Walker's Brunner named Mountain Eagle Coach of the Year
by Johnathan Bentley
Dec 30, 2013 | 1691 views | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walker football coach Heath Brunner is the Daily Mountain Eagle's 2013 Coach of the Year. Brunner, who took over after the season opener, went 8-1 as the interim head coach, guiding the Vikings to a region title. Photo by Jeff Johnsey
Walker football coach Heath Brunner is the Daily Mountain Eagle's 2013 Coach of the Year. Brunner, who took over after the season opener, went 8-1 as the interim head coach, guiding the Vikings to a region title. Photo by Jeff Johnsey
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Heath Brunner opened the 2013 high school football season as Walker High School’s offensive coordinator.

He closes the year as the Daily Mountain Eagle’s Coach of the Year.

After taking over as the Vikings’ interim head football coach in Week 2, Brunner helped keep his players focused despite devastating off-the-field circumstances.

Walker head coach John Holladay was involved in a post-game brawl with Cullman assistant coach Matt Hopper following the Vikings’ season-opening loss to the Bearcats.

The fall out from the ugly incident included Holladay’s resignation as well as a postseason ban levied by the AHSAA.

With no head coach and no playoff opportunity, Walker turned a potential lost season into a season to remember.

Walker rallied around Brunner and closed the season with an 8-1 mark and the school’s second straight region championship. Walker’s lone loss under Brunner came to Russellville in Week 5.

In its two biggest region games, Walker’s defense led the way, allowing just one touchdown each to Center Point and Pinson Valley.

The team closed the season on another high note, holding Class 6A Hueytown to just a field goal in a 9-3 victory.

The Walker Board of Education removed the “interim” from Brunner’s title earlier this month, naming him the school’s 32nd head football coach.

Brunner will lead Walker into the 2014 season riding an 18-game winning streak in region play.

Brunner, who is also the varsity girls basketball coach, started his Walker coaching career as the offensive coordinator under former head coach Shane Smothers in 2006.