Com­mu­nity mourns death of for­mer Lackey foot­ball, track and field coach

Com­mu­nity mourns loss of for­mer Lackey foot­ball, track coach

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

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.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

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