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September 10, 2013
Mark Burnell led the Jacksonville Jaguars to two AFC Championship games. He won a Super Bowl ring with the Saints in 2009. He is a three-time Pro Bowler.
Now, he is just coach Brunell.
"I like being called coach," Brunell said in reference to going from player to coach. "It is a great opportunity to stay in football and in Jacksonville".
Brunell was named head coach of Episcopal School of Jacksonville in January, and is in his first-ever head coaching job.
Burnell played for five NFL teams and last left the game in 2011.
Playing for five teams (Packers, Jaguars, Redskins, Jets, Saints) in 17 years means a lot of different coaching styles-subtle or not-which could put a new coach at a slight advantage.
Brunell credited Tom Coughlin (Jaguars), Joe Gibbs(Redskins) and Sean Payton(Saints) as coaches that he learned different styles from. Learning from those coaches made his transition easier.
As for his team, his quarterback has some adjustments to make as well.
Junior out-of-state transfer Jackson Bradley has the starting job for the Eagles, while Daniel Fisher, Hunter Green and Jack Stevens are a few other players that coach will have his eye on.
One thing the players do not have their eyes on is their head coach's Super Bowl Ring.
"The ring doesn't come up very often," Brunell said. "I'm just coach to them".
After back-to-back three-win seasons, Episcopal School of Jacksonville athletic director Andy Kidd said former coach David Hess stepped down.
Brunell isn't the only former NFL player coaching for the Eagles - on the defensive side, former Eagle head coach Charlie Hunt (Houston Oilers) is helping out and former New York Jets (and Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL) QB Matt Robinson is on the offensive side, along with Brunell's former Jaguar teammate - Chris Lozar - coaching tight ends.
The Eagles are off to a 1-1 start after falling Friday night to Alachua Sante Fe after opening with a win over Jacksonville Eagle's View 50-14.