(Centralia, WA) 1961! 1961 is when the Centralia school district last hired a Head Boys Basketball Coach. Little did they know a young and enthusiastic Coach they would hire named Ron Brown, after spending 2 years on the Tigers bench as an assistant would then run his tenure for more than half a century.
Ron Brown has seen it all from the highs to lows of a coaching rollercoaster ride. His highest achievements were always team oriented and no doubt the 2 State Championships in 1979 and 1981 are highlights. His teams would qualify to play in 15 State tournaments over the years and added multiple placings from 2nd to 8th with those 2 State Championships.
During his 56 years he racked up 722 career wins averaging nearly 13 wins a season, this ranks 3rd on the list of all-time winningest coaches in Washington State. By the way, he will retire just 5 wins short of being #2 all time behind Pat Fitterer with 727. Ed Pepple is the all-time leader with 952. He also was named Washington State Coach of the year twice and was inducted into the State Coaches Hall of Fame in 2006. The basketball court at Centralia High School will forever be known as Ron Brown Court.
No doubt there are high accomplishments Coach Brown can look back on and be proud of but the other side of Coach Brown, for those who know him is not one that seeks or wants the spotlight. Sit down and talk with him and you’ll find a man who is equally as proud of a team or player that over achieved or battled to the end leaving it all on the floor.
Winning to Ron Brown was not just about having a higher score at the end of the night but the effort, the improvement and the dedication his players would put into trying to be the best they can be.
Another point of pride for Brown is having the opportunity to coach both of his son’s, Tim and David. David has gone on to be an attorney in the Centralia area and was part of the 1981 State Championship team along with a guy named Detlef Schrempf.
Brown’s other son Tim followed in his Dad’s footsteps and has been a Head Basketball Coach for 24 years at North Thurston. Combined they have more than 1,000 wins in the family.
What do you say, how do you act, what is the protocol to such a man and his dedication to his players, team, school and sport loike this? He has had a loyal and deserved respected following but finally at the age of 82 Coach Brown has decided it is time for someone else to take over the helm.
On social media the gratitude is overwhelming with the most interesting from players who are now just realizing that they got to be part of something very, very special. The players who got to play for him in this past season are now the last ones to be included in quite an exclusive club that began in November of 1961. No one else will be admitted to this club and the membership is now finalized.
Centralia Athletic Director Scott Chamberlain says plans for a retirement ceremony are in the works and a search for a new coach begins immediately.
Congratulations Coach Brown your impact on individual lives has been and will continue to be a big as the impressive numbers you accumulated over 56 years.
Links of Interest:
Full Press Release
Ron Brown announces his retirement as Head Boys Basketball Coach at Centralia
Coach Brown, Head Boys Basketball Coach for the past 56 years, retires.
CENTRALIA, WA – Coach Ron Brown, Head Boys Basketball coach at Centralia High School for the past 56 years, is retiring. Coach Brown highlights the many friendships formed with former players, opposing coaches and especially his dedicated and loyal assistant coaches. His love for teaching student athletes about basketball and most importantly about doing the right things in life on and off the court made this a very difficult decision for Coach Brown. Coach Brown ends his career with 722 wins, ranking 3rd All-Time in the State of Washington for career coaching wins. Recognition of Coach Brown’s retirement is in the planning stages at this time. The process of hiring the next Tiger Boys Basketball Head Coach will begin immediately.
In 1959, Coach Brown became a Centralia HS Tiger and spent his first two years as an assistant coach. In 1961, Coach Brown took over the helm of the program, making this his 56th season as head coach. During that time, Ron has coached the Tigers to two state championships (1979 & 1981), placed 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th (twice) and 8th (twice). His teams have qualified for the state tournament an additional seven times.
Coach Brown has been honored twice as Washington State Coach of the Year. In 1999, he received the National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches Association Section Eight Distinguished Service Award for Boys Basketball, representing six states. In 2006, Coach Brown was inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.