Former Maiden and Bunker Hill football coach Tom Brown will enter his fourth hall of fame on Saturday, when he is inducted into the North Carolina High School Athletic Associaton (NCHSAA) Hall of Fame.
Brown, who is considered by many as one of the greatest high school coaches in North Carolina’s history, adds the NCHSAA Hall of Fame honor to his inductions into the Lenoir-Rhyne, Catawba County Sports and North Carolina Athletic Director’s Association Halls of Fame.
“Tom Brown is one of North Carolina’s most successful high school football coaches ever, and he is certainly deserving of this prestigious NCHSAA Hall of Fame recognition,” said Rick Strunk, associate commissioner of communications for the NCHSAA. “His induction is actually a little unusual for me because I worked with him and hosted his radio show when I was in Catawba County, and now I’m working with the Hall of Fame for the NCHSAA when he’ll be inducted.”
Brown found out last year that he was going to be one of the seven names to be honored.
“This is a year-long process,” Brown said. “It goes back to last April, when they announced the inductees for 2011. They had a NCHSAA Day at Chapel Hill. We were introduced at the Virginia Tech-North Carolina football game. They are a couple of times we are introduced throughout the year, but the formal induction is on Saturday.”
Because of the long wait for his induction, Brown said it has been an memorable experience.
“The NCHSAA wants it to be special for all the individuals going in that year,” Brown said. “The day at Chapel Hill was wonderful. We were introduced at halftime of the ball game, received a nice plaque and were up on the jumbo screen. I had several people tell me they were at the game, saw me honored and were very pleased.”
Brown spent 38 seasons as a head football coach, including 35 seasons at Maiden and three seasons at Bunker Hill.
Brown owns a 352-132-7 record as a coach, with 330 of those wins coming at Maiden. His win total at Maiden is a state record for most wins by a coach at one school.
For his contributions to the school, Maiden named its stadium after him in 2000.
“I’ve known Tom for many years, and he really made Maiden football synonymous with excellence,” Strunk said. “We look forward to him joining with many others in being honored Saturday night.”
Comparing his newest Hall of Fame spot to the previous ones, Brown said this one is unique.
“They all have a special place,” Brown said. “It all started at Lenoir-Rhyne. I came to Lenoir-Rhyne in 1961 from Pennsylvania. Without the beginning at Lenoir-Rhyne, it would have never have been possible.
“All of my coaching career, except for one year as an assistant, had been in Catawba County. So, being in the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame is special. I’m also in the North Carolina Athletic Director’s Association Hall of Fame. You get kind of recognized there for not only your coaching, but what you have done overall for athletics,” Brown said.
“To get into this Hall of Fame, it is sort of a ‘who’s who’ of coaches, administrators and contributors for the entire state of North Carolina,” Brown said. “That, in itself, makes you feel pretty proud because you are being judged as an equal to some of the finest people in athletics in the North Carolina athletic history.”
Joining Brown as inductees into this year’s class are Harvey Brooks, Alton “Tunney” Brooks, Bob Catapano, Joe Hunt, Carolyn Rogers and Que Tucker. All seven members will be inducted in a ceremony Saturday.