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 TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.


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