ARLINGTON, Texas – His father says he’s ready, and he should know.
His boss says his time will come, and it will be soon.
Gunter Brewer hopes they’re both right, but for now he remains an college football assistant coach, not a head coach.
The son of former Ole Miss coach Billy Brewer is the co-offensive coordinator for Oklahoma State. His job this week is to plan and scheme to defeat the Rebels – a team close to his heart for many years, a school his son Keaton, a junior, now attends.
Brewer is completing his fifth season at OSU, the fifth Division I program of which he’s been part. He’s itching to become, somewhere, the biggest part.
“He’s worked it, and he’s getting close in our opinion,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “But head coaching jobs are hard to come by. There are only 117 of them out there at this level.”
Even fewer among the major conferences where Brewer is aiming.
He doesn’t expect to leap immediately to a BCS league, and his name is starting to surface more among lower-level Division I programs. There was contact recently with Memphis, Marshall and Louisiana-Monroe, but all three of them went another direction.
“I hope I’m real close,” Brewer said. “The body of work started a long time ago, but I know it’s also about Lady Luck and being in the right place at the right time. I’d love to have the opportunity to follow in my dad’s footsteps, to see if I can do what he did, win a bunch of games and have a chance to coach in a BCS league.”
Billy Brewer was 64-54-3 at Ole Miss from 1983-1993.
Gunter Brewer began his career as a strength and flexibility coach at Wake Forest, where he also played wide receiver and earned his undergraduate degree. He became a graduate assistant with his father.
In addition to his knowledge and understanding of the offensive side of football, Gunter Brewer has the intangibles to take over a program, his dad says.
So aware is Brewer of the ever evolving network of jobs and potential openings that other assistant coaches call him to get a handle on what’s going on.
“He’s a mixer. He has great people skills. He has a great personality, and before games he’s always visiting with coaches and exchanging pleasantries,” Billy Brewer said. “He’s a hard worker, an early riser out of bed about 5 and coming home at 11.”
The personality has served Gunter Brewer well on in recruiting. In the last season of his four-year stint as receivers coach at North Carolina, he had secured the overwhelming majority of the Tar Heels’ roughly 20 verbal commits going into the bowl game.
‘A lot of good things’
His success has continued at Oklahoma State, where he’s helped accumulate and coach a talented offense. The Cowboys have been run-oriented this year, though not be design. They’ve had to overcome the loss of one of Brewer’s position players, receiver Dez Bryant, that Brewer calls a potential top 15 draft pick.
“He’s energetic and active, always jumping around, but he’s demanding and trying to get the best out of us,” Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon said.
“He’s done a lot of good things and made his own way,” Billy Brewer said. “He’s ready.”
While Gunter Brewer’s body of work is impressive, Gundy attributes much of that readiness to osmosis.
“His father was very successful in the profession, so he has good bloodlines,” Gundy said. “Coaches who have had a father or a close family member in the business have an advantage. I don’t think there’s any question that at some point in his career he’ll have that opportunity. When that will be you never know.”
For now, Gunter Brewer bides his time and does it not with a chip on his shoulder but with enthusiasm, talking expressively with his arms and never meeting a stranger.
For now, Gunter Brewer works, but works the phones too.
“It’s getting to that point, it’s time. I do have the experience,” says Brewer, who lists a season as head coach at Northeast Community College on his resume. “I know it’s about timing, but I have the upbringing, obviously, and I’m ready.
“And hey, if Florida wants to talk, I’ll give them my cell number.”
Contact Parrish Alford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal