Jon Self closes chapter on coaching career, steps away from Brawley football program

John Self retires from coaching after 30 years

BRAWLEY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) – Maintaining success and maintaining a consistent culture in the high school realm is no easy task, but for Jon Self, he’s made it a priority for the Brawley community.

It was the unique dedication Self showed to his players year after year that led to 12 years of winning football.

But all good things must come to an end. After his 30 years in Brawley’s circle, Self has decided to retire from coaching after his 2022 season.

Despite his good performance, Self felt it was time to hang up his headset and explore other things in his life that the football game had kept him away from.

“This is a journey I’ve been on for 32 years. I have other things to do in life because I’ve always spent that second in football,” Self said. rice field. “To make the program successful, you have to be 100% involved. I don’t want to market kids in the community right now, just another direction I want to go.”

While holding onto the “Brawley way” he and his staff preached, he set aside his pride and allowed the program to venture without him.

Over the last ten years, whatever was in front of the Brawley Wildcats football team, everyone around knew they were going to put it all on the field. All parts of the culture are in place.

“One of the things we talk about all the time is that knowledge is power, it’s a hard worker, it’s an achiever,” Self said. “You may not be the best athlete, but if you outsmart them, they can’t beat you. That’s what we’ve been working on every day.”

Soccer remained Self’s vocation after playing at Mount Carmel High School and college. Roots built by his father and eventually carried over to Brawley Union High School.

Self joined the staff in 1994 as an assistant coach alongside former head coach John Bishop, and became familiar with the program a few years later as the defensive coordinator for the JV team.

In a short period of time, Self has become accustomed to notable staples like the Bell Game and the entire 9-yard, which is important to the Brawley community.

In his 12 years as head coach since 2011, the Wildcats have won four Imperial Valley League titles and won every single season. They’ve also made the CIF playoffs in all of those seasons except for one non-Covid-shortened season, which doesn’t include the postseason.

But it hasn’t been an easy road. Remind yourself of the challenges that come with your job and what you’ve learned from your time spent on the sidelines.

“You have to be flexible. You have to be able to understand that things change, kids change, times change,” Self said. “Maybe it’s not athleticism, but kids think differently about what they want to achieve each year. You have to be ready to change that. You can’t cookie-cut everything.”

He himself credits the Brawley community with the continued success of the program.

“Whether it’s the playoffs or the regular season, playoffs or the regular season, whatever team you play against, there might be 700 people in the stands. If you come here, it’s 2,000,” Self said. said. “The community travels, they support the kids, they support the programs. It’s great.”

Self’s days are over, but he left a large part of Brawley’s legacy and will forever be his ‘coach’.

Self finished their final season with an 8-4 overall record, winning another CIF Division II playoff game against their alma mater, but ultimately lost a tough quarterfinal match to rivals Central. .

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