by Mike Magers
Coach Brown led the Albuquerque Academy Chargers for 26 seasons, achieving 432 wins against 263 losses, an enviable .622 record. He began as head coach with the 84-85 season and his final year as head coach was 09-10. During his tenure, the Chargers would win 14 district championships, make 20 state championship appearances and win the championship 6 times.
He played basketball and baseball at St. Pius X, graduating in 1964. After attending St. Edward’s University in Austin, he went on to earn a BA in Political Science in 1969 and an MA in Secondary Education in 1974 from University of New Mexico.
He began his coaching and teaching career by serving at St. Francis Xavier School and Holy Ghost School in Albuquerque from 1968-1972 and Bernalillo Junior High School in 1973. He then signed on as an assistant coach at Academy where he would serve under Coaches Lou Baudoin and Vince Cordova. He took over as head coach following Cordova’s final season which would see the Chargers go 25-1, win the State Championship and have Cordova be named Coach of the Year. It was a difficult record to follow, but he did well.
He was named district coach of the year 12 times. His 432 wins ranks him just outside the top 10 among active and retired coaches in the state. The Chargers’ 6 state championships ties him for 5th place with Ron Geyer behind such notable names as Ralph Tasker, Jim Murphy, Pete Shock and Jim Hulsman. His 6 state championships are unique in that they were consecutive, beginning with the 88-89 season and ending with the 93-94 season. This ranks first on the list in New Mexico and is a record that will most likely stand for many more years. There are no active coaches on the list who have even as many as 3 consecutive titles.
Brown was twice named Coach of the Year by New Mexico High School Coaches Association and was named to its Hall of Honor in 2006. He was named the Albuquerque Journal’s coach of the year in 1993 and 1997, the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame Coach of the Year in 2001, the National Federation Coach of the Year for Section 6 in 1995, and the Region 8 Coach of the Year in 1995.
His two sons, Greg and Danny Brown each played on three championship teams for their father, followed him into the high school coaching ranks in New Mexico and are still actively coaching at Volcano Vista and Highland, respectively.
The following quote from colleague Joe Coleman appeared in the Albuquerque Journal on June 24, 2010. “Mike is more than a coach to me,” said Coleman, who spent eight years with Brown. “And he’s more than a coach to kids. He’s one of those people who come around in your lifetime who changes who you are and how you perceive things. He makes you a better person for having known him.”
Acknowledgement: Most of Coach Brown’s totals come from my friend Chuck Ferris’ excellent site: www.chuckferrissports.com. It is the place to go for New Mexico High School Basketball records.