MAIDEN, N.C. (WBTV) - Legendary North Carolina high school football coach Tom Brown died at age 77 on Thursday, his family says.
According to Coach Brown’s son Brian, Tom passed away early Thursday morning.
Brown was one of the state’s most successful football coaches at the high school level.
A native of Pennsylvania, Brown attended Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, where he earned all-conference honors in both football and baseball, and basically never left the area, according to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
Brown started his coaching career as an assistant at Lenoir High School. Then, the rest of his career as head coach - 35 years with Maiden, a three years with Bunker Hill, and ended his career with three years as head coach at East Burke.
Coach Brown officially retired in 2016.
He had an overall head coaching record of 352-132-7, according to the NCHSAA.
As a head football coach, he won 330 games at Maiden High School, the state record for wins by a football coach at a single school. The stadium at Maiden was named in Brown’s honor in 2000.
Maiden High School released the following statement on Twitter:
“With heave hearts, the school, football program, former players, and the community; we have lost a true legend, person, and mentor in Coach Tom Brown. Our heartfelt condolences go out Jill, Brian, Von and the family during these times. We pray for peace and he will be missed,” the statement read.
Brown coached in all the state’s major all-star games, including head coach of the North Carolina Shrine Bowl team in 2000 after a stint as an assistant in ’95.
He is a member of the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall of Fame and the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame.
Coach Brown also served several years as a guest analyst on WBTV’s “The Point After” sports show on Sunday nights.