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Willie Braziel moved to the south metro a few years ago. He is now doing likewise with his coaching career.

Braziel is taking over the Simley boys basketball program, leaving Columbia Heights after two stints covering 14 years. He guided Bloomington Kennedy's boys team for three years in between tenures.

"I made the decision to coach closer to home," said Braziel, who lives in Rosemount. "I cherished my time at Columbia Heights. It was arguably one of my best times as a high school coach. The community is very special."

Braziel, who has a career record of 310-220 over his 20-year coaching career, guided the Hylanders for six seasons from 2007-13 and resumed that role in 2017. He directed the Hylanders to back-to-back Class 3A tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018.

Columbia Heights also went to the state tournament during his initial stretch in 2011, the program's first trip since 1930, a span of 81 years. The Hylanders were the state tournament runner-up in 2011 and 2018.

Braziel started his coaching career with Minneapolis Roosevelt's girls team for the 2004-05 season. He was a sophomore playing for Marshall-University when it went 28-0 and won the Class A championship in 1976.

"I hope to bring a winning culture to Simley," Braziel said. "I know it's an excellent high school academically and plan to enjoy coaching a few more years."