Kendrick Brown has been the head football coach of Little Elm since 2014.
Brown began his career with stints at Hillcrest and Lancaster after earning his degree from Dallas Baptist.
That experience allowed Brown to help build a dominant unit at DeSoto, where the Eagles reached the Class 5A state semifinals in 2013 after posting a 14-1 mark the previous season.
Brown took Little Elm from 0-10 in 2015 to a playoff team one season later.
With a total of 19 returning starters from last year’s team that went 2-8 in its first season as a Class 6A school, Brown is optimistic that his Lobos can rely on their experience and enjoy a huge turnaround this season.
Brown was gracious enough to sit down with Star Local Media to chat about the potential for his Lobos, meeting the school’s new athletic director and an appreciation for Kobe Bryant.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the UIL to implement restrictions for every high school football team in Texas – wearing of masks, testing and social distancing. On May 18, Little Elm ISD announced that it has relaxed most of its COVID-19 protocols. How happy were you when you heard that news?
Brown: It’s just normalcy. Normalcy is the key word that I want to use. It’s nice to be able to come to work and not have to be so consumed with worrying about safety from a medical aspect.
It’s been fun to see the kids’ faces and the coaches’ faces and not worrying about any COVID stuff. To get back to the way that we’re used to doing things, it’s fun.
Your team had an outstanding 7-on-7 season. The Lobos finished with a record of 19-4 and qualified for the state tournament this year for the first time since 2018. What does that do as far as building confidence for the fall 11-on-11 season?
Brown: You hope it does. It was 7-on-7. We want some 11-on-11 success. The kids have to have success in order to get there. But we keep it in perspective, though any success that you get at this point is good.
Little Elm is entering its second season in District 5-6A after making the jump from Class 5A. Allen, Denton Guyer and Prosper all advanced to at least the third round of the playoffs in 2020. How do you think 5-6A will play out this year?
Brown: Hands down, it’s one of the toughest districts in the state of Texas regardless of classification. From top to bottom for the 2021 school year, all of the teams are pretty solid.
It tells you that being healthy and staying in the middle of the road and not getting too high or too low during the season will help a team like mine.”
Little Elm finished last year with a record of 2-8. How much do you think the guys will play this season with a chip on their shoulders in order to avoid that outcome?
Brown: That’s a good question. We’ve got a lot of guys returning. Have the mindset of 2-8 and you’ll get the same results. Or you can have the mindset that we can put last year in the past and say that this is this year’s team.
That’s the DNA of this team. 2-8 was last year. We don’t feel like that we’ve got a 2-8 team. You have to go out and attack it like we always have. Our goal is to be 1-0 after each week.
Terrance Brooks, a four-star recruit who has committed to playing for Ohio State, has transferred from John Paul II to Little Elm. Talk about what the senior defensive back brings to the Lobos.
Brown:I’m excited to see what he brings to this team and excited to see him out there on Friday nights. I think it’s a great addition. We’re fortunate enough to get a player like that.
Have you had a chance to meet new Little Elm athletic director Michael Young?
Brown: I’ve known him stemming back from our days of being in the same district. He’s an awesome guy. I’m really excited about the opportunity to work with him.
He comes in and you get to joke around with him a little bit. He gives me some good football knowledge and some good expertise. He’s good to have.
If you weren’t coaching football, what would you be doing?
Brown: I don’t know. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything outside of football at this time of my career. If I had to go back and do something else, I might be a doctor, a physician, maybe a psychologist. A psychiatrist goes hand-in-hand with my profession.
Who is your favorite professional athlete of all time?
Brown: The late, great Kobe Bryant is my favorite athlete. He has that competitive drive, that commitment to the game. I’ve been a big fan of his for a long time. Him and Jerry Rice are my two favorite athletes.