Multiple Teams · Coach’s leap of faith rewarded as he turns Dublin into winner


Brandon Black finally seemed to be in the perfect spot: a new coach with a supportive administration and responsive players.

In his first head-coaching season, Black led Dougherty Valley-San Ramon from back-to-back 1-9 seasons to five victories and a North Coast Section playoff berth in 2018, the third postseason appearance in school history.

“It was a special group of seniors,” Black said. “They needed a new voice. We meshed. It was a great fit.”

But an opportunity rose that Black had dreamed of since he graduated from Dublin in 1995 — to be the head coach of the Gaels.

He spent more than a decade coaching in North Carolina, came back twice, and also assisted at Freedom-Oakley for Kevin Hartwig and at Dublin for John Wade.

Black thought he had secured the Gaels’ head-coaching position prior to the 2017 season, but Dublin picked Matt Hoefs, who resigned after two years.

First-year Dublin athletic director Tim Sbranti, who was at the mike as a Dublin student PA announcer when Black played football and baseball at Dublin, offered him the job in February.

Black couldn’t resist, and now, heading into Friday night’s game at 24th-ranked San Ramon Valley-Danville, the Gaels are 4-1 and one of the East Bay’s biggest surprises.

Article in the San Francisco Chronicle Mitch Stephens Sep. 26, 2019

Photo: Darren Yamashita / MaxPreps