With the passion of a preacher and the bark of a drill sergeant, it took Cazzie Brown just 45 minutes to build a spirit of pride and determination among the student athletes who seek to wear Husky green underneath the Friday Night Lights this fall and beyond.
Brown, the newly appointed football coach at Hillcrest High, recently met with the Huskies who have previously been part of the football program, which struggled in 2015 after making the 2014 state playoffs.
Brown, a native of Houston, Texas, and former football player for Idaho State University, wasted no time requiring his student-athletes to tuck away cell phones, sit up straight, remove baseball caps, and bellow “yes, sir!” in unison to his questions.
“How you carry yourself reflects on your family, your school, and your team,” he said. “I will demand respect — and I will give respect. We will do our best as a coaching staff to help you be the best you can be. And we will work together. Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is the process, staying together is success.”
Coach Brown, a graduate of the University of Utah, said the Huskies will be known for discipline, a fierce dedication to the “Husky Way,” high academic standards, and community service. “We will love our school. We will love our community,” he said. “Where there is unity, there is victory.”
Coach Brown also had strong words about off-the-field expectations of his players. Disrespect, especially toward women, will not be tolerated, he said, and the players who are struggling academically will be expected to attend an early morning study hall until their grades improve.
“Gentlemen,” said Brown, a former arena football player and coach at East, Highland, and Judge Memorial high schools, “it is a privilege to play this wonderful game. We must earn the opportunity to wear the Hillcrest jersey. We must show outstanding character on and off the field.”
Hillcrest Principal Greg Leavitt has high praise for the new gridiron leader, saying he trusts Brown will build a “strong program and a winning program.”