Soldier Coach of the Month December 2023, Capt. Kyle Brady U.S. Army

Soldiers To Sidelines presents Kyle Brady the December 2023 Soldier Coach of the Month Award for his incredible commitment to pursuing his passion for coaching football.  Coaching collegiate sports is extremely difficult and requires tremendous sacrifice that most folks are unwilling to endure.  To date, Coach Kyle Brady has sacrificed tons of time and money to establish an entry into college football, which has paid off thus far. Kyle recently transitioned out of the U.S. Army and was stationed in Hawaii. Through STS, he educated himself to prepare for a move mainland to coach football. Kyle excelled in his preparation though STS seminars and membership development program which earned him an unpaid internship with the XFL.  His incredible work ethic made it possible for STS to help him become a volunteer coach for the Florida Atlantic University football team.  He has only been coaching for one year with a bright future ahead.

Learn more about Coach Brady’s journey in the interview below.

STS: Tell your story about how and why you go into coaching. Discuss how coaching has impacted you as a person.

Coach Kyle Brady: I’ve been in love with the game of football for as long as I can remember. The chaos of it is intoxicating, the ceremony and fellowship of gameday are unique, and I’ve found that it is a vehicle to motivate and create change in individuals and communities whose scale is hard to find elsewhere. Romance of the sport aside, I didn’t know I wanted to be a part of it until late in college when I pieced together just how much this sport can unite a community and how much change an effective one can create, but with no college-level playing experience, I didn’t know where to begin. I had followed a few social media football groups as a discussion board to listen in on coaching conversations and try and pick up as much as I could, which is where I first saw a post by Brady Nix about a unique organization called Soldiers to Sidelines. Years later, once I saw my time in the military was quickly coming to an end, I recalled the post and reached out to Brady to see how I could get involved. I completed my Football Certification Seminar, began one-on-one Member Development Program with Harrison, and found my way into the XFL with a SkillBridge internship through the generosity of Sean Hayes and the strength staffs in that league. The rest is history!

STS: How has your military experience influenced you as a coach?

Coach Kyle Brady: The parallels between the military and high-level football are incredibly similar, which has made this transition that much easier. Much of the job I do here falls under the same agenda as when I was an officer in the military- accountability, delegation of tasks, personnel management, etc… But there’s plenty of hidden soft skills that the military instills in you every day that help this job tremendously that you wouldn’t think about: effective evaluation and feedback, how to efficiently brief your superiors, and how to manage the day-to-day stress of competing at an elite level every day.

STS: How has Soldiers To Sidelines impacted your life?

Coach Kyle Brady: Setting conditions, setting conditions, setting conditions- you’ll hear me say it a hundred times. Anyone in a leadership role in the military knows the best thing we can hope to accomplish is to set the conditions for our subordinates’ success of the mission- another parallel to coaching sports. Soldiers to Sidelines benefits the veteran community, not putting in the work for them, but by setting proper conditions for success through hosting clinics, the Member Development Program, and through their vast network of contacts that are generous enough to foster the development of young coaches in their program, such as Coach Ed Warinner and Coach Tom Herman were with me.

STS: Describe a coaching interaction with a player, or group of players, that has a special place in your heart?

Coach Kyle Brady: Getting to send off our seniors in our last game was a special moment for me. Standing on the sidelines as they jogged off the field, some for their last time ever wearing the uniform, and getting to embrace them and thank them for their work this year was a memorable moment for me and one that I’m honored to have gotten to be a part of. You spend way too many hours a season with each other, and all the friction and heartbreak that comes along with it, to try and win some games, but to be there when it all comes to an end helps you appreciate the people you do it for.

STS: What are your aspirations in coaching?

Coach Kyle Brady: Having been around a professional organization for a season with the XFL, and now a collegiate organization for a season, I’ve been the benefactor of seeing how different organizations at different levels are run and find where I fit best. Success for me in this sport is to lead a team that affects and inspires the community around it through winning games and I want to do that at the highest level possible to challenge myself and create and inspire new leaders around me.

STS: What was the most difficult challenge you have experienced in coaching and what have you learned from that experience?

Coach Kyle Brady: The transition’s always going to be the hardest part. I think back to my first few days at The Citadel where I couldn’t tell my left from my right during Drill and Ceremony training; let alone be entrusted to lead Soldiers and plan and execute missions at a Battalion level and beyond. To live that life for almost the last decade, climb the ladder, fall on your face repeatedly, and rise to a level where you begin to feel comfortable and confident in your leadership ability and are looked to for answers; all to fall right back to square one in a new environment where you’re no longer a subject matter expert (or particularly useful for that matter) is a humbling adjustment. It was, however, a transition made a lot easier by a lot of people who took the time to teach me and provide guidance along the way. The takeaway here- for myself, those just starting out, and those who have been around this profession alike- is that this sport needs leaders who care about those they coach and who relentlessly look for ways to add value to the organization every day, because there are always ways to add value every day.