By David Fleet
Clio—On Jan. 22, 2016 Brandon High School officials announced that Brad Zube will take over as varsity football coach.
Just short of eight years later, the veteran coach whose leadership has rolled up seven consecutive playoff appearances and continues to build a successful program has reached a new pinnacle.
On Sept. 22, Coach Zube tallied his 52nd win when the Brandon Blackhawks defeated the Clio Mustangs 49-0 on the road, topping a record set by Coach Art Paddy that stood 27 years.
“Winning is the end result of doing everything the right way,” said Zube. “It’s the end game in the process, if you’re treating kids the right way and coaching good football. We believe in our process here at Brandon, this record does not belong to me, it belongs to the community, the kids that have played for us and the families that supported us.”
“I know many players in this community that played for Coach Paddy and he’s a legend in the State of Michigan,” he added. “It’s an honor to be mentioned in the safe breath.”
Art Paddy (202-65-8) coached for Brandon from 1980-86 with 38 wins, then from 1994-96 with 13 wins for a career total of 51 as a Blackhawk, according to the Michigan High School Athletic Association. Paddy’s varsity football career spanned 34 years and included coaching at Cass City (1946-51), West Bloomfield (1957-72) and Orchard Lake St. Mary (1973-77) prior to his stints at Brandon. Coach Paddy was inducted into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1983. Paddy died in 2014 at the age of 96.
Local attorney and Brandon Township supervisor, Jayson Rumble is a 1997 Brandon High School graduate.
“I had the privilege of playing for the late Art Paddy in 96/97 when the wins record was set,” said Rumble. “Coming full circle to now watching coach Zube break his wins record at Brandon is a tremendous accomplishment. Congrats coach Zube and all my fellow Blackhawk football alums, #weareblackhawks.”
In 2022 veteran Coach Zube notched his 50th win at Brandon, 80th career win as a varsity head coach and 100th win as a varsity coach. Zube is in his 14th year as a high school football varsity head coach and 28th season overall following stints at Pontiac High School and Stoney Creek High School. The Blackhawks have one league title in 2018 and a division crown in 2020 and seven consecutive playoff appearances.
Zube recognized his coaching staff that continues to produce winning teams.
“Offensive Coach Kyle Schultz has been with me for every season and every single win,” said Zube. “He’s called all the plays and if there’s an asterisk on that record he should be sharing with me. I have the best and most loyal coaching staff, some have been with me for a long time. Coach Lentz and Adams are here year after year to help make this milestone happen.”
Jesse Johnson, Brandon Athletic director and former Michigan State Football standout congratulated Coach Zube on the achievement.
“Breaking the all-time wins record is a testament to your dedication, leadership, and expertise,” said Johnson. “Your impact on not only the team but also the lives of countless high school student-athletes is immeasurable. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to excellence, for pushing our student-athletes to be their best, and for instilling valuable life lessons along the way. Once again, congratulations Coach Zube, you’ve earned it.”
By David Fleet