COLUMBIA, S.C. – Women’s tackle football player, reality TV star and now high school football coach. Lakatriona “Bernice” Brunson has crafted quite the resume.
The former cast member of “South Beach Tow” made national news earlier this year when Miami Jackson High School named her head football coach, making her the first female high school head football coach in the state of Florida.
Joined by several of her players and coaches from Jackson, Brunson was at the Will Muschamp Football Camp on Monday.
“They really don’t believe that I switched over from (TV) to football, but I love all this stuff,” Brunson told SEC Country. “I can walk around in shorts and tennis shoes all day and sweat, don’t have to worry about nothing, just watching these kids develop and learn.”
Her highest-profile players are a pair of 2017 prospects: Lacedrick Brunson, a 3-star linebacker with offers from Arkansas and FAU, and Nakia Robinson Jr., a cornerback with offers from Appalachian State, FIU, FAU, Idaho, NC State, Southern Miss, Temple and Utah State.
After a stop Monday at South Carolina, the group will travel to Alabama, Florida State and Florida, before heading back home to Miami.
“You’ve got to expose them, give them experience. Some of them play football and probably don’t even know what colleges look like, so it’s just an experience,” Bernice said. “Some of them have never even been across County Line Road, that’s where Dade and Broward are. So, right now, they’re getting an experience of a lifetime.”
Brunson certainly knows the game. She played several seasons for the Miami Fury, a women’s professional team that was founded in 2000, but it’s been years since she last suited up.
“That’s over,” Brunson said. “I’m an old lady now.”
Her old positions read like a laundry list.
“It’s like what positions I didn’t play – I played left tackle, defensive end, defensive tackle, fullback, linebacker, I kicked,” Brunson said. “Wherever you need me at, that’s where I’m going. I like doing everything but the skinny people positions.”
Though she took on every challenge thrown her way as a player, Brusnon knows she can’t do it all as a coach. Her defensive coordinator at Miami Jackson is pretty famous, too.
Luther Campbell, aka Uncle Luke of 2 Live Crew, who spent the last two season as the defensive coordinator at Miami Norland High School.
“It’s helped a lot. It’s my first year and he’s been in the game for a minute,” Brunson said. “I couldn’t have a better person with me, I promise you. I’m learning so much as we go. Side-by-side, we’re trying to bring this thing together.”
At the end of the day, that’s the goal, to win football games.
“We just work hard. We’re smash-mouth. Everything is just grimy, we grind,” Brunson said. “That’s the thing, down there in Miami, you’ve got so many powerhouse teams and so many great teams – Miami-Jackson, we’re trying to inch our way up and compete with these people, so we have to grind. Every day, we’re hustling and that’s it.”