Niles, Dowagiac begin process of looking for new football coaches

NILES — When the Niles and Dowagiac football teams hit the gridiron in 2021, both will have new faces running their respective programs.

At Dowagiac, Randy Brooks resigned earlier this spring after two years at the helm of the Chieftain program.

Brooks confirmed his resignation.

Randy Brooks has resigned as Dowagiac’s varsity football coach after two seasons. (Leader file photo)

Niles’ new football coach, Cody French, who was hired in March, recently resigned to take a position at another high school, according to Niles Athletic Director Jeff Upton.

Brooks, who was an assistant coach for the Chieftains under Bernard Thomas, helped Dowagiac to the 1990 state championship. He also helped Edwardsburg win a state championship as its defensive coordinator in 2018.

Dowagiac was 8-8 in his two seasons coaching the Chieftains. Dowagiac was 5-4 his first season and 3-3 last year, which was shortened due to restrictions related to COVID-19.

French coached most recently at Elkhart High School. He played his high school football at Gladwin High School for Coach Josh Sattuck, whose staff he joined in 2020 at Elkhart as the team’s defensive coordinator and defensive line coach.

French replaced Joe Sassano, who coached five seasons at Niles.

The Vikings never won more than three games in a season under Sassano, and were 1-6 last year.

Niles is scheduled to kick off the 2021 season against Sturgis on Aug. 27 as it joins the Wolverine Conference after spending one year as a member of the BCS Athletic Conference.

Dowagiac will open its season against Vicksburg on Aug. 27.

Both school districts have begun the process of hiring new coaches.

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