Brawley leaving Cass for Glen Oaks

CASSOPOLIS — Sometimes, when a second chance comes your way, you have to take it.

For Ross Beatty Jr./Sr. High School principal and former Cassopolis athletic director Matt Brawley, that opportunity came, and he decided he was not going to pass on the opportunity again.

Brawley was not looking to leave Cassopolis, but when it was suggested to him by a friend to apply for the Glen Oaks Community College athletic director position, he did not hesitate.

Brawley will be replacing Courtney Ivan, who took over as the Vikings’ athletic director in 2015. She left Glen Oaks to return to Jackson Community College.

“I was not looking for it to happen, but it was the right fit,” Brawley said Tuesday after announcing his resignation at the Cassopolis Board of Education Monday night. “I went in for an interview, and they hired me. I was not interested in leaving Cassopolis, but I have always had the interest to be at the collegiate level.”

Brawley, who came to Cassopolis in 2005 as a special education teacher, would eventually move up the ranks in the district and become an administrator.

First was being named athletic director was in 2011. He would add dean of students to his AD title before becoming assistant principal and athletic director. He stepped down as athletic director two years ago to become assistant principal.

Brawley was named principal last year.

He once had an opportunity to coach at Olivet College, but turned down the offer.  While he did not regret the decision, in the back of his mind, he knew if another opportunity came, he would jump at the chance if it was the right fit.

Brawley never regretted his decision not to coach at the college level because of his time at Cassopolis.

“This has meant the world to me,” he said. “There are just so many great people here. So many great students and members of the community. I would say they have taught me more than I have taught them.”

Brawley will work with the Glen Oaks interim athletic director as he transitions into the position. He knows there is plenty to learn about running a college athletic department compared to what he had to do at Cassopolis.

“There will be challenges as with any new job,” he said. “One of the things I want to do is make sure we recruit the area. We want to make sure we are not overlooking any of our area kids.”

Brawley’s last day at Cassopolis will be Feb. 21. He starts at Glen Oaks on Feb. 24.

He knows it will be emotional when he walks out the doors at Ross Beatty for the final time,

“It is going to be very tough,” he said. “Like I said, the Cassopolis community and the students mean the world to me. But this is a dream job of mine, and it is time to see what I can do with the next chapter.”