Brown came to Goshen to stay

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Sports Editor

If the name Tim Brown sounds familiar to Pike County residents it isn’t because of the other guy that plays wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders.

The Tim Brown that’s the new head coach at Goshen High School is a Zion Chapel native and was head trainer for Chase Riddle’s national title baseball teams in the late 80s. His name and face appears in the two baseball team photos from 1986 and 1987.

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Following Goshen football practice on Tuesday, Brown related a funny story concerning the years he spent with TSU’s athletic programs.

Over the summer he stopped to eat at Brittany’s Restaurant, known for its autographed photos and framed newspaper clippings of past Troy State glory.

His sister and brother-in-law were with him.

"I told them ‘I’m on one of the pictures on that wall,’" he recalled. "I got to looking and I’m in about six pictures."

Brown received two rings for those two magical seasons. He also received two rings for the two nationals titles won by Troy State football teams in ’84 and ’87.

"I don’t wear them," said Brown. "I plan on getting one that I’ve coached for before I wear them again."

Brown has spent the past three seasons at Emma Sansom High School under head coach Wayne Prophet. Prior to that he was an assistant at Seminole County for 10 years where he coached both baseball and football.

After spending 13 years away, Brown decided it was time to return to the place he knew best.

"I was looking to get back closer to home," he said. "All of my family is still right around here. I applied for a couple of jobs and didn’t think anything would really come of it and then the Goshen job came open and I said that’s the perfect place. It’s about halfway between Troy and halfway between Zion Chapel. So I’m close to my family in Troy and I’m close to my family in Zion Chapel."

Goshen will mark the first time Brown’s been a head football coach, although he does have head coaching experience. At Seminole County, his five-year record on the baseball diamond stood at 102-38.

His success indicates that he obviously picked up a little something from Riddle, the man he worked under for four years and who Brown describes as his "mentor."

Brown’s attitude about coming to Goshen may have also had something to do with him getting the job.

"I told them I wasn’t coming to get a little experience," he said about the interview process. "I want to come in to stay. My family’s here. The day I met the team I told them I was planning on staying. I was born and raised here, I went to school at Zion Chapel, I’ve been gone long enough and want to be back close to home."

Brown knows he must build on the foundation left by three-year head coach Joe Thornton (21-12). Thornton, who resigned in April to take the head coaching job at 5A Saks High School, led Goshen to the playoffs two years in a row.

A popular coach among parents, players and fans, Thornton turned the Eagles into believers.

"I told them (the team) when I met them that I know ya’ll have been doing a great job," said Brown. "I don’t want to come in and change anything, I just want to enhance. Coach Thornton did a great job and his record showed it. But everything I’ve asked them to do, they’ve really took well."

One thing Brown has done is recruit the players. The Eagles carried only 20 players, from grades seven through 12, to a jamboree in the spring.

"Over the summer, the beginning of school, and the beginning of football practice, we’ve got the numbers up to 58 – 30 varsity and 28 junior varsity players," said Brown. "We’re having to order brand new equipment."

Those numbers speak loudly, especially considering the Eagles did not field a junior varsity squad last season.

"That’s the thing I’m most proud of is getting the JV back going. And Coach (Bart) Snyder has done a great job with them to get the numbers up," Brown said.

Having a good feeder program is critical to any varsity level squad and Brown fears that not having a JV team last season may come back to haunt the Eagles in the near-future.

"The problem is, and it may not show this year, but next year or the year after when you have players playing varsity that didn’t have JV, it’s going to show then," said Brown. "It’s going to come back."

The Eagles open the season on Aug. 30 with Daleville.