In 2013, Brannen took Abilene to their first playoff appearance in four years. Brannen coached the Abilene Bombers to their first playoff appearance since 2009, while putting up some impressive numbers in the process. Abilene led the Lone Star Football League in sacks, red zone offense (86%), red zone defense, and was second in the LSFL in scoring defense. Brannen coached Jeremiah Turner resulting in Turner receiving the 2013 LSFL Defensive Player of the Year.
"I have enjoyed my time in Abilene and am very thankful for the city of Abilene, Bombers fans and sponsors that enabled us to find success", explained Brannen. "I am excited for the opportunity to coach in San Angelo. The players we target during the recruiting process will be guys that bring a ton of intensity on each and every play. They will play Bandit Football, a very physical style of football, where we will be constantly attacking, in all three phases of the game. I cannot wait to get to work on bringing in a team that the City of San Angelo can be proud of!"
The San Angelo Bandits owner Randy Sanders is excited about the acquisition of Joe Brannen.
"After much deliberation, we have finally found a great Head Coach to lead the San Angelo Bandits to a winning season", explained Sanders. "We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to bring Joe to San Angelo, and we look forward to a fantastic season in 2014".