Brown will hold court at North

November 19, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

There's only one thing Barry Brown enjoys more than coaching basketball.

That's teaching the game that has been one of the constants in his life.

So, when North Hagerstown gave him the chance to stand with one foot planted in each of his favorite worlds, there was no way Brown could refuse the chance to become the new head coach of the Hubs girls team.

"Things couldn't have worked out better and I couldn't be more excited," Brown said. "Two years ago, I was coaching junior college basketball. Now, two years later, I'm coaching girls and loving it. It wasn't a path I expected. These girls are so teachable and I love to teach, so that is the key."

Brown spent nearly two decades assisting his father, Jim Brown, with the Hagerstown Community College men's team. But when the elder Brown retired, and the younger Brown did not replace him, the era had ended.


That is, until North coach Helen Mency elected to take a new job, leaving an opening. North principal Robert Myers found Barry Brown to be the right man for the job.

Going from coaching junior college men to high school girls is a change, but one that Brown unofficially prepared for.

"I coached a middle school traveling team during the summer," Brown said. "I had a great time. They're so teachable."

"With that experience, I thought I would be interested (in the North job), but I didn't expect it," he said. "Helen is a good friend of mine and she changed jobs. But when (the job) came up, it was a no-brainer."

Still, the approach is different. With junior college men, most know how to play, it's just a matter of getting the intensity and teamwork to be successful. On the high school level, learning the game is still the first step.

"You have to let girls know you care about them," Brown said "Being the father of three daughters, I have to keep that in mind. But I only know one way to coach. We had a meeting and I asked them if they wanted to be coached like girls or like basketball players. They want to be basketball players."

Brown will be adding a wealth of experience with his staff. Butch Maples and Brian Stone will be kept from Mency's staff with a few other additions.

"It will be a reunion of sorts," Brown said. "My dad (Jim Brown) will be a volunteer assistant floating through the program to teach our system and work with the players. My JV coach will be (ex-County Commissioner) Paul Swartz and we will also have Heather Albowicz."

Swartz is returning to the coaching ranks after entering the political ring. Albowicz is the former Heather Aleshire, who is Clear Spring's and HCC's all-time leading scorer.

"We have put together the best possible staff to teach the game," Barry Brown said. "We have to be especially positive to teach the game and to have quality people around them."

Don't be surprised to see some of the Brown style at HCC cross over to North High, if the personnel fits. But the first thing is to get the program up an running.

"Mr. (Robert Myers, North principal) and I agree not to judge the program on wins and losses," Brown said. "I'm competitive and I love to win, but I want to try and do it the right way. We are going to go in there and roll up our sleeves and get the young players going. ... Whatever happens won't be because a lack of effort.

"I'd like to see something happen at North Hagerstown. It's a quality system with quality kids."

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