When the Hebron went 0-10 in the Hawks’ first season fielding a varsity football team in 2000, then-head coach Brian Brazil told his players to be patient, that it takes time to build a program from the ground up.
Five years later in 2005, Hebron reached the summit of Texas high school football. The Hawks shut out Corpus Christi Calallen 28-0 to win the Class 4A Division II state title for its first state title in the program’s abbreviated history.
It was one of many highlights during a successful 23-year run at Hebron before he retired from coaching after the 2021 season and accepted a job as athletic director at Prestonwood Christian Academy.
But Brazil’s tenure at Hebron won’t soon be forgotten. In fact, his legacy will be visible at the stadium that he roamed the sidelines for more than two decades. At the Lewisville ISD school board meeting on April 17, a motion was passed to rename Hawk Stadium to Brian Brazil Stadium.
"I'm very humbled, very blown away by it," Brazil said. "You never get into this profession thinking that anything like that would happen. Fortunately, I was able to be in one place for a long time for 23 years. We had a lot of success when I was there.
“Like the other day, we had two players drafted into the NFL. We've had some really good talent. We've had great coaches that have worked alongside me and great support from the parents and everyone else in the community. Everything fell into place for it to be a really good place."
Brazil’s coaching career in LISD spanned 30 years. He was hired by Lewisville High in 1992, where he was the defensive line coach before adding the title of defensive coordinator four years later in 1996. The Farmers won state titles in 1993 and 1996.
Brazil has always considered then-Farmers head coach Ronnie Gage to be his mentor. When the job came open at Hebron in 1999, Gage was one of the first people that Brazil went to ask about the position. Brazil also sought advice about how to start the Hawks’ program from then-Marcus head coach Que Brittain and former The Colony head coach Tommy Briggs.
“I learned so much from (Gage) not only about coaching football but pouring into the kids' lives,” Brazil said. “He put his word into his faith. His Lord and Savior was first and then his family and then you have football. We worked hard as coaches. He did a great job of teaching us how to do things the right way. I tried to emulate that when I got the job at Hebron.”
Hebron fielded a junior varsity team in 1999 before playing its first varsity game in 2000.
The Hawks went through the struggles that many first-year programs face, finishing 0-10.
"You start out 0-10 in your first year coaching varsity and you ever wonder if you would ever win a game,” Brazil said. “I knew that we had some good kids but it was just going to take a while.”
Year No. 5 (2004) is when Hebron began to make strides as a program. The Hawks went 10-2 and won the District 9-4A Div. II title with a perfect 9-0 record.
“Year 5 was a big year,” Brazil said. “We had a lot of injuries right before the playoffs started. We were probably a little overconfident going into the playoffs and we got our tails kicked by Woodrow Wilson.
“We kind of built on that in the offseason. In 2005, we had some tough, hard wins. We got off in a good streak in the playoffs and shut out Corpus Christi Calallen in the state title game. We had a lot of kids that played both ways. They didn't care what they had to do—offense, defense or special teams. They played hard and competed hard."
Brazil compiled a 152-97 record with 16 playoff appearances, five district championships and a Class 4A Division II state championship in 2005. The Hawks posted an unbeaten record of 16-0 during their title year.
Brazil was recognized as one of five inductees in the 2022 class for the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor.
Brazil was honored during a ceremony held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, inducted alongside Dennis Alexander, Todd Dodge, Any Griffin and Tom Kimbrough.
Brazil said it was a tough decision to retire from coaching following the 2021 season, noting the chance to compete for a district title the following season with the amount of talent that was on the Hawks’ roster in 2022. But he is forever grateful for Hebron for the opportunity to start the football program.
“The people at Hebron have been nothing but great to me,” he said. “The same thing with the people at Prestonwood. I’m 58 and felt it was time for me to move on. But Hebron is really my home.”
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