With how short the football season is, most coaches will tell you all wins are special to them. Friday, the 54-13 win over West Fork was a little more special for head coach Bill Byrnes as it was his 100th career victory.
Byrnes has dedicated more than three decades to the Lake Mills football program between head coaching and assistant coaching duties. Brynes started with the Bulldogs program in the mid-1980s before getting his crack as the head man in 1996 for the first time.
“A lot of football games, a lot of years, a lot of good coaches, and a lot of good people” is who and what Coach Byrnes says helped him reach 100 wins.
Brynes, now in his 27th year, quoted one of the greatest coaches in Iowa football history, Ed Thomas, for how he has modeled the Lake Mills program, “At the end of their (the players’) career, if all you’ve taught them is football, you’ve failed as a coach,” Brynes said. “Obviously, we’re out here to teach them football, but we also teach them a lot of things they can carry with them forever,” Brynes later added.
Brynes has coached some excellent players in his 27 years, most notably of recent Caleb Bacon, who is competing with some of the best in a Power Five conference at Iowa State, and Kadin Abele, who is currently playing football down the road at Waldorf University in Forest City; both of who were two-time all-staters. Brynes has coached ten two-time and 24 all-state players, “We’ve had some really good players, but it’s about all the players (not just the good ones) that have come through and giving them a great high school experience – not just in football just the entire aspect of high school sports,” said Brynes.
Brynes, as most coaches do, has made a lot of sacrifices over the nearly three decades he’s been the head coach. He’s put in hours of work behind the scene and credits all the great assistant coaches he’s had for helping him along this journey that he says has been “fun.”
With the celebration of this milestone and homecoming behind them, Brynes and the Bulldogs are now focused on their next challenge. They will head to Mason City Friday night to take on 4-1 foe, Newman Catholic.
Listen to comments from Lake Mills football coach Bill Brynes: