Holding court on the gridiron – WHS hoop coach Dave Brown enjoys success as Pop Warner leader

Dave Brown had a great experience playing football in the East Lynn Pop Warner organization.

So when East Lynn president Duke Wilson approached Brown about coaching this season, Brown welcomed the opportunity to give something back to the group who helped him develop his talents as an athlete and a person.

Brown, a star athlete at St. Mary’s High School athlete where he scored 1,200 points in basketball and became an Agganis All-Star in football, is wrapping up his first season as the head coach of East Lynn’s inaugural Tiny Mighty Mites (ages 5-7) team on which his son, David Brown Jr., plays.

“All the great coaches that volunteered their time for me, I’m trying to give back to what was given to me,” said Brown.

Brown is new to the football sidelines, but he has been the Winthrop High School boys head basketball coach for the past eight years. His Vikings have won NEC South championships and last year’s team fell to eventual state champion New Mission in the Division 4 North final. He’s built the Winthrop program into a perennial contender for the state championship.

But this fall Brown is teaching football to newcomers to the game in East Lynn, where he is being assisted by coaches Kevin McCullough, Flynn Manalaysay, Mark Marino, and Kevin Aquino. The six-game season is instructionally based, with no scores or wins and losses recorded.

“The kids and the coaches have had a lot of fun this year,” said Brown. “For the first year and a 5-year-old to get out there and play football, it’s pretty impressive just to go out there as a kid because a lot of them were nervous. But the kids have really made some progress in the course of the year. These kids are being tackled and making tackles for the first time and I give the kids a lot of credit for doing that.”

Brown’s son, David Jr., must know by now about his family’s rich athletic heritage. In addition to his father being a 1,000 point scorer in high school and college (Westfield State) basketball, there is his grandfather, Peter Pedro (father of Dave’s wife, Helen Brown), who is a West Texas State college football legend and member of the Texas State Hall of Fame.

“I’m hoping my son has my father-in-law football instincts,” said Brown. “He’s one of the best running backs ever to come out of Texas. He is in the Hall of Fame for the whole state of Texas. When he goes down there, they treat him like a king.”

The East Lynn Tiny Mighty Mites wrap up their season this weekend against Chelmsford. And then they’ll celebrate all the football they’ve learned and all the fun they’ve had an upcoming breakup awards banquet.

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