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JV basketball coach returns from deployment in time to see his team play

Staff Sgt. Rashard Brock back on the sidelines after returning from deployment

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – He did his duty overseas and made it back just in time to do his job at home.

A junior varsity basketball coach pulled off an emotional surprise over the weekend. Now, he's back on the sidelines, barking out plays for the San Jose Catholic School. 

Staff Sgt. Rashard Brock returned from deployment and showed up for practice Saturday. None of the players expected their coach to make it back in time for Tuesday's game, but he did. 

"I've been gone for 102 days," Brock said. "I counted them down."

Some things have stayed the same, but some things have changed, especially his players.

"A lot of the kids have grown," Brock said. "Middle school, I feel like they grow the most, like, in between. They have so many growth spurts and it's just crazy how some of them have grown and just have gotten more aggressive playing defense."

Brock said this is a game he loves and has been playing it since he was a child. And he said he had the best teacher of the game: his father.

"My father, he's been here about two years before me. He's been helping out and coaching the girls varsity, so it was only right for me because he's coached me and all my sisters growing up. He's coached us all," Brock said.

Judging by their play, the students were happy to have him back on the court.

Brock is glad to be back, as well. The men and women at his base greeted him with open arms.

"The homecoming was great. It was awesome," Brock said. "I felt welcomed because my dad wasn't able to make it when I landed, so I felt the love from my base."

Brock spent his first year at San Jose Catholic, volunteering and helping out his father. He finally got the chance to coach and he's been doing it now for three years.

About the Author:

An anchor and reporter for The Local Station since 1985 and still occasionally sits on the anchor desk and contributes major stories.