How and why did you choose to become a football coach?
"My high school coach, Joe Tuberville, 41 years ago pulled up beside me in Winnsboro and asked if I wanted to help him coach at Spring Valley, which in 1970 they were just building. I thought that was the greatest thing in the world. I thought he had just given me a million dollars. I always enjoyed football. Even in the sixth, seventh grades, I would draw up plays and dream up schemes. Football was all I knew. It was the main part of my life back then. I never looked back and here we are 40 years later."
What's the best thing about being a high school football coach?
"The lasting eternal effect you have on young people. I am a father to the ones who don't have a father. That touches your soul. I've had players come up to me years later, not just the ones who played in college, the ones with a business, with tons of money and a good family and say, 'Coach, all I did was use the things you used to teach us. I used the things I learned from you.'"
What's the most challenging thing about being a high school football coach?
"Probably the same as being the most rewarding; being the only father some of them knew. That means they didn't have discipline, work ethic, respect, commitment and sacrifice built into their lives. Our society has become very self-centered and there's a sense of entitlement. It's hard to overcome what those kids have learned through society, through a home without a father."
Who is the best player you coached at Berkeley?
"At Berkeley, it has to be the three 3s; three guys who wore the No. 3 jersey. It started with Rusty Williams and continued with Andre Ellington and Bruce Ellington. As far as the best athlete, it would have to be Bruce because he could play multiple positions. Andre was a great running back and very much parallel to Rusty. Bruce, of course, was the best athlete because he played basketball and baseball. He could have done golf or been an All-American swimmer."
How hard was it to decide to leave Berkeley High School and Moncks Corner?
"It's the hardest decision I'll have to make in my lifetime. My mind tells me one thing. My body tells me one thing. But my heart is in Moncks Corner. Nobody will probably love a place so much and leave it. But I have to factor in my family and grandkids and don't want to be two hours away when they graduate from high school and these types of things. Time goes by quickly. I could stay here two or three more years and keep on winning and having fun. But that's not the life of a Christian. I feel like God has new challenges for me at Fairfield Central, and, as a Christian, I am ready to accept them. I don't know if I will miss football, but the experience of being Coach Brown at Berkeley High School in Moncks Corner is an experience that no one has an idea of how precious it is."
What advice do you have for new Berkeley football coach Jeff Cruce?
"Winning is just a byproduct and not to make winning too important. Look at the kids not as what they can do for you, but look at their souls and see what you can do as a father figure for them. See them through a father's eyes and not a head coach's eyes. Create a balance. As far as the community goes, be a part of it. Live and die with the community. Experience the Moncks Corner experience. At the same time, I would tell him to be Jeff Cruce."