AMELIA – The new football coach at Amelia High School has a couple of daunting tasks ahead as the new season approaches.
In his 35th year of coaching, David Brausch must field a competitive team that returns just two seniors. Experience at various levels should help that challenge.
In addition, he has been battling multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. Fortunately, he’s finished with chemotherapy and recent tests have checked out fine. His blood is examined every two months and the 53-year-old man said he feels up to 90 percent of his old self.
Previously a head coach at Lebanon, Clermont Northeastern and Perkins in Sandusky, Brausch was diagnosed during his second year at Mount St. Joseph as an assistant.
“It knocked me down for about three years,” Brausch said. “It’s in remission right now. It’s the same thing Tom Brokaw (former NBC anchor) has. There’s no cure for it. Sometimes it comes back in two or three years; sometimes it comes back in 10 years.”
Six times a year, Brausch goes to the doctor hoping to not get a call back. The cancer has been tough on his bones as he has had seven compression fractures. Chemotherapy has taken feeling out of his feet and hands and the bone issues have caused him to become two inches shorter than his original height.
Along with guidance he can offer from several coaching stops, Brausch also hopes to throw in a few life lessons from his own personal setback.
“You just never know when that curve-ball’s going to get you,” Brausch said. “It definitely makes you prioritize things.”
Officially retired from teaching, Brausch will still substitute in the West Clermont district. In addition to his head coaching stops, he was previously an assistant at Campbell County and Holmes in Kentucky, as well as Madeira, Cincinnati Academy of Physical Education and Withrow.
The CAPE Crusaders won the 1992 Division IV state title and as a head coach, Brausch led Lebanon to the 1998 Division II championship.
From his four years at “The Mount”, Brausch would like to prepare current and future players to reach the college level.
“Being on the other side of the recruiting process is an advantage,” Brausch said. “The Division I players don’t need a high school coach to help them. It’s the Division III kids that need the help to know how to go about it and get their name out there.”
Assisting Brausch will be a pair of former MSJ Lions in his son, David Brausch Jr., and Christian Compton. Brausch Jr. graduated from Batavia and played linebacker, fullback and offensive line at Mount St. Joseph.
In the allowable coaching time, Brausch’s Barons have met Monday, Wednesday and Friday doing weights and football drills in the early evaluation process.
“They only have two kids who played last year as juniors,” Brausch said. “I guess it’s from the first class when the pay to play was like $500. They lost a lot of kids.”
Without many veterans, there’s a lot of competition between the estimated 70 players participating. Brausch is looking at it as a two-year project with the new West Clermont High School opening in 2017.
“That’s going to be a real good situation for somebody,” Brausch said. “I looked at the numbers. You would be the 11th-largest school in the state of Ohio if you combined right now.”