New Pearl River head football coach Seth Smith has announced the addition of Lorenzo Breland as the team’s defensive line coach.
Breland brings a local familiarity to the staff having grown up in Pearl River County and also coached at Picayune Memorial High School for the last two seasons.
For Smith, it was Breland’s ability to build relationships with his players that separated him from the rest.
“Lorenzo was a tremendous high school player and great collegiate player at Jackson State,” Smith said. “He has a great rapport with the kids. He played arena ball for several years. He’s highly intelligent and just a great motivator. He’s a coach who gets the most out of kids.”
The chance to coach at the next level at a familiar place was too good for Breland to pass up.
“The opportunity to coach at this level drew me here,” Breland said. “When Coach Smith called me and presented me with this opportunity to be able to coach at the college level and to do it close to home with some guys I know it was just so exciting. I’m fired up.”
Breland already has a solid idea of how he wants his defensive line to operate.
“Our boys have got to be nasty,” he said. “This game is won in the trenches; everybody knows that. Being a defensive lineman and having that mindset you have to have aggression, tenacity and a desire to dominate.”
After graduating from Picayune, Breland went on to become a star at Jackson State along the offensive line. Between 2003-07, Breland was named to the All-SWAC First Team, Black College All-America First Team and the BASN All-America First Team. He was also selected to play in the HBCU All-Star Game in California and helped lead JSU to the SWAC Championship in 2007.
After graduating from JSU, Breland played in the Arena Football League for the Alabama Vipers, Tulsa Talons and New Orleans Voodoo.
His time in the AFL coincided with a unique football experience in 2011 as a player and coach for the Fluminense Imperadores — a squad in the Brazilian League of American Football (LBFA). With Breland’s help, the Imperadores won the Brazil Bowl II Championship and boasted an 11-0 record, the first undefeated season in LBFA history.
Before joining the Picayune staff, Breland was the head coach at Vicksburg High School in 2017. The Gators were 5-7 and qualified for the playoffs in his lone season at the helm of the program. Breland had also previously served as the linebackers and running backs coach the two seasons prior.
Before that, Breland worked at Murrah High School, where he was the offensive line coach and run game coordinator.
Breland got his North American coaching start as the offensive coordinator and lineman coach at Bailey Magnet High School in Jackson.
Breland spent his last two seasons at Picayune, where he coached the defensive line. The Maroon Tide finished this season playing for the MHSAA Class 5A Title.
Breland holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science with a concentration in Ethnic Studies from Jackson State. He also has a Master’s degree in Sports Management from JSU.