by Todd Peterson
November 30, 2011
Brown Was Simply ‘The Coach’ At Pine Valley
Brown, who passed away Sunday at 87, was a man who not only lived a full life, he literally did it all as far as sports goes, coaching football, baseball, volleyball, track, soccer and wrestling. He was also the school's athletic director. One of his former football players was Bill Bergey, who made quite a name for himself in the NFL as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. Both are members of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame with Brown being inducted in 1986.
Needless to say, Brown made an impact on nearly everyone he met during his lifetime. We were lucky to speak to a few.
Barb Abbey got to know Brown well when he hired her as the women's physical education teacher at the school.
"I owe him everything. He made me what I am," she said. "His daughter and I were roommates when I came to Pine Valley, so I knew him not only as a teacher and coach, but as a family guy. He was a very caring and giving person, someone who would do anything for anybody. Right up to the end of his career, he never stopped wanting to learn and teach new things. He was an outstanding and dedicated coach and a compassionate teacher for his students."
Tim Nobles, Pine Valley's girls basketball coach, has plenty of great memories of Brown.
"He was my gym teacher," he said. "I graduated in 1976 and I remember that he taught me to swim.
Summer swimming was a tradition at Pine Valley and I can still see him standing there in his blue shorts, teaching us the strokes. We also did a lot of activities in gym class you don't do today, things like marching and even square dancing."
Nobles also played basketball for Brown, who coached him during his senior year.
"We worked hard, but he was always fair with us. We made the semifinals that year," Nobles said.
Bob Krenzer followed Brown as the AD at Pine Valley following his retirement in 1984.
"I didn't work with him that much since he was there before I was, but his reputation as a coach, particularly as a baseball coach, was very good," said Krenzer.
Bob Wade, the former superintendent at Randolph, also has great memories of Brown.
"He started at Pine Valley the first year I started coaching baseball in Randolph," he said. ''I knew him very well. He could do just about anything he wanted. If there was a sport that needed a coach, he would coach it."
Wade recalled Brown's abilities in baseball.
"That's really where he made his name and reputation," he said. "He was a great coach and was a very good player himself.
Brown played semi-pro baseball and was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers and went to their training camp in Florida in the late 1940s.
"He was a good friend of mine and really was a wonderful man and very highly respected," said Wade. "We will miss him."