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 West Bloomfield High senior Brian Bembas waits on a pitch March 21 at practice. The Lakers have high expectations this spring.

West Bloomfield High senior Brian Bembas waits on a pitch March 21 at practice. The Lakers have high expectations this spring.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes


Brown begins tenure as new baseball coach at West Bloomfield High

By: Mike Moore | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published March 22, 2018

 New West Bloomfield coach Jerry Brown speaks with senior Trenton Newby. Brown joins the Lakers after many years of coaching at different levels, including at Eastern Michigan University.

New West Bloomfield coach Jerry Brown speaks with senior Trenton Newby. Brown joins the Lakers after many years of coaching at different levels, including at Eastern Michigan University.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Stepping into a school this size, with a talent pool this deep and a baseball tradition as strong as it is, there’s no wonder why new West Bloomfield High skipper Jerry Brown called his taking over of the baseball program “a dream job.”

And as he admitted, there’s no hiding from the expectations that come with it.

“Not at all,” Brown said with a laugh last week. “I’m stepping into a great baseball program that has high expectations. But I’m extremely excited to have this opportunity.”

Longtime coach Eric Pierce has spent the past few years serving as athletic director as well.

“It became too much,” Pierce said of both jobs. “So I had to fire myself.”

He joked that he took it easy on himself during the firing, but he was all business while speaking about his successor.

“He has a great baseball background, and when you talk to Jerry, you know how passionate he is right away,” Pierce boasted. “He’s a guy who will put in the time required to make this a success. He’s excited about the team and the chance he has.”

Baseball is certainly in Brown’s background.

After playing as a pitcher and catcher at Oak Park High, he was actually offered a wrestling scholarship and attended Grand Valley State University. But soon after college, his passion took him back to the diamond.

He’s coached travel teams, taught instructional camps, served as a catching coach at Eastern Michigan University, as the head coach at Detroit Pershing, and for the past five springs was an assistant coach at Birmingham Groves.

“With his experience, his travel, his time with a college program, everything made him a great fit,” Pierce added.

Brown, who is a Bingham Farms resident, said the opportunity to coach at West Bloomfield offered him a number of benefits he couldn’t pass up.

“First, it’s a conference (Oakland Activities Association) I’m very aware of,” he said. “Also, being in a larger school, we have the chance to continue to grow this. I remember at Pershing I was literally building a field from a vacant lot. Here we have something strong and can work at it to get better.”

As for those winning expectations?

“My style of coaching is to establish a process of winning habits,” Brown added. “Everything we do is going to count. Every rep we work at is for a reason. If you do that, the winning will take care of itself.”

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