The administration of Spring Valley High formally announced that Jerry Brown will be the new coach of the Vikings football team on Wednesday.
Brown, who began his coaching career at Spring Valley 44 years ago, will succeed coach Miles Aldridge, who guided the Vikings from winless to a12-win season in 2013.
“Coach Brown is a man that is here to build character in young men,” Vikings athletics director Tim Hunter said. “He is a man that is concerned with developing young men, as well as the program.”
Brown thanked his predecessor for leaving the program in great shape.
“This is the first time I’ve ever taken over a team that wasn’t rebuilding,” said Brown, who has made a career of reviving programs. He owns a career record of 254-114 at four schools and has won five state titles. His first revamping experience was with the Vikings in 1984, when he put Spring Valley on the path from one win in 1983 to state champions in 1988.
“Only God could orchestrate a thing like that, to come back and end up where you started,” said Brown, who also won three championships with the Vikings as an assistant coach. Brown retired in 2011, but returned to coaching at Batesburg-Leesville in 2012.
A man of deep faith who considers football coaching a calling, Brown said only the Spring Valley position could have lured him from Batesburg-Leesville, where he had established a strong bond with the Panthers as he led them to a Class 2A Division 2 championship in 2013.
His role at Spring Valley would include “bringing together Spring Valley’s great football past tradition” that began in 1970, when he was a 19-year-old assistant coach to Joe Turbeville.
“I’m probably the last original Viking,” Brown said. “There are not many around that can bring the stories and the history that are a part of this program. I’m looking forward to coaching sons of some players that I coached.”
Brown said he is looking forward to several seasons at Spring Valley, although he predicted, “This should be my last rodeo.”