised when they heard we hired a Big Rapids assistant, once they met and had short meetings with him, that thought was very short lived.”
While the upcoming season schedule has not been released, there will certainly be one game many
people will be anticipating now more than ever. The Reed City-Big Rapids rivalry spans back over
decades and will now have some extra “juice” with Walsh’s move up US-131. When asked about the
inevitable reunion, Walsh says he’s still in it for the coaching and looks forward to seeing his former
“Just because I’m on the other side doesn’t mean that I don’t care about them anymore. I appreciate
the rivalry because it drives the players to work harder. I do imagine there will probably be some
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