With the announcement of new coaching hires, the Miami Jackson High School football team is making news months before the season even starts.
On Monday, the school named Lakatriona “Bernice” Brunson, 38, head coach of the football program. According to the Miami Herald, Brunson, who was working as a physical education teacher at the high school, is the first female high school football head coach in the state.
But she’s not just any female coach — she’s the trash-talking, tough-as-nails, tow-truck-driving character on the truTV show South Beach Tow, which follows the confrontations and mishaps that arise between tow truck drivers from Tremont Towing and drivers of offending vehicles.
Brunson’s TV character is grumpily matter-of-fact and not hesitant to give orders; it seems she’ll bring this same no-nonsense approach to the football field.
“I’m ready for whatever comes my way. I’m ready to fight, ready to get these guys prepared and ready to win,” she said at the news conference to announce her hiring, according to ESPNW.
At the presser, Brunson — who played football for the Miami Fury in the Independent Women’s Football League and was also a standout high school and college athlete — was joined by two of the Miami Jackson team’s players: offensive lineman Donte Morris and senior defensive tackle Javon Hunt.
“[Brunson] shows tough love, wants you to work hard, not doubt yourself, give 100 percent effort,” Hunt said, according to the Herald.
The school also hired former 2 Live Crew rapper Luther Campbell as defensive coordinator. Despite the new hires’ high profiles, Brunson made it clear what came first:
“We’re not here to talk about music or reality TV,” said Brunson, who will also coach the Miami Jackson girls’ flag football team this spring. “We’re here to talk about football only.”
Campbell, who gained music fame in the 1980s and in recent years has found success on the coaching staffs of other Florida high school football teams, concurred.
“At first I thought ‘this [expletive] might be crazy because I take football real serious,’ ” Campbell said, according to the Herald. “But after a conversation with [Brunson], I said, ‘Naw, she knows her football. She’s on point.’ I don’t take this as a joke. I didn’t want to be a part of no circus.”
Although Miami Jackson last made it to the state championship semifinal in 2012, the program has yet to capture the title. The Herald says that’s partly because it has had to compete with South Florida football powerhouses such as Central, Booker T. Washington, Northwestern, Plantation American Heritage and Hallandale.
Brunson replaces former University of Miami and NFL player Earl Little, and she’s confident in her abilities.
“We’re just here to change the atmosphere at Miami Jackson and get some W’s on the board,” Brunson said at the press conference. “I know I can do it. … Watch what we’re going to do. It’s some big things coming up.”