Community mourns death of former Lackey football, track and field coach
Community mourns loss of former Lackey football, track coach
Michael Brown was known as one of the most diligent high school football coaches to ever come out of Southern Maryland and had a smile that could light up a room when he walked in.
Brown also shaped and molded the lives of players and students within Charles County for many years.
The community is mourning the loss of the former Lackey head coach football and track and field coach, who died unexpectedly on the morning of Sept. 8. He was 64 years old.
Brown was a former head coach, teacher and administrator at Lackey for over 30 years. He was inducted into Lackey’s athletic Hall of Fame last December.
Brown, who was at the helm for over a decade, was known for leading the Chargers to a Class B state football championship in the fall of 1986 after finishing just 4-6 the previous year. He also led the outdoor track and field team to a state title in spring of 1987.
He is currently the only coach in Lackey’s history to win a state championship in two different sports.
Glenn Jones, who was a Vice Principal at Lackey and a former head football, wrestling and baseball coach, was an assistant coach under Brown every season before taking over the reins in 1994.
“When I got the call it was ver y difficult, but I know Michael doesn’t have to suffer anymore. He is now with the Lord,” said Jones, who was inducted in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1997. “He was a wonderful man and was well-respected by the kids and they would run through a wall for him. He was just loved by everyone.”
While having a major impact on the kids off the field, Jones described Brown’s presence while on the sidelines.
“Michael was a very fiery coach and his forte was the offensive line,” said Jones, referring to Brown. “He always had high expectations and he did a great job with that team in 1986. We were so deep at every position that season.”
Rod Milstead, a former offensive lineman for Delaware State University and a 1994 Super Bowl champion with the San Francisco 49ers, was a member of that Chargers state title squad.
Since Milstead posted the heartfelt message of Brown’s passing on Facebook on the morning of Brown’s death, there have been 785 likes and 183 shares.
“The world lost the best high school coach Southern Maryland has ever known,” said Milstead, who won his first career game as the head coach of the La Plata football team in a Week 2 win over Leonardtown, 53-38. “Coach Brown was not only a football coach, he was a friend, mentor, a father to the fatherless and a high school administrator. He touched the lives of so many people in the community and was a great man. He gave me the opportunity to play football and always told me that I would play college football and go pro.”
Sam Oliver, a former assistant football coach, head baseball coach and athletic director at Calvert High School, was a Chargers assistant coach under Brown from 1981 to 1990 and he and Brown were also assistant football coaches together at La Plata in 1979 and 1980.
“Mike Brown left a legacy of service in the community and his smile would brighten your day,” Oliver said. “He was ver y competitive and was a great game-time decision maker. He was good at delegating situations with his coaching staff and he was a very gifted track coach.”
Brown graduated from Gwynn Park High School in Prince George’s County in 1971 and four years later from Glenville State College (W.Va). From there, he started his career working with Charles County Public Schools and ended his career as Lackey Vice Principal, retiring in 2007.
Holloway Saunders, a 1987 graduate, played for Brown as a freshman and was a running back up until his senior year before being moved to inside linebacker during his senior year.
“I miss the father figure that he was outside of school,” Saunders said. “The fact that he put you in a position to make you grow as a young adult on and off the field helped me so much. I still talk about Mr. Brown and being a captain on the state championship team was the best part of my high school years. I’ve passed down what Mr. Brown taught me to my son [Preston Saunders] who was captain of his high school and now the college soccer team.”
Tracy Lee, also a 1987 graduate, was Lackey’s dual-threat quarterback under Brown and was the catalyst of the veer option offense that averaged 36 points per game behind an offensive line anchored by Milstead and guard Dave Gentilcore.
“I’ll miss the big bright smile, he made time for everyone,” said Lee of Brown. “He let his coaches coach, but we all knew who was in charge.”
Former Lackey head football coach Mike Brown, who led the Chargers to the Class B state championship in 1986, died Sept. 8. La Plata head coach Rod Milstead was a member of that team. Milstead said Brown was a father figure to him and many young men at that time.