Clinton tabs Scott Brown to lead team|[4/25/05]

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 25, 2005

Scott Brown spent nearly a decade at Clinton High School, watching, learning, and just waiting for his opportunity. Last week, he finally got it.

The 32-year-old was hired as the school’s head football coach and athletic director last week. Brown replaces Pete Hurt, who held both positions before taking an assistant coaching job at the Air Force Academy.

“I’ve been looking for this opportunity for a while, and things just fell into place,” Brown said.

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Brown was hired at Clinton in 1996. It was his first coaching job after graduating from Mississippi State, but he took full advantage of an opportunity to learn from two of the best.

Before Hurt, Brown served as an assistant to David Bradberry, who led the Arrows to the Class 5A state title game in 2000.

“I can’t put it into words. (Hurt), and coach Bradberry before him, I learned so much from them,” Brown said.

While Bradberry and Hurt brought a wealth of coaching experience, Brown has little. Although he has been with the Clinton program for a long time, this is his first head coaching job. He believes that what he lacks in experience, he’ll make up for with familiarity with the players and system.

Brown felt that familiarity played a big factor in his hiring.

“I believe so, and with my lack of experience that’s the only thing I could fall on,” Brown said. “The thing I’ve got going for me is I’ve been here nine years, so I know what it’s all about. I know how the school and the district work.”

Brown will have a tough task in his first season. Not only do the Arrows lose eight defensive starters from a team that went 8-6 and reached the Class 5A semifinals, they’ll play in one of the best regions in Mississippi and face a murderous non-conference schedule.

In addition to the Region 2-5A gauntlet of Northwest Rankin, Provine, Madison Central, Warren Central and Vicksburg, the Arrows will play defending Class 4A champion Brookhaven, Class 5A semifinalist Oak Grove, Tupelo and Brandon this fall.

Before all that, though, Clinton will test themselves against defending Class 5A champion South Panola and Provine in its spring game May 12.

“These are two quality programs, obviously,” Brown said. “So without a shadow of a doubt, we’re going to know where we stand.”

Girls’ basketball coach Gary Miller recently retired and took the head coaching job Hillcrest Christian. Former Northwest Rankin coach Felicia Lofton has been hired to replace him, pending approval by the school board.

With the hiring of Brown and Lofton, it appears the Clinton program is one in transition.

“We’ve got some established programs in other sports,” Brown said, pointing out that a number of Clinton teams have won division titles or reached the playoffs this school year. “I think the coaches before me have laid the groundwork. We’ve got some great coaches here.”