BOURBON — It’s hard to leave a program behind, especially one that you helped build.
Triton head football coach and co-wrestling head coach Ron Brown has decided to hang up the reigns of the two Trojans programs he has helped transform into winning ones. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but after receiving an offer from a Class 3-A school in central Indiana and talking it over with his family, the Browns came to the conclusion it would be the best thing.
“It was a very tough decision,” said Brown. “I love my community at Triton. It’s a hard thing to do after 10 years, after pouring yourself into a program, into the kids, into the school, the community, but unfortunately, sometimes you have to make tough decisions that you weren’t expecting to make and hope for the best.”
As head football coach at Triton, Brown guided the Trojans from a pair of two-win seasons in his first two years at the helm in 2015-16 to a combined 17-8 record over the past two seasons, seasons which included numerous individual and team record-setting performances on the way to football’s Ink Free News Team of the Year honors in 2017, and to a school-record 9-4 finish with the football program’s first sectional title in a decade this past fall. Not only did Brown’s mentorship help his Trojans to winning performances on the field, he also guided his players through the heartbreak of losing teammate Cam Scarberry to an auto accident in mid-September of the 2017 season.
Brown’s effort in the hallways were just as demonstrative as those on the field, having to hustle out a football lineup in 2015 that lent to just over 20 kids trying out after John Johns left the program hanging in the summer with a move back to the Lafayette area. Brown took on the personalities of the students, giving them as much ownership of the team as he had as a then-interim coach. While the short-handed team took its lumps early on, players started to buy in. Those numbers continued to rise in the years to come, leading to Triton’s most successful season in the program’s history this past fall.
As co-wrestling coach at Triton alongside fellow head coach and assistant football coach Matt Arvesen, Brown’s athletes have been equally successful on the mats. Last season the Trojans tied a program record of 15 wins, earned a Hoosier North Athletic Conference championship three-peat and qualified six wrestlers to the Penn Regional.
“I’m happy that the programs I’ve been involved in are going to be better off than when I got there, but by no means is it a ‘me’ thing,” explained Brown. “Coach (Rodney) Younis, Jeremy May, Lee Bragg, Matt Arveson, Jason Thompson, Brandon Haines — all the coaching staffs and all the individuals that have helped us out — that’s what makes us successful, is the people buying in and most importantly the players.”
Brown has said part of his decision to make the move is because his new job will allow him to work administratively with students who are struggling academically. Last year, Brown was nationally recognized as one of the finalists in the “Coaches Making a Difference” contest sponsored by the Rose Bowl and the National Football Foundation, after Triton football alum Nate Spangle nominated him. The contest was meant to highlight high school coaches that have made a difference in the lives of student-athletes in their community.
“I think too often in high school sports in particular, us adults ruin it, and we take it too seriously and we forget that it’s about the athletes, it’s about the students. That should be our number one concern — doing what’s best for kids at all times,” said Brown.