Turning 10 into 11

Coach Brandon Younger poses for a portrait in front of the Wellness Center at City College Ocean campus. San Francisco, CA. Apr. 23, 2021. (Photo by Melvin Wong/The Guardsman)

By Angela Greco

a_greco511@yahoo.com

 

City College has welcomed new defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator Brandon Younger to the Ram’s football staff, and his exuberance for the 2021 season may just be the energy everyone needs this year. 

A product of the junior college system, Younger is a Bay Area native with coaching experience from Alameda to San Jose. Excited to be a part of the Ram’s coaching program, Younger spoke on the legacy of City College, dubbing it the “football mecca” of junior colleges. He has hit the ground running in his new role, looking to exceed expectations this upcoming season or as he says “build our program from a 10 to an 11.”

Associate head coach Eduardo Yagues Nuno, who has been a part of the Ram’s coaching team since 1993, is familiar with the bittersweet rotation of players and coaches that accompany the flux of a junior college program. He highlighted the natural progression of the sport when he said, “you need a new influx of new blood every once in a while, to renew and refresh. [To bring] new ideas, new ways of looking at things. I think he’s going to bring all that to the table.”

Although Younger joked that head coach Jim Collins and Younger’s predecessor Larry Grant had recruited him, he emphasized the importance of being recognized. 

“When you work as hard as I feel like I’ve worked and you’ve got people that recognize that and understand how much of a value you can be, and how much of a value they can be to you, that really stood out to me.”

Younger’s love for the game stemmed from his early adolescence into high school and then spanned into college, where he attended Langston University on a scholarship to play. Upon graduating, he found he still had an itch for the game. His first coaching job for Alameda High School brought him back into the Bay Area before he went on to coach at Oak Grove High School in San Jose, then Foothill College in Los Altos. 

Coach Brandon Younger poses for a portrait in front of the Wellness Center at City College Ocean campus. San Francisco, CA. Apr. 23, 2021. (Photo by Melvin Wong/The Guardsman)

While coming off of a pandemic and the lack of a season may present challenges for the Rams, Younger is familiar with uphill battles, historically thriving in those situations. During his time with Foothill College, the team improved with a 6-4 season to 10-0, the first undefeated season in the school’s history. 

Younger noted the significance of such a remarkable year with the Owls. “Going undefeated for the first time in school history, feeling like I had a hand in building up the roster and to get it to where it was, it was pretty difficult walking away from that.”

But his move to join the Rams was done with as much consideration as a play; he wasn’t ready to commit unless the timing was right. 

“I started to really feel like San Francisco City College is a place I could come to and continue to grow my coaching career, and also being able to provide value to the program and really continue the legacy that has already been built there.”

Just one of the many promising qualities that Younger brings to the table as a recruiting coordinator is the widespread network of connections he has made over the years. Credit due to his integrity and the bonds that people have formed with him. 

Nuno acknowledged that Younger “developed a big network because people trust him. His recruiting abilities and his network over the years is probably what made him most attractive.”

While at Alameda High School, Younger had the pleasure of coaching Keelan Doss, who eventually went on to play with the Las Vegas Raiders. Doss proudly shared that Younger believed in him to such an extent that he put together highlight tapes and sent them out to multiple coaches, demonstrating Younger’s value for genuine relationships.

Doss reflected on how Younger contributed to his success when he said, “I think personally he gave me confidence. Every day we’d talk and go over ways to improve my game, and on top of that, if I’m having a bad day or a bad week in my personal life, he was able to relate to you. He was someone you could trust.”

As a coach, Younger is not only a leader but a role model and friend. He wants players to excel in everything they do, academically and athletically. 

Younger is pumped for the season, looking back at what brought him here while also moving forward full speed. “We’re going to embrace all the challenges and I’m super excited to be a part of this program…excited to bring in not only the best athletes in the Bay Area but across the country and have them be a part of the Rams.”