New coach leads to record-setting start

New women’s soccer head coach, Tom Brown, already has set records and more are on the horizon.

With an office clearly in organized chaos, the former Angelo State University head coach laid out a plan for the program and where he wants to go in the future. Graduating all of his players is one of the many places to start.

Of course, this is not a bad thing to say. Making sure players are not leaving the program early is often beneficial to the players as well as the school, maintaining a healthy graduation rate. Additionally, there are several schools that are penalized for poor graduation rates, so taking a hard stance on that area is a positive.

At Angelo State, Brown was noted for not only graduating his players, but also having them perform well in the classroom. So well in fact, that his teams at ASU won Team Academic awards by the NSCAA for 2000 and the 2002-06 seasons. Additionally, in the Fall 2007 semester, the Rambelles had a combined grade point average of 3.46. Although Brown feels he will have to be less hands on with academics at Sam Houston State, he is not taking a softer approach.

“[Associate Athletic Director for Student Services] Chris Thompson has done a tremendous job with academics [at SHSU]. I don’t necessarily have to be as hands on as far as grade checks and making sure they are in the right classes because Thompson does that. But the players have to know that I am wholeheartedly right there with her,” Coach Brown said.

Even with all of these accolades not commonly associated with having a winning program, Brown managed to be one of the exceptions as his teams also had a winning reputation. Brown guided the Rambelles to five consecutive Lone Star Conference Tournament appearances while also laying claim to four seasons with 10 or more wins in his 11-year stint there.

If Brown’s record-setting pace is any indication of long term success, the records he has already set at SHSU will be just the beginning. He currently has the Bearkats on a three-game winning streak, a club record, as well as having the longest amount of time without a single goal at 292 minutes. The current 3-2 record is also the best start for the women’s soccer program.

Brown also has goals for the coming years, including setting up an extensive off-season workout program and focusing on nutrition, as well as strength and conditioning.

When asked about talking to his players about nutrition, Brown shows his enthusiasm as well as his caution.

“Always, as you get into talking about nutrition and the things that skirt around that with female athletes, it can be a bit tricky. This could help your performance [but] your not talking about the extremes where some athletes will take themselves and not eat or over exercise.”

“I think as a general statement, college athletes are going to be less professional about taking care of those off field issues. They don’t necessarily see diet as affecting performance. Or drinking alcohol five days in advance as affecting performance as you might from a true professional who can see that that can be the difference [because] they are not fighting for a paycheck the way professionals are. Part of that is a maturity thing.”

Of the strength and conditioning program at SHSU, Brown feels he has a better system in place instead of handling it all himself, giving praise to strength and conditioning coach Kyle Speer and assistant Brian Neal for their work.

Constantly seen wearing soccer apparel, Coach Brown brings passion, winning, academics, and long term goals to the Sam Houston State soccer program.

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