When Jake Brosman came to Hampshire as football coach in the summer of 2018, the Whip-Purs had been struggling.
Hampshire was 1-8 in the previous season under Mike Brasile, who left for the football coaching job at Woodstock, his alma mater. The Whips went 0-9 in Brosman’s first season, then lost seven in a row in 2019, stretching their losing streak to 24 games.
Then, something remarkable happened.
Hampshire won its last two games of 2019, and when the IHSA was finally able to put together an abbreviated season this spring, the Whips won their first three games, stretching their winning streak to five.
Huntley stopped that streak in Week 5, keeping the Whips from qualifying for the Fox Valley Conference championship game, but Hampshire went on to beat Crystal Lake Central in Week 6 and finish 4-1.
Brosman was selected as Northwest Herald Football Coach of the Year by the sports staff, nudging out perennial favorites like Cary-Grove’s Brad Seaburg, Richmond-Burton’s Mike Noll and Huntley’s Matt Zimolzak.
Brosman, who played at Dunlap and worked there as an assistant before coming to Hampshire, answered some questions from sports writer Joe Stevenson about the season and the Whips’ progress.
Who is the best speaker you have ever heard at a clinic?
Brosman: That is a tough question as I have been to a lot of clinics and listened to a lot of great speakers. If I have to pick one that stands out in my mind then it would probably be Hal Mumme. He spoke a few years ago at a Nike COY clinic. There were only a few of us in the room and he turned it into an open dialogue talk that I took a lot from.
What is your favorite memory of this year?
Brosman: It was our entire game against Jacobs. This was our first game of the season after having our Week 1 game get canceled. It was a crushing blow to have our first game not be able to be played after already sitting and waiting through everything to get to this spring season. So having to deal with another week of adversity was tough. I was extremely proud of the way that the players and coaches responded and the way we played in the Jacobs game. It showed our toughness and ability to overcome adversity.
What was the last really good book you read?
Brosman: The last good book I read was ‘The Coffee Bean’ by Jon Gordon and Damon West. This book has a great message and can be applied to many aspects of life.
If you could coach on any college staff, where would it be?
Brosman: I think a dream job for almost any coach would be to join Nick Saban’s coaching staff at Alabama. It seems that every coach that goes through there comes out better. It would be great to learn from one of the greatest.
Do you have any pregame superstitions or rituals?
Brosman: I really do not. I will get a routine going in the first couple of weeks of the season and will stick to that routine. But no real superstitions or rituals.
What are three of your favorite sports movies?
Brosman: ’Remember the Titans,’ ‘Rudy’ and ‘Rocky.’
Who shaped you the most as a coach?
Brosman: It is very difficult to choose one as I have been lucky to have some great coaching influences over my coaching career. If I had to pick the most influential it would have to be my high school coach at Dunlap, Jeff Alderman. He helped me learn and love the game as a player, and then was my influence to begin coaching. He is the one that convinced me to start coaching and helped me learn early in my career how to coach.
What is your favorite quote to motivate your players?
Brosman: There are a lot of people outside of our program that doubt us. Prove them wrong!