Pittsfield Athletics Announces Neill Brandon as New Boys’ College Soccer Coach at PHS | Local sports
Neill Brandon adopts the green and gold of Taconic and the purple of Pittsfield High after nine years at Medway High School.
The Pittsfield Public Schools Sports Department announced on Wednesday that Brandon, who recently accepted a social studies teaching position at Taconic, is the new boys football coach at Pittsfield High School.
“Pittsfield seemed like a great place for work opportunities,” said Brandon, a Wheaton College graduate and former Concord-Carlisle high school athlete – where he discovered his passion for teaching and coaching.
“I knew I wanted to be a teacher and that came with opportunities to coach,” he said. “Giving players a chance to demonstrate their skills in different ways, repetition, responsibility and team building can all be applied in the classroom and on the pitch. “
Brandon brings nine years of experience as a high school coach in Berkshire County. He became the varsity head coach at Medway in the spring of 2014 after three years as a varsity assistant and first year coach.
“Coach Brandon brings a wealth of knowledge, passion and enthusiasm to football that is contagious,” said Jim Abel, athletic director for Pittsfield Public Schools. “We are convinced that he can quickly establish a good relationship with our players. He has a deep appreciation for the balances that are required of student-athletes.
Medway won the MIAA Division III Southern Section Championships in 2016 and 2019. The Mustangs have made the playoffs in each of Brandon’s six seasons as a head coach and in 2019 appeared in the D-III state championship game, an overtime loss to champion Western Mass. Belchertown.
Brandon replaces Andrew Antil, who coached college football in Pittsfield for a decade and recently moved to the Syracuse area. While there was no MIAA sanctioned tournament in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Generals appeared in the Fall II Berkshire North Championship game but fell to Mount Greylock 2-0 . Pittsfield reached the quarterfinals of the Western Mass tournament. D-1s in 2018 and 2019. The Generals finished the regular season 11-3-3 in 2018 and 7-8-3 in 2019.
“I have heard good things from Mr. Abel,” Brandon said. “He gave me some background on recent history and the fundamental work done by the former coaching staff.
“The program is well organized and features good football brains. Some of these athletes are determined to play at the next level and I think my style and approach should mesh well with the foundations that Pittsfield football already has.
After years of coaching the kids he’s taught, Brandon looks forward to a divided wardrobe, representing both Pittsfield and Taconic.
“Teaching and coaching the same kids had some advantages, but it’s a good change to have some distance,” he said. “All I heard was that [Pittsfield and Taconic] look more like sister schools, so there might be some fun crossover opportunities.
Pittsfield soccer is hosting trials starting Aug. 23, and the regular season is slated to begin after Labor Day. Additional sports information can be found at Pittsfield.net.
“I hold my players to high standards,” said Brandon. “Pittsfield football should expect success with the foundation that is already in place.”