Coach Brown graduated high school from Fort Worth Southwest High School in 1989, playing varsity football and baseball for the Rebels at quarterback and middle infielder. After graduation, Gary received an invitation to play football for Texas Tech as a free safety and punt returner, and was a part of their All American Bowl winning team.
Gary entered the working world after his experience at Texas Tech, but a few years later in 1994, his course would change after a close friend encouraged him to go back to school and earn a degree. Despite thinking that his playing days were likely behind him, he enrolled at Tarleton State University and redshirted on the baseball team for a year. The next year he transferred to Cedar Valley Community College to play baseball. He achieved success both on the field and off, helping the team finish 2nd in the nation in 1997 and meeting his wife Lacy. Lacy is an amazing 1st grade teacher at VPS. Upon earning his Associate's Degree at CVCC, he continued his education and baseball career at Howard Payne University where he earned a Bachelors of Science in Exercise and Sports Science in 1999.
Wasting no time to start making an impact in the world of education, Coach Brown served as a volunteer assistant baseball coach with Brownwood High School while he was earning his teaching certification. Once certified, he was hired to be the head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Rice High School. He significantly contributed to the consistent success of the athletic department by winning three district championships and making five playoff appearances in baseball alone. In 2006 his team went 26-3, with 26 straight wins, losing to the eventual state champions in the state semifinals. At the encouragement of current VHS Assistant Principal, then coach Charles McCarty, Coach Brown brought his services to Venus ISD in the 2007-2008 school year. By the spring of 2012, Coach Brown was the VHS Head Baseball Coach and has been making history with the VHS baseball team ever since.
Perseverance is a key to who Gary Brown is. His path to where he is was not direct, nor was it easy, and it was certainly not without hardships and adversity. Learning from mistakes and making adjustments is the name of the game; packing it in and going home is not an option. Coach Brown understands that “paying your dues” and “putting in work” will not only lead you to success, but will also help you overcome adversity when your plans don’t quite work out how you thought they would.
Family is also central to Coach Brown’s identity. Mr. and Mrs. Brown have three children: Easton, Kaityn, and Morgan. He is dedicated to supporting his family and ensuring that each of his children have the opportunity to pursue what they are passionate about. That can mean long commutes to and from cheer or baseball practice after a long day at work, but the payoff is worth it. This dedication to family doesn’t stop with his actual family, but extends to his players and students as well. Coach Brown builds lasting relationships with his students because he fosters an environment of mutual trust where there is no question that he is dedicated to helping them reach their potential.
What is your favorite memory as a Bulldog?
Though difficult to choose, one of Coach Brown’s fondest memories as a Bulldog came during last year’s history making playoff run in the last game in the Bulldog’s series against Stephenville. The Bulldogs were down 9-4 with no outs in the 3rd inning , Coach Brown says he was starting to think of what he was going say to the players after the impending tough loss. The team, however, had other plans; Coach Brown fondly remembers the team sticking together, bearing down, and grinding out some solid, fundamental, baseball. After a pitching change, the Bulldogs kept Stephenville from scoring, but things were looking bleak by the 7th, as the hits just weren’t coming. The team’s focus and determination began to pay off as they put together a comeback for the ages. In quick succession they were able to get the bases loaded and get a hit past the outfielder to bring the runners in. What Coach Brown remembers most isn’t the win, but rather how his players reacted to getting behind in a high stakes game. They had already made school history in advancing so far into the playoffs and could have easily let the game go and call it a season. Instead they embraced the challenge, made adjustments, and did the “little things” right.
What staff members would you like to brag on?
Randall Buck bleeds blue and gold, and has supports VISD students in EVERYTHING. He attends and helps with just about every after school or extracurricular activity in the district. He can be seen doing everything from working the concession stand, being the administrator on duty, and cheering on the kids.
Jay Underwood is a great example to our students of what a Bulldog can be. Few realize how much he does and how much her genuinely cares for VISD students; he is looking out for our students.
The entire VHS cafeteria staff makes an enormous positive impact on the spirit of the campus. They are always positive and uplifting with VHS students and go out of their way to make everyone feel special and loved…on top of feeding 500 people two meals a day.
Why stay in Venus?
In the coaching world, it is not uncommon to change districts fairly frequently, especially for coaches that have lead their teams to on-field success. Coach Brown is in his 8th year with VISD and says he is happy to continue here. He’s seen students that could have gone elsewhere for academic or athletic reasons decide to stay and step up as a leader for their peers. Coach Brown couldn’t be more proud these students and families who choose to make Venus ISD a better place every day. He stays for himself as well as for his kids. VISD is very much a second home for his children and they are thoroughly engaged in their campuses. Coach Brown wants to invest where he is and make the biggest difference he can, because Venus students are worth it.
How have Venus students impacted you?
It would be difficult to work in public education and not be impacted by the students you see day in and day out. He is proud of our students who don’t have a strong support structure at home, but push themselves to be more than their circumstances. Kids with supportive big families have many great and supportive people helping them to persevere; not every child is afforded such a luxury. We have some great kids that despite not having a strong support structure at home, when faced with adversity choose to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and try again until they reach their goals. Our students need to be able to trust their teachers and coaches are working in their best interest. He works hard to build those bonds so they can reach new heights.
When asked why he has such a love for the sport of baseball, Coach Brown smiled and said, “You either get it or you don’t, love it or find it boring, but for me it’s that there is no clock. The game doesn’t end until the winning team has earned the last out. There are no shortcuts to getting the last out; at some point you have to get it done and throw the ball over the plate.” We are privileged to have teachers like Gary Brown who are dedicated to building up young people who are able to “get the last out” in their lives by working hard and seeing things through until the end.