Tuesday, March 28, 2017
This was something of a shock to anybody who knows "T-Brack" as he retired as a player only one year ago, and had joined the finance industry near his hometown of Pasadena, CA.
As it turns out, that idea was shortlived.
"It was something I was interested in and talking to Cham through the off-season, picking his brain, I took that pass to be a coach," Brackenridge told 620 CKRM's SportsCage on Monday. "It'll be great to be around the game again and share my knowledge. Me being a player, I wanted to pass that on. I did a lot of work with my training company, trained and coached players, it lit a fire and I wanted to continue it."
Less than a month ago the Argos announced the legendary Montreal Alouettes combo of Jim Popp and Marc Trestman as Toronto's new GM and Head Coach. A few weeks after that, Trestman rolled out his staff with the name of Corey Chamblin as DC. The pair had never worked together before.
"It was crazy because once everything happened in Toronto, Corey Chamblin called me and asked if I was still interested in coaching," Brackenridge reflected on the SportsCage. "My first response was 'Ya I'll try' and he laughed and said, 'Try huh?' But I said 'No, let's do this' and I guess what I put out in the universe came back to me. There was no interviewing or anything. Once he got the job, he called me."
Brackenridge was a great soldier for Chamblin throughout the coach's entire tenure with the Roughriders (2012-2015) so it wasn't a surprise he wanted to lean on him in his next football stop.
"I used to go in early and stay late and watch film with the coaches," Brack explained. "He always told me I'd make a good coach but I always told him I didn't want to coach. But I guess, never say never. He said I took over meeting rooms, knew his scheme, and he wanted to help me out. I was down with that."
After stints with three teams in the NFL, Brackenridge came to the Roughriders in 2011 where he spent five seasons and won a Grey Cup in 2013. He was a very popular player, and his wife Christine was a regular at the games.
"My wife is very excited about this," Brackenridge continued. "My family, all the love and support was there. My wife always wanted me to coach but I told her I didn't want to, but now that this opportunity has come about, she's very supportive."
Brackenridge spoke to us from Raleigh, NC - the home of new Argos coach Marc Trestman - where the Toronto coaching staff was having meetings to prepare for the 2017 season. Brackenridge said it was great getting to know Trestman from the inside.
"When you talk about an awesome guy, that's Marc. He's very humble, very caring, very loving. His mindset is to "build". He's just awesome. He brings a lot of positive energy into the room. He's very knowledgeable and that reflects on what we'll do as a group. It's been awesome to meet him, get to know him, and pick his brain a bit."
Good luck to T-Brack in this venture! I couldn't be happier for him.