BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Patrick Brown is the new head football coach at Seabreeze High School. He makes history as the first Black head football coach in the school’s history.
Brown takes over a program with a 12-38 record over the past five years, including 1-9 last season. The Sandcrabs last made the playoffs in 2014.
Brown was defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Father Lopez in 2017 and 2018. The Green Wave went 14-6 over that span and made it to the second round of the playoffs in 2018 and a bowl game in 2017.
Under Brown, the Lopez defense did the following: In 2017, the team ranked tops defensively in area statistics with four shutouts, had 25 forced turnovers, and seven defensive TDs while holding opponents to 11.5 points per game. In 2018, the Lopez team recorded two shutouts, 29 forced turnovers and four defensive TDs while holding opponents to 10.3 points per game.
The job at Seabreeze is an excellent opportunity.
“I’ve been in the area for nine years. Being here and coaching Pop Warner and mentoring kids I see it as a good balance and diversity. I have an underdog mentality. I see us as underdogs. I want to work with the kids and build the program back up,” Brown commented.
There is a lot of work to do turn the Sandcrabs back into a winning program, but Brown is up for the challenge.
“I believe it’s just the trust factor with the community. We got to get the community to trust in the program again. I have to get the community and kids to trust in a new coach and a new system. I got to get them on board with what me and my coaching staff has in store,” responded Brown.
About being the school’s first Black head coach, he told the Daytona Times: “I actually think it is good in some ways. Maybe it helps the African-American kids relate to a coach that looks like them.
“In the NFL, 70 percent of the players are Black. Maybe it helps them relate in seeing how to get there.”
Brown has a wealth of football knowledge having played three years in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (2011, 2012). He also played in the German Football League (GFL) with the Hamburg Blue Devils (2013).
In college, he played on the 2010 Bethune-Cookman Wildcats’ football team that went 10-2 and made it to the second round of the FCS playoffs. That year he had over 30 catches for 300 plus yards.
Brown also played for two years at Rutgers (2008-2009). In college, he played both wide receiver and defensive back.
He is hoping that his football experiences and connections to youth football programs help him. He spent two years coaching with the Daytona Beach Buccaneers and one with the Port Orange Hawks’ Pop Warner programs.
He said, “I think it’s a start. Some of the kids that I have coached in high school have family members who played Pop Warner who will now be coming to high school. Some of them know my coaching style.”
Discipline and structure
Brown wants to bring discipline and structure. He believes he relates to the players.
“I would say my discipline structure may be old school when it relates to that, but I can definitely relate to the players and the game. I want my players to perform. I don’t want them to be scared of me as a coach,” he explained.
“I want them to play their best. I don’t think you can do that if you’re nervous and worrying about making mistakes. There is a saying that: Which one are you more afraid of a dog on a leash or one without one? I want my players to have the discipline and structure of playing on a leash but being capable to play the game off a leash.’’
On drawing athletes
One challenge is bringing students back to the program. Today there are more relaxed transfer rules that allow kids to go to school out of their zoned school.
Even before those rules relaxed, players from neighborhoods in both Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach – which historically had athletes that attended Seabreeze – were lost.
Brown noted, “I think it’s just a matter of getting kids to buy into what we are doing. Letting them know how things are different as far as work ethic, off-season programing and so on.
The biggest thing many of my assistant coaches are involved with the youth programs such as the Bucs, Cowboys and others. We have a good strength and conditioning coach as well. The kids can see that we are taking that next step,” Brown added.