Jeff Bramlett took the Granbury High tennis program to new heights following his arrival in 2006.
Come 2014, his plans are to do the same at the college level.
Bramlett announced this week that he will take the head coaching job at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall in January.
“It was a bittersweet, tough decision,” said Bramlett. “I wish it could have waited until after the school year, but they need someone as soon as possible, and this was just too good an opportunity to pass up.
“I’ve always wanted to get into the college scene. It’s a little sudden, I know, but I feel this is a great move for me and my family.”
Bramlett’s resignation from GISD is officially pending, so athletic director Dwight Butler could not make an official comment. He did, however, commend Bramlett’s work with the Pirate program and the success they’ve enjoyed during his time here.
For the first time in school history, the team tennis squad made back-to-back regional tournament appearances in 2011-12. They are heavy favorites to make a return this year.
In addition, Bramlett consistently qualified numerous players for spring regionals. This past spring, his daughter Kate, and her partner Elizabeth Morton, became the first GHS players to reach state since Betty Degan won the 2A girls singles title in 1962.
Both players are seniors this year and expect to make a strong run at a return appearance. The coach said Kate will remain in Granbury in the spring to compete for the Pirates and graduate from GHS.
In fact, Bramlett said his current players are a reason he is taking the ETBU job. He hopes to bring several onboard to play for him at the NCAA Division III school.
“I’m hoping to give these kids an opportunity to play in college,” Bramlett said. “That would really be great if that worked out.”
Bramlett added that ETBU, a sister school to Baylor University, has a tuition-exchange program with other Christian-based colleges around the nation. This will allow his children (James is already attending the University of Texas) to attend such a college, including elite schools as Baylor and Trinity in San Antonio.
Bramlett came to Granbury from San Antonio where he led a powerhouse Alamo Heights squad to success. Under him, the Mules were one of the premier Class 4A programs in Texas, winning team state championships from 1993-96, 1998-2000 and 2002.
In addition, Bramlett coached two boys singles state champions,three boys doubles state champs, five state runners-up in boys singles, six doubles runners-up, two girls singles runners-up and three girls doubles runners-up.
Bramlett is taking over a program at ETBU that was discontinued in the 1980s but was revived a couple of years ago. He said the school has plans to build a new tennis facility.
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