We are thrilled to welcome Coach Danny Brandt as the Head Coach of the West Michigan Bearings U23 team. He will be joined this summer by assistant coaches Dave Blahnik and Isaac Braak.
Coach Brandt brings a strong pedigree to the Bearings U23 side. Brandt is currently the first assistant and recruiting coordinator at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to joining the staff at Carnegie Mellon, he assisted Coach Dave Brandt at Hope College, helping lead the Dutchmen to a 14-3-1 record, and a final ranking of #21 in the country.
As a player, Brandt was a 2 time national champion and first team all-region player at Messiah College. He made 2 appearances with D.C. United in the MLS Reserve League, and played for Ocean City Noreasters in USL 2 and Lansing United in the NPSL.
His first assistant, Dave Blahnik, brings a breadth of experience to the WMB U23 as well. Blahnik most recently served as an assistant coach at Hope College during the 2019 season, helping lead the Hope men’s program to
Before his time at Hope, he served as head coach at Olivet Nazarene University for six seasons, where he led the Tigers to an 83-32-13 overall record, five postseason appearances, four Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championships, and two CCAC regular-season titles. He earned recognition as CCAC Coach of the Year twice (2014 and 2016) in his time at Olivet Nazarene.
Blahnik served as an assistant for Lansing United (NPSL) in 2017. He holds from the United Soccer Coaches a Premier Diploma, Director of Coaching Diploma and Goalkeeping Level III Diploma.
In his playing career at Olivet Nazarene, Blahnik was a two-time, all-conference award-winner and two-time team captain. He currently works as a national account executive for club sponsor, Die Hard Sports.
Second assistant, Isaac Braak, is Co-Founder and Director of Business Administration for the Bearings. In his time as a player at Hope College, Braak played beneath both Coach Brandt and Coach Blahnik. Braak also earned all-MIAA honors at Hope and captained the team as a senior. He currently plays for the WMBearings men team. Braak commented on the u23 coaching selections: “I am excited to work with two coaches I so greatly admire and am thrilled for our young players to learn from them.”
We are excited to see such great leadership at the helm for the U23 boys and know this staff will provide an incredible opportunity for players to develop and compete at a high level.