Coach Brown returns home


Photo taken by Mason Berger

Coach Brown sits on his new throne in his classroom

Elder has welcomed a plethora of new faculty members to the staff so far in the 2018-2019 school year. One of the newbies on the staff is electrified to be back at his alma mater. “I’m just excited to be back,” says Elder’s newest faculty member, Mr. Nate Brown.

Coach Brown grew up a Blackhawk, attending St. Dominic for grade school. He came to Elder as a football and a baseball player, but hung up the football cleats after shoulder injuries his junior season. “I got in five plays and decided not to play as a senior,” says Brown. He also was a member of The Purple Quill as a senior in high school.

Choosing the Diamond

Coach Brown as a senior baseball player. (from

He unfortunately battled a pretty serious shoulder injury, and decided it was best to give up football and focus on baseball. Coach Brown comes from a baseball family, and took his talents on the diamond to Thomas More College to play baseball for two years.

He earned an English degree at Thomas More, and decided to educate himself further at Mount St. Joseph where he would earn his masters in teaching.

Currently at Elder, Brown is involved in the baseball program as a coach, entering his fourth year on the baseball staff, and has unofficially joined the cheering section supervisor squad. “I guess I’m a part of the cheering section supervision crew,” says Brown. The word is that Coach Brown gets into it on the field during football games. “Yeah! Why wouldn’t you be?” he replied when I asked him if he was getting a little rowdy at the game.

Brown told me some of his favorite classes and teachers during his time as a student at Elder were mostly all of his English classes, with teachers ranging from Mr. Alig to Mr. Acito.

Also, he credits Mr. Boeing’s Anatomy and Physiology class for his success in college anatomy and physiology with current Elder teacher, Dr. Hageman. “I dominated because of Mr. Boeing’s class,” says Brown.

Baseball Savant

Coach Brown’s personality and energy is hard to match. I asked junior Carmine Domenicone about Coach Brown’s demeanor, and he responded saying, “He’s got a very quirky, energetic personality that makes him a very passionate coach and I’m sure a teacher too.” He also said, “He probably knows more about baseball than he does English.”

“He probably knows more about baseball than he does English.

— Carmine Domenicone

Carmine and I have known Coach Brown (we refer to him as Coach Nate a lot) for several years now. We each have a favorite Coach Brown story.

Before a baseball game, a fellow classmate of mine, junior Jonathan Paff, was living it up in batting practice. Hat backwards, swinging like Ken Griffey Jr., Coach Brown came right out into the outfield where we were hitting, and I’ll just say he did not appreciate Paff’s ambitions to be like “the Kid”.

Zach Dugan, who got to witness the scene, depicts it, saying, “Paff’s just doing his thing. He took batting practice before the game with his hat on backwards and opposite handed. Coach came out and chewed him out.”

“Coach Nate is a great coach that doesn’t mess around when it comes to baseball. Don’t screw around between the lines and always respect the game,” Dugan says about Coach from the baseball aspect. “He will do anything for you. And he still gets after it. He even still plays ball during the summer.”

That is true. You may be lucky enough to see Coach Brown behind the plate and hitting line shots opposite field at one of his games.

Rolling to Elder

One little interesting fact about Coach Brown that you may not know is that many times, he rides his bike to school. Not much of a runner, Brown wanted to find a way to stay active. He decided on biking, and now bikes to school. “This past summer, I’ve been riding my bike around instead of running,” says Brown. He claims that he hasn’t had to fill up on gas since the beginning of August.

Coach Brown locking up his bike before homeroom. (photo credit to Carmine Domenicone)

Coach has already taken a tumble once this year on the way to school. His bike slid out from under him, and he injured the same shoulder as he injured playing football. It was so painful that he got a shoulder x-ray, but he managed to grind out a full day of teaching on the day of the accident. Brown commented on the gritty performance, saying, “I did it for the kids.”

“I would classify it as a mountain bike,” says Carmine Domenicone, who gets to witness greatness each day during homeroom, watching Coach Brown lock up his bike before class begins.

He would not give me any favorite students in particular, but he did say that he likes the students who are active. “All of the classes are different. It’s enjoyable to see the different personalities of kids,” says Brown.

“Coach” Brown

To me, calling him “Mr. Brown” does not sound right at all. He has been, and always will be “Coach Brown” or “Coach Nate” to me. This is not disrespect at all. It is very strange seeing Coach in the halls as a teacher rather than in shorts and a cap in the dugout. Coach Brown is more than just a Coach to his players; he treats players and students like long-time friends.

All in all, Coach Brown is going to be a fantastic addition to the Elder family. He is one of the most passionate individuals I have had the pleasure of knowing, and this passion and intensity will be brought to Elder by him. Each and every minute of each day at school, and on the field, he will always be emotionally invested in the game, lesson, play, essay, whatever.

He’s excited to be back home.