Brian Lewis went from the BIG House to a smaller house last year. This year he’s in the same house but with much more responsibility and he’s ready to take the Father Gabriel Richard football program back to BIG things this season and beyond.
Lewis was the offensive coordinator at Richard last season before becoming the head coach this season. He spent 2015 as the offensive coordinator at Brighton High School.
His road to head coach of a high school football team includes a stop in Ann Arbor with the University of Michigan football program where he served as an offensive analyst for the Wolverines under Coach Brady Hoke.
“I was more or less a graduate assistant who worked closely with the wide receivers and the offensive coordinator doing things like game planning, drawing things up and a lot of the behind-the-scenes work that nobody sees,” Lewis said.
When he was in school, Lewis spent three years as a student assistant under Coach Rich Rodriguez at U-M.
He has nothing but fond memories of working with both coaches.
“They were both great and both did great things for my career and helped me and they both recognized and appreciated the hard work I was putting in,” Lewis said. “They were both mentors to me. And no matter what anyone says, they are both really good football coaches. They had different coaching styles. But both know what it takes to be successful.”
While it’s a different level and different duties, the jobs at Michigan helped Lewis prepare for what the task he know prepares for and believes he’s ready to undertake.
“There are lessons in every walk of life,” he said. “I picked up things along the way there that have become part of my coaching style. I like to say that I’m demanding, but not demeaning. I’m a coach who tries to build relationships with the players which is something Coach Hoke did. And I try to be organized every drill, every practice and understanding the importance of doing things right.
“Don’t go to step three when you don’t have step one and two down.”
Lewis grew up in Sterling Heights and went to Warren De La Salle, where he played football, basketball and baseball. He was the quarterback on the 2006 team that reached the state finals.
Lewis attended Michigan and started off as a student manager before becoming a student assistant in the football program. He also worked in recruiting and operations for a year before becoming the offensive analyst for three years.
Lewis and the Irish, who went 3-6 a year ago, open the season on Thursday at home against Bridgeport. Kickoff is at 4 p.m.