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12.06.13 | M Football

Alums to Face Off in SEC Championship

Mack Brown giving instructions to his Mizzou tight ends Mack Brown giving instructions to his Mizzou tight ends

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Three Baker University football alums will compete against one another this weekend in one of college football's grandest stages, as Mack Brown '10 and Kendall Bradley '08 will be leading the No. 5 ranked Missouri Tigers and Eric Munoz '10 will be roaming the No. 3 Auburn Tigers sidelines in Saturday's Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship game in Atlanta, Ga.

The trio of former Wildcats all work on the coaching staffs of their respective University's, with Brown serving as a graduate assistant coach working with the tight ends for Mizzou and Bradley's current role is offensive quality control coach.

Munoz is currently on the Auburn staff as the assistant director of high school relations and offensive quality control coach.

All three were key members of the foundation of bringing Baker football to new heights under current head coach and 2013 HAAC Coach of the Year Mike Grossner.

Brown broke several offensive records while at Baker as the quarterback for the 'Cats and Bradley was also a QB for coach Grossner and served as a solid backup behind Brown. Munoz served as an offensive guard for both Brown and Bradley and all three couldn't be happier about how the program has evolved since their graduation.

"My class has great pride on what we did at BU," said Brown. "Getting Baker back to the playoffs and win on a consistent basis was important to us. We didn't win a HAAC title, of win a playoff game, but this team has really raised Baker to another level, and I hope each class from here on out raises the bar even higher."

"Playing for Coach Grossner and the staff, I know how great coaches they are," said Munoz. "I keep track of every Baker game. I'm proud of them, I'm a proud alum and I'm excited to see them improve every year. Coach has proven to improve every year."

Bradley had the most recent ties to the BU football program out of the trio, as he served as the teams Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers coach for four seasons, most recently in 2012.

"I think it's awesome," said Bradley. "Mack and I watch the Baker games when were on the road. We have been very excited. I still talk to Grossner and Regalado. It's great to see them succeed the way they have this season."

THE ROAD TO THE SEC

Each has taken a different journey to their current respective SEC schools, Brown was recruited out of high school by former Mizzou offensive coordinator David Yost.

After a stellar career at Baker, Brown and Yost stayed in contact and coach Yost invited Brown to help him host some summer camps in Columbia.

Brown eventually moved to Columbia and Yost hired him in January of 2012 as a recruiting graduate assistant where he broke down film and helped coaches with recruiting ventures.

He held that title for four months until Yost promoted him to the offensive quality control coach for the 2012 season.

After the season, Yost went on to Washington State to serve as the inside receivers coach.

Josh Hinson then came to Mizzou to take over as offensive coordinator and liked Brown's talents and promoted him to a graduate assistant position to help coach the tight ends.

Mack can be seen on the sidelines of each game helping substitute in the tight ends and help call in plays with hand signals to the tight end core.

Bradley's current role is the role Brown previously had, as offensive quality control coach.

This past July Bradley was preparing to serve as not only Baker's quarterbacks coach and wide receivers coach but also as co-offensive coordinator with Miguel Regalado.

But he received a text from Brown while in Texas with his wife, that said the job was open and if Bradley was interested. Four days later, Bradley went to interview for the position and as he returned to Baldwin City that same day he got a phone call that the job was his.

Munoz and current Auburn head coach Gus Malzahan have a long storied relationship dating back to high school.

Munoz played for Malzahan at Springdale High School in Springdale, Ark., as Malzahan was the head coach for the Bulldogs.

After his playing career at Baker in 2008, he served as a student assistant for coach Grossner during the 2009 season and that spring he took a job as a defensive line coach at Hutchinson Community College for two seasons.

After that stint, he reunited with Coach Malzahan at Arkansas State and served as a graduate assistant. Then when Malzahn became the head coach for War Eagle, he took Munoz with him and made him his assistant director of high school relations and offensive quality control coach for the Tigers.

From their roots at the NAIA level and Baker University to the 100,000 seat stadiums in SEC country, all three know that no matter the size of the stadium or the name on the front of the jersey its still the sport they love, football.

"It means a lot, coming from Baker and being where we are today," said Munoz. "For me its big for Baker, it's about what other guys have done too, Jake Miller at Rice University, Matt Brock at Texas Tech. It may be NAIA football, but guys are doing big things at Baker. Not many people get these opportunities and we all started our career at a great place for football."

"It's pretty amazing the crop of guys that have come out of Baker recently," said Brown. "Playing small college football together and now being we're we are now. It's not an impossible task especially with coach Mike McCarthy doing what he's doing as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers."

Bradley, Brown and Munoz will always be teammates when it comes to Baker football, but this Saturday Munoz will be on the other sideline fighting for the coveted SEC Championship and a potential spot in the Vizio BCS National Championship game. The tables will turn Saturday and the Mizzou duo is looking to knock off its Auburn comrade.

"We are hoping to get together before the game on the field and share an embrace, but when its kickoff time, on with my team and their with MU, War Eagle!" said Munoz.

"We will talk before the game," said Brown. "It's funny, around week six of this season, Eric and I exchanged text messages about how 'we need to keep winning and let's meet in Atlanta'. It's pretty neat that it ended up this way."

THE ROAD TO THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Missouri defeated Texas A&M last Saturday, 21-14, to improve to 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the conference and captured the SEC East crown, while Auburn took down No. 1 ranked Alabama last week for the SEC West championship in the annual Iron Bowl in one of the most memorable finishes in NCAA Football history, 34-28.

Auburn won on a 109 yard missed field return by Chris Davis with one second left in the fourth quarter to complete on of the best plays the SEC has ever seen. And Munoz was on the Auburn sideline when it happened.

"I was on the opposite end of where he kicked it and at first glance I thought he had enough leg," said Munoz. "Then I thought our guy was going to get tackled. Then I saw there was only one guy to beat and he ran right by me, I instantly starting freaking out. I had to hold myself back from going on the field until the play was over. I threw my game plans and sharpie in the air and celebrated. By far the craziest thing I've ever seen."

The college football nation will be fixed on Atlanta, Ga., this Saturday as the Tigers take on the Tigers at 3 p.m. CST and only one set of BU alums will be rejoicing either chanting, M-I-Z----Z-O-U or War Eagle! We will find out Saturday evening.

#BUNation

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