Marion Bratton to retire from Oak HIll

Collin Brister
Sports Writer

Oak Hill athletic director Marion Bratton will retire on July 31, 2017 to spend more time with his grandkids and to accomplish some things that he has on his bucket list.
“I was a coach before I was an athletic director so that helped, but it was still a learning experience when I took over this job,” Bratton said. “I’ve been trying to get better each year. I was on a ball-field most of my life, and there wasn’t a ton of training. I was used to telling people at other jobs what to do.”
Bratton said that he got to a point where he physically couldn’t continue to coach, but that he wanted to stay around sports, and specifically Oak Hill sports.
“I just got to a point where I couldn’t go,” Bratton said. “But I wanted to stay around the kids. Anytime that you’re able to be around kids playing sports, that’s a good experience for me.”
Bratton, who has been at Oak Hill in the athletics director role, said that he was excited about what the future held, but that he would miss some things about the job. Bratton, who helped coach football, baseball and other sports, said that he’ll miss those things, but that he’ll enjoy still being around the kids and seeing his young granddaughter develop.
Bratton said that he’ll enjoy his retirement but that there would be a myriad of things that he’ll miss about his job.
“I’ll miss the kids, but I really miss coaching as well,” Bratton said. “I’ll miss being in a team environment and having that competition to be number one. I coached since I got out of high school, so I’m used to do this, and I’ll miss it.”
Bratton said that when he took over the athletic director job it took a lot of work and patience, especially on the administration part. He said that he went into everyday hoping to become better at being an athletic director than he was the day before.
“We really have a good coaches here at Oak Hill,” head football coach Craven said during the 2016 football season. “Coach Bratton is someone that I can rely on. He has really done a great job as the athletic director here at Oak Hill Academy.”
Bratton, who will have to have a replacement next week, said that he’s not able to get around like he wants to, and that he has personal things that he wants to get done before he can’t do them anymore.
Bratton said that incoming athletic director, Phil Ferguson, is taking over a small athletics department, and that they’ll have to get their numbers up, but that the kids at Oak Hill have the desire to win and achieve at a high level.
Cathy Davis, the headmaster at Oak Hill Academy, said that Bratton was one of the most organized people that she had ever been around.
“You never had to worry about things from an administrative stand point,” Davis said. “We always had the officials. We always had the people working the games. He was great for us.”
Incoming athletic director Phil Ferguson said that he’s excited to take over the athletic program that Bratton has left him, and that they Raiders were an up-and-coming program.
“Coach Bratton has done a solid job here at Oak Hill,” Ferguson said. “I know what he’s put into this program, and they’ve gotten better every day.”