Mike Brown officially named Hempfield football coach

Monday, April 19, 2021 | 10:09 PM

When Mike Brown interviewed for the Hempfield football coaching position, he told the school board he wasn’t the fastest or strongest player. He was just a person who played with energy, passion and had a great work ethic.

He was convincing enough to be hired, replacing Rich Bowen, who resigned in February after spending nine seasons as coach. Bowen, 57, had a record of 30-55 with four WPIAL playoff trips.

Brown is a 2009 graduate of Penn-Trafford, where he played defensive back/wide receiver/quarterback for Art Tragesser. He attended Mercyhurst, playing four seasons and starting three as safety. He graduated in 2014 with a sports management degree.

At 30, he is one of the youngest coaches in the WPIAL.

“Ever since I was a coach, I dreamed of being a head football coach,” Brown said. “There are a lot of great people at Hempfield who are passionate about athletics. My goal, which will be our motto, is, ‘Win today.’ Either in the weight room, a match test or a game. We just want to get better.”

Brown began his coaching career as a defensive intern at Robert Morris. He became an offensive intern at James Madison before returning to Robert Morris to coach the linebackers and defensive backs until 2019.

He then earned a teaching degree in health and physical education at IUP and spent the past two seasons as defensive coordinator at Greensburg Central Catholic.

“I’ve interviewed for other jobs and was told I was too young,” Brown said. “But I think my passion, energy and seriousness showed the people I was ready.

“I want the football program to be for the entire community, from ages 6 to 96. (Hempfield AD) Mr. (Brandon) Rapp is very passionate. The people at Hempfield are passionate.”

Brown said he faces a busy week as he tries to assemble his staff. He hopes to hire some Hempfield people.

“The cool part of the process was being a student teacher with (former Hempfield and Mt. Pleasant coach) Bo Ruffner,” Brown said. “I a lot learned from him and Coach Tragesser.

“Coach Tragesser taught me how to treat people. He was a great coach to play for. I’m excited to get started and get things rolling.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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