Meet Coach Brian Lane
Belleview High School gets a new football coach.
Brian Lane, the new head football coach for the Belleview Rattlers, poses for a photo on the field at Belleview High School in Belleview, Fla. on Wednesday, August 17, 2022. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2022.
The adage of “there is no place like home” rings true for new Belleview High School football coach Brian Lane, who returns to his alma mater 19 years after graduating. The journey to get to this point has been filled highs and lows, but Lane feels it’s the perfect fit and he could not be happier to lead the program.
“You think about Brett Hall being the first coach here and I feel honored to be in a position he once had. Every day I wake up and I’m excited, this is what I do and I’m in charge of this. It’s just exciting. I don’t really know how to describe it, but it’s just such an honor and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Lane said
Lane was born in Del Rio, Texas and his father served in the Air Force. After his parents divorced when he was 6 years old, Lane moved with his mother to Macon, Georgia and that is when football started to become a major part of his life. His stepfather had played college football and was also in the Air Force. His grandfather, Jimmy Hammond, is a high school coaching legend in Georgia. Lane credits his grandfather as his first big inspiration and why he got into coaching football.
After playing his freshman year in Georgia, Lane moved to Ocala to live with his dad and started attending workouts for Belleview football. “I got plugged into Belleview football, and I’ve been bleeding blue ever since,” Lane said.
Lane did play baseball, but football became the top option and he fell in love with the sport. “There’s just so much to learn from football, it relates to life so much,’’ he said. “You have to be able to work together with people, you have to be able to communicate and you have to be able to face adversity.”
Adversity is nothing new to Lane. After Lane committed to play at the University of Minnesota Crookston, his position coach moved on to a new job a week before he was supposed to be on campus. Lane would stick it out for a season before transferring to the University of Mount Union, where he played right tackle and long snapper. The team made it to the national semifinals in his sophomore season and things were looking great for his junior season. That is, until an off-season workout revealed that he had a potentially deadly health issue.
Initially, Lane thought he had pulled a muscle in his back. He went to see a doctor, where it was discovered that he was suffering from acute renal failure, which is the sudden failure of the kidneys. The doctor prescribed painkillers, and his kidneys started shutting down. He would spend three weeks in the ICU with the chance of not making it out alive.
Lane survived, and the experience changed his outlook on life.
“What I learned from it is life is not on your terms. I learned a lot from it. You’re not always going to get your way. What you think might happen is not going to happen sometimes,” Lane said.
He made his way back to the football field before the end of his time in college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and after meeting his wife, Amanda, the couple graduated and came to Ocala to start a life together.
Lane would eventually earn his master’s degree in leadership from the American College of Education. The couple have two children, Sadie and Canon. Lane said he is thankful for their support of his career and understands how big of an impact they have on him.
“I feel a direct responsibility for their success,’’ he said. “So, everything I do, I try to model to them. How to be resilient, how to persevere in adverse situations and how to work with people. My childhood was a little rough growing up and I had to learn a lot as a young kid. I do everything I can to make sure that they don’t have to do things like that and it’s a tremendous responsibility. It’s an honor to be their father.”
Lane’s career has included stops across much of Marion County. After graduating college, Lane came back to Belleview for three years as an assistant coach. He went on to be an assistant coach at Lake Weir High School for two years before joining the Trinity Catholic High School staff as an offensive line coach from 2015 to 2020.
He was the offensive line coach at Manatee High School in Bradenton under former Florida Gators wide receiver Jacquez Green in 2021. At Trinity, Lane worked under Andrew Thomas, Joe Sturdivant and John Brantley III. Lane said Thomas was very influential to his career and working for him was like a dream during their one season together.
Now in his first stop as a head coach, Lane has to be aware of every aspect of his football program and is excited for this new chapter in 2022.
“I think it’s awesome that every year you get a new group of kids who come in and kind of change the dynamics of your program and your culture. It’s an interesting challenge to me, some people think we come to work and don’t do much but there’s so much to be done and I really love the challenge every day of coming in and getting the kids to understand we have to work together to do this. That’s what I really love about it,” he said.
The process of taking over has been fast for Lane and his team, but they are ready to get the season started.
“It’s been a whirlwind like we’re going 200 miles per hour, but I am excited, and the kids are excited,’’ he said. “We put in a lot of hard work this summer; we grew a lot as a team since the spring game. Kids are excited for the opportunity to play and I’m looking forward to getting after it on Friday.”