Charlotte Catholic football coach Mike Brodowicz steps down

Charlotte Catholic football coach Mike Brodowicz, who led the Cougars to five state championships in nine years, has resigned. Cougars athletic director Kevin Christmas said the school has promoted offensive coordinator Matthew Reilly to the head job.

Brodowicz, who will turn 59 Dec. 17, said the time was right. He told the team just before 3 p.m. Friday of his decision.

“I’ve spent 33 years doing this and it’s been very easy to make this move,” Brodowicz said, “because I felt like I had the right guy. I’ll be 59 (this month) and that’s not that old but with the success I’ve had and the fact I’ve done this for so long, it was just the right time, and I have a good young coaching core and they’re ready.”

Brodowicz said he promoted Reilly to head junior varsity coach a few years ago, sensing that Reilly was a special talent.

Reilly has led Catholic’s junior varsity to a 25-0 record in three seasons. On the varsity, Reilly has been co-offensive coordinator in charge of the passing game. He was primarily responsible for the new shotgun-style offense Catholic employed this season.

“He’s a really creative offensive mind,” Brodowicz said of Reilly. “He’s got to fill in a couple of defensive coaches, and I’m going to be around to mentor. I’ll behind the scenes helping out anyway I can.”

Brodowicz will continue in his role as assistant principal at Holy Trinity, Charlotte Catholic’s feeder middle school, and he leaves the varsity team at the same time as Catholic athletic director Kevin Christmas, who has been with the school and program for 27 years. Christmas was offensive coordinator in charge of the run game last season.

In the fall, Reilly will return 10 of 11 defensive starters and at least seven on offense, including junior tight end Jack Larsen, a Notre Dame commit who is the No. 3 recruit at his position nationally, according to 247 Sports.

Brodowicz thinks the Catholic tradition will continue under Reilly.

But Reilly’s got big shoes to fill.

Two years ago, Brodowicz was named Charlotte Observer coach of the decade. In his nine-year career, Catholic was 110-15 with six state finals appearances and five championships. Until the fall 2021 season, the Cougars never failed to get past the first round of the playoffs.

A move from 3A to the 4A class slowed the Cougars momentum. Catholic was 7-3 and 9-3 the past two seasons, playing in the state’s largest and most competitive class.

With just over 1,100 students, Catholic is one of the smaller schools in the class.

“The talent-level and depth of teams like Hough, Reagan and Grimsley is tough,” Brodowicz said. “They went 6-2, 6-2, 602 at receiver and they’re good and they two-platoon. It’s hard to match up with that. But we’ve had a lot of success here. And I think coach Reilly will be able to keep that going.”

Langston Wertz Jr. is an award-winning sports journalist who has worked at the Observer since 1988. He’s covered everything from Final Fours and NFL to video games and Britney Spears. Wertz — a West Charlotte High and UNC grad — is the rare person who can answer “Charlotte,” when you ask, “What city are you from.”
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