He’s gone fishing.
That was stated in a flyer in an announcement of a retirement reception honoring Scott Brunette at Hillwood High May 27. And that’s what’s next for him.
Brunette, who will be 59 in July, announced his retirement as Metro Schools director of athletics and physical education coordinator last month.
He was one of the true friends of Metro athletics and developed into one of Nashville’s foremost high school sports figures over the years.
“I’ve been in the Nashville public school system for 37 years,” Brunette said. “I’ve heard many times from people before me say they knew when it was time (to retire). Well, for me, it was time. I just knew, I had that gut feeling.”
Brunette has accomplished about all there is to do in his administrative capacity. The last 18½ years he has served in his current job and is leaving the stage at the height of his profession. In April, he was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame.
He is involved with several Nashville community organizations, including the NFL Play it Smart program with the Titans. He is a board member of the Nashville Sports Council, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame and the Tennessee High School Athletic Administrators Association, National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association.
Also leaving is his secretary of 15 years, Mary Hill, of whom Brunette says, “was the best employee in the Metro School system, I couldn’t have done my job without her.”
Active in Nashville sports community
Brunette has been in sports nearly all his life. As a senior at Father Ryan High in 1969, he won the state wrestling title the 155-pound division as the Irish won the team championship.
“That was the first time a team outside of Chattanooga had won a state wrestling title,” Brunette pointed out.
He also was named all-district in football.
After he graduated from Memphis State in 1973, Brunette was hired by Metro Nashville public schools. His first assignment was as a teacher at Napier Elementary. He began his coaching career as an assistant with McGavock High wrestling, as well as a teacher. He became head wrestling coach and freshman football coach at Whites Creek High (1978-80), returned to McGavock where he was head wrestling coach and assistant football coach (1980-89), then to Stratford (1989-92) where he was assistant principal and athletic principal. In 1992, he took over his job as Metro AD.
Two coaching highlights, one school year
Asked what highlights he had over his coaching tenure, Brunette said, “I can remember two and they both happened in the same school year at McGavock.”
“We were playing McMinn County in the Nurseryman’s Bowl in McMinnville in the final game of the ’88 season when I was defensive co-ordinator (under Wes Elrod),” he said. “We were getting beat pretty badly. At the half, we told them to just go out, play hard and finish the up the season on a positive note even if we lost. But amazingly, we rallied and won the game. That was really special.
“We had a great wrestler in Ronnie Stevenson, who won his second straight state championship (at 189) in the ’89 tournament after winning (at 171) the year before. He was named best wrestler of the tournament, winding up on a great note.”
During his tenure, Brunette oversaw more than 700 middle and high school coaches. He also placed increased emphasis on safety, sportsmanship and integrity among coaches and players, which has resulted in better behavior and safer play.
“Young coaches today don’t realize how much of an impact he’s had on Metro schools athletics,” long-time Nashville football coach James “Bubba” Spears, who recently was named head coach at Hillwood, said. “We will certainly miss him.”
Brunette really is going fishing.
“I love to stream fish – especially catching trout,” said Brunette, who said he didn’t know who his replacement would be.
He and wife Anne have four girls and two grandchildren.
IN OTHER NEWS ...
• BGA names Levy as girls coach: Grover Levy is returning to the Nashville area.
Battle Ground Academy named Levy as its new girls basketball coach this week, replacing Angie Muir who resigned recently.
Levy coached the University School of Nashville girls for nine seasons, before taking the Franklin High girls job for two years. The past two seasons, Levy has been girls’ coach at St. Andrews-Sewanee where he took the school to its first sectional berth.
While at Franklin, Levy organized several tournaments and started the Franklin Fury spring basketball team for grades 6-11. He is a graduate of MTSU.
• FRA grad wins Southern golf title: Ashley Lance, a 2007 graduate of Franklin Road Academy, won the Women’s Southern Amateur golf championship at Lookout Mountain, Ga. over the weekend.
Lance, who will be a junior at Ole Miss, won the final match with a huge 9 and 8 win over Arkansas’ Corinna Rees in the finals in an All-SEC match-up, capping her impressive win with an eagle on the final hole.
• TACA volleyball: The annual Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association (TACA) all-star volleyball game will be held 1 p.m. Saturday at Centennial High.