Eric Brent, a 1997 Covington High graduate, has accomplished quite a bit in his 42 years.
He lead Division II colleges in punting average (49.6) in 2000 while playing football at Lane College and later went on to play Arena Football with two different teams and semi-pro football with another.
Five years ago he was inducted into the Mid-South Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame and he has been a very successful high school coach and teacher.
He was still surprised, though, when he was notified earlier this month he had been named to the Lane College Sports Hall of Fame.
“Honestly, it really caught me off guard when I got the call,” Brent said. “It’s a big accomplishment. As a kid I never thought about being in a hall of fame, especially from the place I came from, Covington, a rural place not a lot of people have heard of. I don’t feel like we get the notoriety for our accomplishments. It does mean a lot to represent my alma mater.”
Brent graduated from Lane in 2001 and immediately began teaching and coaching while continuing to play football.
He coached girls’ soccer, boys’ basketball and track at Covington for two years before moving on to Hamilton High in Memphis. He was an assistant on the boys basketball team in 2006 that went undefeated and won a state title.
Brent then coached and taught at Overton High School in Memphis for eight years. In 2017 he became an assistant principal at another Memphis high school, Trezevant.
His message to Covington High students is simple.
“Can you really make it out? The answer is yes. You need to have real life vision. That’s the key. If you have a life without a vision it’s like being washed up on a beach. Some of the hardships I had along the way prepared me for growth later in life. That speaks volumes.”