Teaching lessons by the playbook Football: A head coach since 1967, Loyola's Joe Brune still loves to watch his players develop.

November 26, 1997|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

With the recent retirement of Poly coach Augie Waibel, Sheila Brune asked her husband of nearly 36 years if he was headed in that direction.

"Not that I want him to," she said of her man, Loyola coach Joe Brune. "I'm too much involved, and I love it. The whole family does."

Brune's wife, a part-time secretary at Loyola, and seven children have been an intricate part of his programs. Daughters Meghan, 34, Gillian, 30, Caitlin, 27, Moira, 26, and Kiernan, 21, all have been statisticians. Son Shawn, 29, was on Brune's championship team of 1986, and Collin, 23, on the runner-up team of '91.

"He's a fierce reader," Sheila said, and "I love my classical music," said Joe Brune, a grandfather of three. But Collin Brune said: "I doubt there's much else" to replace Brune's love for teaching through football.

"Haven't given it much thought," said Brune of retirement.

"Kids are different every year, so it's a challenge," added Brune, also Loyola's college counselor. "I like watching kids develop. I like the teaching process too much."

Tomorrow at 10 a.m., Brune will lead the No. 1-ranked Dons against No. 2 Calvert Hall in the teams' 78th annual Thanksgiving Day game at Memorial Stadium.

Loyola leads the series 39-30-8, and is 15-15 under Brune, who became head coach in 1967, including victories in the past eight games. But for the first time in the game's history, the schools enter as the metro area's top two teams, with Loyola (8-1, 3-0) having already secured at least a tie for its third straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown. A victory by Calvert Hall (8-1, 2-1) would force the Dons to share the title for the third straight year.

As a senior tackle at Loyola in 1952, Brune played opposite Waibel, a center at Southern High.

"He's the dean of coaches, and being physically able to do what he does is great," said Waibel, 280-75 over his own career. "Words can't describe it, but I know what he feels like, being able to give back to the game in such a way. I'm sure it's been as enjoyable as it's been for me."

Brune (192 career victories) recalls being a 26-year-old assistant to City College's George Young -- now the general manager of the NFL's New York Giants -- in 1959. At City, he coached Mayor Kurt Schmoke (quarterback), Baltimore County executive Dutch Ruppersberger (center), City coach and athletic director George Petrides (linebacker) and Wilde Lake assistant coach Richard Jackson (tight end).

"We had a diverse blend of people at City, but all the kids wanted to do well and did what they were asked," Brune said. "Today, kids need more reasons to do things."

The players on this year's squad, riding an eight-game winning streak, are the kind Brune loves to coach. "Players leave a tough practice, go home and study for three hours," Brune said.

Quarterback Brant Hall, a threat to run or pass, is bold, tough and smart. Linebackers Pat Brannan and Keon Burley are clean but hard-hitting players. Lineman Blake Henry (6-foot-6, 280), has a full scholarship waiting at Northwestern.

"Coach Brune and I have a great relationship," Hall said. "He still has the final word, but he takes my suggestions."

Petrides recalls the days when, as Brune said, "I had nothing to do with you if you weren't a hard-nosed kid."

"He'd throw his hat down, holler a lot, kick the dirt," said Petrides, 48. "He demanded perfection. And if you didn't do it right, you did it again and again until you got it right. He's mellowed a lot, but I still call him Mr. Brune. That's something that'll never go away."

Pub Date: 11/26/97

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