March 2015: Braswell steps away from coaching, Keatts tabbed as CAA Coach of the Year

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With the winter season winding down and spring sports beginning to rev up in March 2015, we got news that longtime Hoggard Coach Scott Braswell would be stepping down as head of the football program.

Scott Braswell. Photo courtesy Rodney Williams.
Scott Braswell. Photo courtesy Rodney Williams.

The Cape Fear Community College men’s basketball team made its second straight appearance at the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament. UNCW’s Kevin Keatts was named Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year and I had a chance to catch up with Erik Rasmussen, who is running a thriving travel business out of Wilmington based on his love for running.

Citing health concerns stemming from his fight against cancer last year and a more focused drive at helping other needs within the Hoggard High School Athletic Department, Scott Braswell stepped down as head football coach after 18 seasons.

Braswell helped guide the Vikings to numerous conference championships during his time on the sidelines, in addition to an undefeated season and state title in 2007, along with a number of other accolades he’s received over the years as head coach.

He missed a majority of the 2014 season after being diagnosed with chordoma, a rare cancer that forms in the spine. Hoggard played inspired football during his absence and rode Braswell’s return to an appearance in the 4A East Regional Final.

Rasmussen first developed his love for running in his late 20s, without any experience in high school or college. After enough training he began to tackle the 26.2-mile marathon feat in 2007.

Kevin Keatts. Photo courtesy- UNCW sports
Kevin Keatts. Photo courtesy- UNCW sports

It was a year earlier he and his wife Myra came up with the idea of taking their appetite for travel and sport to the next level. The notion quickly turned to reality and Erik’s Adventures, his destination marathon and vacation business, has been a hit ever since.

From the 26.2 Mile Inca Trail Marathon to Machu Picchu, Peru, to The South Africa Trail Running Tour and Safari, Rasmussen has taken adventurers from across the world to some of the most breathtaking places Mother Nature has to offer.

First-year UNCW Head Coach Kevin Keatts was named CAA Coach of the Year after piloting the resurgent Seahawks to a remarkable “worst to first” season in 2014-15.

The Seahawks were picked to finish ninth in the 10-team league in the CAA’s preseason poll, but startled observers by soaring into first place down the stretch and snagging the regular-season championship with James Madison, Northeastern and William & Mary.

UNCW is off to another strong start this season, winning five straight games to open the year and nearly pulling off a big upset at Georgetown earlier this month. The Seahawks have since dropped three straight to fall to 5-3 overall heading into a pair of games before Christmas.