KREMMLING — How does a man who has more wins than any other high school football coach in the state congratulate himself when he reaches such an accomplishment? Well, if it's Chris Brown, he doesn't. He turns the focus to the very reason that he got into coaching in the first place. He turns it to the kids. With West Grand's 38-12 win over Sanford on Friday night, Brown became the all-time wins leader in the state. But his mind wasn't on the record. It was hoping his kids would start 1-0 on the season. His 307th win was the most important win to him, but only because it was the next game on the schedule. "About maybe one percent," is how much the record was on his mind. A man like that with so much love and passion for teaching kids about football and life was an easy pick for Week 1's Denver Broncos coach of the week.
Years coaching: 40 (307-123, No. 1 all-time)
Years at West Grand: 36
Previous stops: Limon (1976-78), John Mall (1979), West Grand (1980-present)
Q: Why do you coach?
I just love what I do. I can't believe they pay me for this. I was a teacher too. Loved it. That's how stupid I am, I came back and taught for three or four years for no pay. I volunteered. I taught a personal finance class for free, I taught my weight lifting class for free. It was just something to do.
Q: Why do you coach the way you do?
I just think that these guys' career ... it's over (after high school) for most kids. You better have a purpose besides blocking and tackling because they probably won't block and tackle too many people once they graduate. At the time, those were great goals, techniques and fundamentals to work on, but eventually you better have something else. If you're goal is to win a state title every year, I mean I have four. Four out of 40. That's an F. You fail most of the time if that's the only goal you have. Our goal is to play the best we can play each week and get better. That's our goal. Our purpose is to try and take young men and get some integrity in them and teach them right from wrong and hope some of that sticks with them when they get older.
Q: If it's not 307 wins or state titles, how do you define success in coaching?
If you have those years where you have a chance at it, you have to have it up there as a possibility. But to be the best you can be, that's a great goal. And then at the end you can kind of evaluate if we were the best we can be. Some years we've overachieved and some years we've kind of underachieved. Probably some of that is a good job of not looking back and trying to do this or that. It's a usual game. Fans do it. Might as well have the coaches do it too.
Q: What's it like to be coached by you?
Brown: I hope I'm a positive influence. I hope it's a good time and (the kids) are learning something, not only football but life lessons. Never quitting, good sportsmanship, how to treat people and all that. I think that's important.
Q: When you talk about sportsmanship and those values, what do you do to instill those values into these kids through football?
*Well, if the other team doesn't show up, we don't have a game. You have to treat (your opponents) with respect. They're trying to do the same things you're doing. They'll play their best and some days, they play better than you. So you have to realize that.
When you watch our kids, when we tackle someone we help them up and we've been doing that for years and years. I don't like any bad talking, any swearing, that kind of stuff I guess.*
By Dan Mohrmann CHSAANow.com