Coach Brown has been a part of some of the most exciting times as well as some of the darkest; however, there are things that have not changed with the times– his faith, his integrity and his heart.
For the fourth and final key to what it means to be a true champion, we will look to Husker football coach Ron Brown. Coach Brown was hired on to the Husker staff in 1987 as the receivers/tight ends coach. He was with the Huskers through 2001, was brought back again in 2003 and one final time in 2008.
Coach Brown has been a part of some of the most exciting times in Husker history as well as some of the darkest; however, there are things that have not changed with the times–his faith, his integrity and his heart.
When it comes to being a true champion, coach Brown says, “It starts from the inside out.” He points to a pole vaulter. If the vaulter's heart is not in the jump, if he doesn’t believe he can make it, he won’t. “The vaulter has to throw his heart over the bar,” Brown says.“Whatever limit the heart sets, the body will follow.”
Brown says this was seen in 1954 when Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. “It obviously wasn’t impossible,” Brown says. “It was a mental barrier.” Bannister had it in his heart that he would be the first to break the four-minute mile, and he did it.
Within 46 days of Bannister’s monumental mile, the record was broken again by John Landy. Then to determine who was the fastest mile runner on earth, the two raced and Bannister broke the record again. By the end of 1957, 16 runners had broken the four-minute mile barrier.
Through this series about what makes a true champion, I have sought the wisdom of those who have embodied that champion on and off the field.
• Coach Martin says a true champion values relationships.
• Coach Osborne adds that a true champion makes valuable contributions to society in the classroom and through service.
• Coach Brown adds that a true champion digs deep and puts his or her heart into overcoming any obstacle. I believe true champion encompasses all of these things and looks to put the team and community ahead of him or herself.
* Coach Bowden says a true champion will give it their all through integrity and honor.
Brochardt was an undergraduate assistant and Loper football running backs coach