Wes Edwards never has been a head coach, but the 2008 Brookhaven High School graduate takes a winning pedigree into his first job leading a football program.

In addition to helping the Bearcats go 9-2 and reach the Division I, Region 3 playoffs during his senior year, the teams Edwards has been a part of have not lost a City League-North Division game since he became an assistant coach in 2013.

He now will try to turn around the program at Columbus East, which has gone a combined 5-35 over the past four seasons.

Edwards took over the Tigers in early March and replaced Eric Smith, who was the coach the past two seasons. His staff includes several coaches who have enjoyed similar success as assistants.

“I think we can do some great things over here,” Edwards said. “We’re looking forward to this journey.”

Edwards, who played defensive back for Brookhaven and went on to play for Urbana University, was the defensive coordinator at his high school alma mater during its final season before closing after the 2013-14 school year.

He then joined the staff at Beechcroft under Trevor White, who had coached Brookhaven from 2011-13. The Cougars went a combined 28-7 overall, including 18-0 in City-North play, with three league titles under White.

Also coming from Beechcroft to serve as assistants under Edwards are Jamell Davis, Rayshawn Collins, Shawn Harris and Travonti Wallace.

Edwards coached the West all-stars to a win in the Cap City Senior Bowl last summer.

“(East) has tough, gritty types of guys, and even when I was a player, whenever we’d play East it would seem like they’d beat us,” Edwards said. “They were a relentess, fast and physical team.

“The main thing we’re going to try to make sure is that the kids make their grades. We’ve had in the low- to mid-30s (in the number of participants) in our weight room. Our No. 1 goal is to have at least 40 kids.”

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek