Daviess County head football coach Matt Brannon picked up his 50th career win on Friday after defeating visiting McCracken County. With the victory, Brannon ranks third for all-time wins in school history, just three wins away from second and 13 from the top spot.
The Central City native and Kentucky Wesleyan graduate is enjoying the moment but understands his team and program have their sights on another deep post-season run. The Panthers won the district championship for the eighth time since the program’s inception last year, tallying 11 wins in a season, the most in school history.
“Ask any good coach, and they’ll tell you, you’re only as good as your players,” Brannon said. “Over the last several years, we’ve had several talented players that have played a pivotal role in our success. We also had a lot of early success, which helped me get off on the right foot.”
Brannon’s tenure as the head coach at Daviess County began in 2015 when they finished 7-4. For the next six seasons, Brannon and company continued to pile on the wins, winning two city-county championships, a district championship, and two regional runner-ups.
He said he would be remiss if he didn’t praise his coaching staff, many of which have been with him since he took over the reins.
“I’ve been blessed to have some great coordinators and assistant coaches that understand our system and adapt it to fit our players,” he said. “Consistency has always been the key for us, especially during the offseason. We’ve always emphasized our preparations and let the outcomes take care of themselves.”
Brannon played four seasons on the line at Kentucky Wesleyan and traces his coaching tenure back to 2000 when he helped head coach Matt Day at Muhlenberg South for one season. He began teaching in 2003 and spent one season helping Phillip Olliver resurrect the program at Muhlenberg North.
His first stint on the sidelines at Reid Stadium came in 2004 when head coach David Barnes hired him to coach the offensive and defensive lines. He stayed on staff when Marcus Kimbrell was appointed head coach in 2006 and was named defensive coordinator in 2008, a position he held for five years.
Brannon took a break from the high school ranks in 2013 to return to his alma mater as the offensive line coach under Brent Holsclaw. He returned to Daviess County in 2014 as the defensive coordinator and was crowned head coach just one season later.
“I learned a lot about how to be a head coach from Barnes, Kimbrell, and Holsclaw,” he said. “It was nice working and learning under those guys and seeing the game from different perspectives.”
The Panthers football program has three players currently playing division one football. They’ve sent four during Brannon’s tenure, while countless others have furthered their academic and athletic careers to the next level.
A surreal moment for Brannon last Friday night was sharing in the celebrations with his family. His daughter Maddie is now a freshman on the dance team at DCHS, while his youngest daughter Morgan was participating in the high school cheer clinic. They were both on the sideline while his wife Megan and several family members were watching from the stands.
“Faith, family, and football – it’s a motto we live by,” Brannon said. “We’ve raised our kids on these sidelines, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”