Matt Brannau

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Thanks to Tony Romano for providing Matt's photo

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    Matt Brannau, a former football player (QB) at St. Joseph's Prep (class of 1982, where
he was coached for part of his career by his father,
Bill), and most recently a co-owner of
the company that last fall began televising Catholic League football games on cable TV,
passed in his sleep Feb. 25.
    Matt leaves behind his wife,
Sheila, and seven children.
    Before starting the TV venture, Matt was a teacher/coach/athletic director at Waldron
Mercy Academy, in Merion Station, which he'd attended.
WMA's website described Matt as "a wonderful man and a gentle teacher who touched
the lives of so many at Waldron. Matt was truly a man of mercy, and he will be greatly
missed by his former colleagues, students, and parents at WMA."
    The viewing will be Friday, 6 to 9 p.m., at William C. McConaghy, Ltd Funeral Home, 328
W. Lancaster Ave., in Ardmore, (610-642-7954). A second viewing will be held Saturday,
9 a.m., at Presentation BVM Church,
230 Haverford Road, in Wynnewood,
), in Wynnewood, with Mass to follow at 11.
In lieu of flowers, donations are being accepted for The Matt Brannau Children’s
Educational Fund, c/o The Bryn Mawr Trust Company, 330 Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, Pa.,
    We welcome your comments about Matt below.
    Please e-mail them to
    Thank you.

Contributions . . .

   Mr. Brannau was one of the greatest men who I've ever known. He coached me in football in seventh and eight grade at Waldron. Mr. Brannau wasn't just a coach that was thrown in because the team needed a coach, he was very passionate about the game of football and brought the best out of all his players. He is a legend to every student who has passed through Waldron at the time he taught there. Everyone was in total respect of his knowlege of not just football, but the knid words of encouragement that he always gave to students. At times when I went back to visit my little brother at school, Mr Brannau would talk to me and encourage me to keep playing sports and excel wherever I went to school. I pray for his family at this time. The last time I saw him was at the Palestra for a high school basketball game, and he seemed so happy at what he was doing. I pray that his soul rests in peace.
-- Leland O'Connor

  I would like to extend my condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Matt. I can only imagine the pain that those who loved Matt are feeling at this time.
  Despite only knowing Matt for a short time it was always a pleasure to be in his company. What he accomplished in his first year of televising Catholic League football games was amazing. I'm very appreciative of the opportunity he gave me to work along side of him last fall. I'll remember Matt as a kind and soft-spoken man. A man who didn't want the spotlight on himself, but rather shining on the young men who grace the fields of the Catholic League. Your vision is to be commended, and hopefully it will be carried on for years to come in your honor and name.
  Again, my thoughts are with the loved ones of Matt. May the strength that Matt frequently exhibited guide you through this difficult time.
God Bless,
Ed "Huck" Palmer

My thought and prayers are with the family and friends of Mr Brannau on their loss of a great person. I only knew Mr Brannau for about a year and he was nice gentleman. Mr Brannau, I know speak for everybody who ever met you that you will be missed dearly. May you Rest In Peace
God Bless
Will McGonigle

   As a student at WMA, no one person had a bigger impact on my life than Mr. Brannau.  He knew worlds about the game of football, but his impact on me and my classmates stretched far from the practice field.  He constantly carried himself in the most kind and respectful way, knowing he was setting an example for everyone around him.  More importantly, he knew he had a group of adolescent boys who followed his example, and because of this, he truly taught us what it was to men.  I know for a fact I would not be the person I am today without his guidance and leadership.  He never had a negative word to say, and was always there to boost your confidence with a joke or make you feel good with a compliment.
   To our 8th grade team, he was a legend in every sense of the word.  He could do no wrong in our eyes and we would have gone through walls for him.  This says so much about the genuine, compassionate man he truly was.  He will be missed on the sidelines at WMA, but much more in the classroom and in the halls, where he touched so many people's lives.
    My thoughts and prayers are with the Brannau family.  I will never forget all that Mr. Brannau did for me, and he will truly be missed.
-- Sean Walsh

  Mr. Brannau was the person who inspired me to achieve beyond Waldron sports.
Like Leland said previously he was my favorite teacher/coach that I have ever
had. He truly supported me beyond Waldron by coming to my high school
basketball games even though I hardly played. He really supported me during
tough times in my life. He always told me to keep my head up and things will get
better. Besides being a great football coach at Waldron, he excelled off the
field. Mr. Brannau was a true follower of the Waldron Mercy Academy mission
statement: " Live in hospitality, openness, trust, and outreach." I'm really
going to miss him. I loved him and his family and it's going to be hard not
getting advice from him and seeing him anymore. My prayers go to the Brannau
family and the Waldron Community.
-- Kelvin Johnson

   Mr. Brannau was my coach and friend throughout my years as a Waldron student and player.  As a player I cannot express the impact Mr. Brannau had on the lives of his players.  Each day we were taken out of the hustle and bustle of the day to enjoy football practice with Mr. Brannau as our coach.  He was always encouraging and brightened up the lives of everyone around him.  His smile and his attitude are what set him apart from the average person.  He was not average; he was extraordinary.  In all my days under Mr. Brannau, I cannot remember a time in which his optimism lacked.  He was not only a coach, but also a leader, mentor, and friend.  His constant love for his family was evident, and even as a player on the field we viewed this love.  Mrs. Brannau would pull up to practice most days and without hesitation Mr. Brannau would run up to the car to greet his! wife and children.  His son Matthew often came to our practices and seemed always to be happy just to be there.  He and Mr. Brannau would throw the football around, and Matthew always seemed as though he loved the world because his dad was there and nothing else mattered.  I am honored to have played for Mr. Brannau and my prayers are with his parents, wife, and children.  May he always be a constant remind of the happiness of life and the importance of each day.
-- Pat Welde
WMA '03

   I had the honor and privilege of having Mr. Brannau as my
football coach from 5th grade to 8th grade at Waldron. No
single person had a greater impact on my life at Waldron than
Mr. Brannau. He was always there to help any of his players, he
always supported us no matter what and always had positive
things to say. Seeing him out there everyday at practice
helped me to appreciate the game of Football, but even beyond
Football he taught me how to respect other people. I know I am
going to miss seeing that infamous smile of his and miss hearing
his amazing advice. Mr. Brannau was a role model to us all, I am
going to miss him tremendously and I will never forget my
Waldron years because he had the greatest impact on them.
Mr. Brannau may your soul rest in peace, for you will be truly
-Pat Curran '02

 Mr. Brannau was my guide, mentor, teacher, and coach throughout my
years at Waldron. He would always be there to support anyone whoever
doubted themselves, and would not be afraid to confront those who were
over-confident. His love for his students/players was untouchable, his
impact will always be with us. As a student there, his impact on my
life will never be forgotten, he was always there to tell me to keep on
trying and to never give up. I have never seen Mr. Brannau with an
expression of doubt on his face in all my years under him as a
player/student, which was the obvious factor in his success there. Even
as a teacher, his attitude towards his kids was always on the positive
side, not one time would one hear a negative remark from Mr. Brannau.
Off the field he defined the true definition of mercy, he was at all
times, a helping hand to anyone in need of it. In the eyes of everyone
Mr. Brannau was a true hero, and will never be forgotten by the Waldron
community or anyone else who had the pleasure of coming in contact with
My thoughts and prayers are with the Brannau family, and he will
never be forgotten in my eyes.
--Chris Travaglini '05

Matt Brannau was a great role model to my son and each of the children with whom he had contact.  In a world searching for hero's, Matt Brannau was one.  He exemplified what a good catholic father should be.  I am a better person for having known him.  To the Brannau family: You will remain in my prayers!
--Pat Welde

Though I never had Mr. Brannau as a classroom teacher, I remember him as the person who got me involved in sports to begin with.  He was such a great guy, and I'll always remember him.  He got me interested in softball by making me a manager and teaching me the game. Because of this little thing, I am now playing softball at the high school varsity level, and I have him to thank for it.  I'm going to miss him a lot, and I express my condolences to his wife and his wonderful children.  My prayers are with you, as well as the rest of your family as you grieve his loss.  He was such a loving and charismatic man, and he will surely and immensely be missed.
Angeliqué Israel (WMA '03)
Lansdowne, PA
(The Episcopal Academy)

Mr. Brannau was my 4th grade teacher and my best friend, Maddie's father. I was always excited going into his class, because of his compassion and love for all of us students. Each class we all had a different experince and always learned so much in such a fun way.  I never met a man like Mr. Brannau.  I never saw him or his family without a smile on their face, they were always joyful and welcoming towards everyone.  I still am in shock of this tragedy, because the Brannau family is one family that does not deserve this at all.  When I use to go over his house with Maddie, his daughter, I always remembered Mr. Brannau laughing and showing his love towards his children and wife.  I truly enjoyed visiting the Brannau house, because they always made me feel welcomed and a part of their household.  His wife, parents, and children are in my prayers. 
- Elisa Suro '05

  Mr. Brannau was the idol of every member of the football team-no, make that every member of the student body at Waldron Mercy Academy.  He was disarming, kind, courteous, incredibly talented, and a countless number of other adjectives you would find under all American boy.  That coupled with his golden locks, soft eyes, huge neck but trim body and the fact that he could throw a perfect spiral behind his back half the length of the field probably makes him sound like a legendary figure. Good. Mr. Brannau was a legend.  He was the first mentor to so many young men on the football field, and countless other young men and women both on the field, in the class room and in any medium that he saw anyone. As a young and idealistic soccer player who had far more dreams than talent in 6th grade, I was crestfallen when I didn’t hear my name on the list of kids who had made the team.  Before a tear could trickle all the way down my cheek, Mr. Brannau was there offering me a spot on the football team.  I immediately asked him where I could get pads and was playing the next day, for little other reason than Mr. Brannau.  He was demanding as a coach, but not one single player on any of his teams minded working for him. Everyone knew that Mr. Brannau would give the shirt off his back for them, then go buy them another shirt when they ripped his, and he would do it all with a smile on his face. He always strolled around wearing a smile, always offering a “How ya doin Aadum?” in his gruff voice and thick Philadelphia accent. He was one of the few people that would ask how someone was doing and really care, and would take time from whatever he was doing to listen to what was wrong if that was the case. But it was hard to have something wrong while around Mr. Brannau, because of his infectious smile and positive attitude.  Mr. Brannau lived his life the way we all wish we could live our life.  One knows that Mr. Brannau would not have sat at home at the end of an ideal life saying “I wish I had spent more time with my family” or “I wish I had done more of what I loved.”  Mr. Brannau seized every day, and lived each moment to the fullest.  It was so obvious that he loved his family very much, and I remember his son coming to football practice and being able to throw the ball as far as I could and how great of an athlete Maddie was, and I am sure that the rest of their kids were just as wonderful, if for no other reason than the fact that they had Mr. And Mrs. Brannau as parents. I would also like to make it clear that if anyone in the Brannau family ever needs anything, I would do anything, because I know that Mr. Brannau would do the same, so don’t hesitate to ask.  Truth be told, I have been working on this for several days, searching for the right words to say to honor him, but the fact is I could talk forever and a day about Mr. Brannau, but no amount or combination of words could be said or put together to say what a great, great, great man he was.  Mr. Brannau, your love was felt by so many people and you yourself touched so many lives.  Thank you so much for everything that you did.  As was relayed at your funeral, you made it cool to say to another man I love you. Well, I love you Mr. Brannau and so many people are going to miss you.
Adam Ferrone
WMA ’02
SJP ‘06

Mr. Brannau was my football coach from 5th through 8th grade at Waldron.
When I look back on my years at Waldron, the first thing that pops into
my head is Mr. Brannau and our 8th grade championship team. He was truly
the best man I’ve ever known in everything he did at Waldron, from
coaching, teaching, to raising his loving family. My heart was broken
when I heard the terrible news. Mr. Brannau will always and forever be
in all of our hearts. Mr. Brannau you will be missed and I will never
forget you. Rest in Peace.
--George Solometo
WMA '03
Carroll '07

  Mr. Brannau was my 4th grade teacher and Maddie's, a close friend and
classmate, father. He is one of the greatest people I have ever known.
Not one person has ever had the impact Mr. Brannau has had on me and
many other people I know. He has touched the hearts of many, of all he
has come into contact with. No one has ever had a negative thing to say
about him. He truly was "a man for others." I will miss him and love
him more than he will ever know. He was a role model for me and made my
Waldron years so memorable. His life and death encourage me and push me
to be just like a him, a truly good person. His loving, caring, and
humble qualities absolutely live on through his beautiful wife and 7
children. He is still alive through them and all. I know Mr. B is
sitting up there in heaven watching over all of us. He always was and
now forever will be an angel. I love you Mr. B. You really were the
To the Brannau family-
You are a wonderful beautiful family and will forever be in my prayers.
I hope you find happiness in knowing the giant amount of people who are
behind you and who have u in their prayers. I lvoe you all.
I love you to the moon and back. I'm always here for you. Stay strong.
"only the good die young"
Mr. Matthew Brannau <33
---Christina DeBiase
WMA Class of '05

  A coach, a teacher, a friend, a father and a mentor, Mr. Brannau
embodied all of these characteristics and more. As my football coach
from sixth grade through eighth grade, he made the largest impact on my
grade school life and life now. Although I never did return to Waldron
for a visit, I often thought about it. Every time I thought about it,
Mr. Brannau was the first person that would come to my mind. I would
decide what I would say to him, what he would respond with, and then
what I would say back to him. I did this over and over, never getting
  I remember the talks that he would give to the team and the
way he made practice the greatest part of the day, which made me never
want the football season to end. I remember the first day of practice in
seventh grade when I had a visor on my helmet and he said to me "Is that
Ben DiFranco behind that tint?" It may not seem much, but it meant the
world to me.
  The most vivid memory I have of this great man is from the
Sports Banquet at the end of eighth grade. He recognized all of the
football players and delivered the "Offensive" and "Defensive" awards to
their respective recipients. He then went on to describe one of his
football players, me. This caused my heart to beat all the way to the
top of my throat because of all of the things he said about me. He made
me feel infinite. When he finally did say my name and I went up to
receive the "Brian Daly Award," I felt like I was on top of the world.
To top that off, I gave him a hug, the first hug I had ever given to
someone in front of so many people and it made me feel even better.
  The last thing I ever said to Coach Brannau was "Thank you"
and I am happy that that was my good bye, because even today, that would
be the only thing I could say to him. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
  I will miss you coach. I give my deepest sympathies to his wife and
kids, and the rest of his family. He was a great man and will never ever
be forgotten.
-Ben DiFranco
WMA class of '03

Looking back getting cut from 6th grade soccer along with Adam, was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  I was finally able to meet that man Mr. Brannau, with the boyish smile.  Mr. Brannau taught me about football, hustle, and life in a way that no one ever has.  Along with the rest of the team I learned how to play on both sides of the ball for the entire game, while never giving up hope that we could win, because of Mr. Brannau.  Mr. Brannau was calm and smooth, and had humor and wit that everyone desired.  Yet when it came to his team, he showed fierce loyalty.  He never lost control like other coaches, but was able to just make sure that the ref made the right call.
   Most importantly Mr. Brannau taught me how to live.  How to enjoy every moment of life and do what you love.  How to be a true man and show emotions.  After my grandfather died during football season, I came back to practice and the first thing Mr. Brannau did was say, “I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather, but he will always be in your heart.”  He then tapped my heart and gave me a huge hug that few men can give without reservations.
   My thoughts and prayers are with the Brannau family.  He is smiling down on us with that same boyish smile, and will always be in our hearts.
-Brendan Judy
WMA ‘02
SJP ‘06