A first-year Tennessee head coach made it his top priority to improve the team’s locker room.

By Stump Martin, FNF Coaches Contributor

Chattanooga Central (Tenn.) first-year head football Coach Cortney Braswell knew what to expect when he accepted the Purple Pounders job in 2016.

Braswell had spent a year at Central before heading off to Bradley Central for the 2015 football season as the Bears defensive coordinator.

When he returned, his top priority for the traditionally enriched Central program was to get his kids a locker room. To reach his goal, Braswell said he took all his concerns to God and asked that His will be done.

“The Bible says in Matthew 21:22 that all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive,” he said. “When I was the defensive coordinator here, the locker room was awful. It was old, outdated and it stunk really badly. In fact, it was the worse one I have ever been in.”

Thanks to Braswell, coach Glen Carter and volunteers, the Purple Pounders now have an up-to-date locker room that he estimated to be worth more than $40,000. However, he said the overall investment was around $13,000.

This is how the locker room project happened.

  1. A connection with construction experience: Harrison Recreational President Bobby Dunn also got Central a great deal on lumber. Braswell then asked Carter to teach him how to build the lockers and work alongside him until they were all finished.
  2. Help from volunteers. Braswell went to Dunn when he needed manpower after the locker room demolition in May of 2016. Dunn has been tied into athletics on Highway 58 for years and is the only president the Scenic City Youth Football League (more than 90 teams) has ever had.

“If I need manpower, Bobby is always my reach out. He hooked us up to get a good deal on our lumber and the community gave us support.”

  1. A personal touch. The new digs have all-wood lockers, motivational signage that in some cases highlights the top players and teams from more than 100 years of Chattanooga Central football. “Why would you expect a kid to come to Central if you brought him in the old locker room,” Braswell said.

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About the author

Dan Guttenplan