“Spunktaneous” Coach Brunet Has a Passion for Coaching


Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journ

Jeremie Brunet, head coach of the San Rafael girls varsity lacrosse team, talks to the players during practice in San Rafael on Tuesday. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)

Sophie Ekman, Contributor

A small boy from France sits down on a plane headed for Argentina, on his way to see his mother and grandparents. He’s on his way back from yet another visit with his father. Accompanied by the airline staff, the young Jeremie Brunet had already made several solo trips between the two countries during his childhood.

“I basically became a world traveler as a kid,” recalled Brunet. Around the age of nine, Jeremie moved to Marin County with his mother and stepfather. Brunet dabbled in many various athletic activities since he was intrigued by several different sports such as baseball, field hockey, football and soccer. “I was lucky to have such a supportive mother; she wanted me to try as many sports as possible,” said Brunet. As a young boy, Jeremie was given the opportunity to play several sports, but soccer has always been his favorite. 

Jeremie Brunet attended Redwood High School in Larkspur and later enrolled in College of Marin at the age of sixteen. He received an AA in communications at COM during his time as a student-athlete, and felt significantly impacted by his coaches regarding his passions for both academics and sports. “My coaches were part of the reason I transferred to UC Berkeley and they also contributed to my passion for coaching others,” mentioned Brunet. After graduating from Cal Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in media studies, he worked for an app development company while coaching small teams outside of work. Unfortunately due to timing, working both at the company and as a coach no longer agreed with his schedule. Brunet left his position at the development company and took a job at a local soccer store instead. “After a few years at the soccer store, I realized that I wasn’t having the impact I wanted to have,” recalled Brunet, “I wanted to reach larger groups and teams in hopes of creating something bigger.” 

Around the same time, the SRHS athletic director, Jose De la Rosa reached out to Brunet about a position to coach at the high school. “I interviewed for the job and I am so blessed to have been given that opportunity,” said Brunet. “Working here in the office and being present on campus where I can impact students and grow the athletic department with Jose has been a wonderful experience.”  

When asked about the origins of his passion for coaching, Brunet began to talk about his former coaches and how they pushed him to not only be better as an athlete, but also as a person. “I’ve always wanted to coach because I have seen the impact that my coaches had on me,” said Brunet. 

Coach Jeremie, as he is currently known around campus, has coached several different athletic teams over the years at SRHS. Brunet is the head coach for the girls’ Junior varsity soccer team in the winter, and the head coach for the girls’ Varsity lacrosse team in the spring. Despite these two teams being his main focuses, Brunet has assisted in coaching the school’s volleyball team as well. In the fall of last year, the head coach for the girls’ JV volleyball team left on maternity leave, allowing  Brunet to take over as the new coach that season. “The girls were great, they were so awesome and I could tell they really wanted to play and compete. It was truly a life experience that I hold close to my heart,” said Brunet. He explained how winning games is not important and that the things you learn as an athlete hold more value. A previous member of the girls lacrosse team, Brianna Thompson, recalled one of the practices that stood out to her the most. “Once we practiced in the pouring rain for two hours and every inch of my body was completely soaked. It was cold and hard, but looking back at it now, it was a bit fun and Jeremie was out there with us, encouraging us all to keep going,” Thompson said. 

Coach Jeremie can be found on campus either working in the main office or out on the field late into the evenings. Student athletes can often relate to his personality and Brunet knows most students by name, creating a personal connection with everyone he can. “I would describe myself as ‘spunktaneous’, you know, a good mix between spunky and spontaneous?” he said when asked to describe himself. Being extremely active and busy, he spent an average of nine hours in the office each day last year and coaching sports after 4:00pm as well. “I always need to be doing something; I want to stay busy and work hard because it makes me look forward to the next day,” said Brunet when asked about his hours. 

When Jeremie moved to the United States from Argentina at nine years old, he did not know one word of English. I was curious to know if any of his childhood sports had come full circle, and well enough, Brunet played mostly soccer growing up. This year will be Coach Jeremie’s sixth year coaching soccer at San Rafael High. “My coaches gave me such confidence, and I want to give it back to my athletes. I want to make them believe in themselves,” said Brunet. 

The SRHS girls’ lacrosse team is only four years old, and Coach Jeremie has been there from the start. There was only a junior varsity team the first season in 2017, and only one of the girls had previous experience in Lacrosse. “I remember our first game up in Petaluma, some of the girls still didn’t know how to hold their sticks,” recalled Brunet as he sat back in his chair with a smile, ready to reminisce about the early days of his first team. “We left school at 2:30 – without thinking about the traffic – and I remember one of the dads said he knew a back road we could take that would be faster and when we got there we only had like fifteen minutes till game time,” said Brunet. I could tell he was reliving the first game all over again in his head as he told the story. “Some of the girls came up to me and said, ‘Coach, they look like they know what they’re doing’ as the other team warmed up, and when we got out on the field no one knew the rules, it was actually really funny,” recalled Jeremie with a smile. Later on, he mentioned how fifteen out of the original twenty players returned the following season, and how the team is now a varsity team, with great funding and lots of support. Coach Jeremie says that his favorite part of every season is around the second and third weeks of practice, when the girls come out to the field early, and start to get excited about coming to play lacrosse. 

Nichole Caiocca is one of SRHS’s mathematics teachers, the head coach for the girls’ varsity soccer team, and the assistant coach for the girls’ lacrosse team. She gave insight to how Jeremie works as a coach. “Jeremie spent an insane amount of time learning about lacrosse over the summer before our first season together and planning for what the first team would be like,” she recalled. When talking about the role Coach Jeremie plays in the overall athletic department, Caiocca mentioned that “Jeremie has completely changed the SR athletic department. Not only is Jeremie an organizational god but Jeremie is the most dedicated person I have ever met.” She also recalls how “Jeremie is at every game, practice and school function possible to show his student athletes that he cares about them and is there to support them.”

Practices don’t always need to be serious and tough, in fact, Jeremie has taken an interest in doing TikTok dances with the team during a few practices. “I learned the ‘Renegade’ from Jackie and Olivia Davis,” said Brunet on the subject of fun team activities, “they would add on a new step every practice to help me learn it.” More recent practices have looked different due to Covid19 however, and the virtual team gatherings have been far from regular lacrosse training. 

Not many SR students know that Coach Jeremie is actually a talented baker. He hosts virtual baking classes for his teams over zoom where he does tutorials of recipes, and teaches his athletes how to bake. Brunet has an impressive pepper crop at his home garden as well, where he has different herbs he uses for cooking. “When I cook, I love to go out to my garden and get some rosemary or any herbs that I need,” said Brunet. 

Currently, Jeremie is enrolled at Dominican University where he is pursuing a teaching degree in social studies. He hopes to become a history teacher at San Rafael High in the near future, and looks forward to spending even more time with his student athletes. When asked about high school in general, he stated, “These are the years for self-growth, you want to look back and know you had fun; but you’re going to live another 80 years, so don’t let high school make or break your life.”

In the future, SRHS may welcome Coach Jeremie to the school’s history department as Mr. Brunet. The new addition to the academic faculty could possibly create a sense of greater unity between athletics and academics. “I would love to be a teacher or an athletic director or still a coach, but preferably all at once,” stated Brunet.