Congratulations & Thank You Mack Brown
By FirstDown PlayBook on Nov 28, 2018

For each and every one of us there are days and people that change the direction of your life forever. For most of us there are the obvious people like your parents or whoever raised you and then after that it becomes little less certain on your life journey.

If you listen closely to football coaches you will almost always hear them talk of the influence that the coaches they played for and worked with had on them in their younger years. In fact, you may also hear a coach talk about how someone took a chance on them and gave them an opportunity as a young coach. It’s a big deal in any career, but especially in the coaching profession because without someone there to give you an opportunity and take you under their wing you have little to no chance to get in the profession, much less be a success.

Mack Brown is one such person for me. In 1983 a young graduate student at Appalachian State University wanted to coach football. I mustered up enough courage to walk into the ASU football office and ask for a meeting with the newly hired thirty year old football coach named Mack Brown. As I recall, I explained that I would like to help out with the football program and Coach Brown was quick to explain to me that if I was given this opportunity that there was no pay involved with this arrangement.

I flash back to that day in 1983 when Mack Brown gave me an opportunity to coach football because he and that day changed my life forever. It started me on a path that afforded me an opportunity to work for coaches on his very first coaching staff like Steve McGill, John Palermo and Sparky Woods who understood that I knew very little about football but I understood the value of work.

In Mack Brown’s very first game as a head coach and mine as a football coach period, we upset Wake Forest 27-25. I was tagging along with linebacker coach Steve McGill that season and one of Coach McGill’s linebackers Joel Carter returned two interceptions for touchdowns.  I was pretty sure this football thing was not that hard…

Anyway, I am obviously writing about this because Coach Brown was named the head football coach at the University of North Carolina again yesterday. I don’t need to write about all that Coach Brown accomplished at and after Appalachian State. Coaches who win national championships and get inducted into hall of fames are not big secrets.

What I do want to to do is say “thank you” to Coach Brown for that day back in 1983 and the opportunity he gave me and to also congratulate him and the University of North Carolina. As we already know this is a powerful combination.

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