Leon Braisted III takes home national coaching awards

By: Zachary Manning | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published July 8, 2019

 Leon Braisted III was named National Golf Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association and the National Federation of State High  School Associations.

Leon Braisted III was named National Golf Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association and the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Photo provided by Leon Braisted III

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BIRMINGHAM — During his time as a golf coach, Leon Braisted III has been quite the winner.

To go along with five state titles, the Birmingham Brother Rice boys and Bloomfield Hills Marian girls golf coach can now add two national coaching awards to his list of achievements.

Braisted was selected as the National Golf Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association.

For the NHSACA award, he was selected among eight finalists from around the country, with the award being based on longevity, service to high school athletics, honors, championship years and winning percentage.

The finalists were evaluated by experts in the field of coaching using a sport-specific rubric to assign points in each category.

“I was just stunned. I was overwhelmed,” Braisted said. “All my years have paid off and someone recognized it. I don’t do it for the accolades; I do it for the kids. It’s always been about the kids.”

Braisted was humble in accepting the award, giving praise to the athletes who have played for him and co-coach Cathie Fritz.

The Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association Hall of Famer has always been about providing opportunities for his players.

To give everyone a chance, Braisted keeps everyone who wants to play and gives them an opportunity to showcase what they can do.

“I think I’m fair to everybody. I give everyone a chance. I expose them to everything,” Braisted said. “I believe in all my players, and if it’s the best player or the worst player, they all get treated the same.”

For all the things that he’s accomplished in his coaching career, Braisted said this ranks up there with the likes of winning a state championship.

But even with all the praise he has received, the coach has shown no signs of slowing down. He has already started looking ahead to next season and is hoping to win another state title.

Last season, Marian finished fifth at the Division 2 final at Forest Akers West at Michigan State University, while Brother Rice took seventh in D-1 at the Fortress in Frankenmuth.

“I have the motivation. I desire to increase my golf program to maybe grow, progress, to see girls and boys play better, to win more state titles, to win more regionals, to win more league titles,” Braisted said. “Be the best darn coach I can be, but being fair to everyone (so)  that everyone has a chance.”

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