Jonathon Brown Enters First Year as Head Football Coach of BTW Hornets

By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer

Mike Moguin photo
READY FOR ACTION: Jonathan Brown looks forward to his first season as head football coach at Booker T. Washington.

As Booker T. Washington takes the field this season, Jonathan Brown will be manning the sidelines in his first year as head coach. 
Brown had previously been an assistant for seven seasons – three under Marvin Dantzler and four under Brad Calip, who left to become an assistant at Owasso in January. Brown had been coaching the defense and became the unit’s coordinator in 2015.  
“I was extremely happy and humbled in one instance. It was very gratifying to become the head coach of my alma mater. I’m so happy I was able to get this position and am ready to move forward,” Brown said. 
“I want to be a mentor to these kids and help them be students first and graduate,” he added.  
On the athletic side, Brown hopes for his student-athletes to get a free education, whether it’s D-I, D-II, NAIA or any level in college football. 
“My job is to make these kids men and help them grow in life,” the first-year head coach said.
Brown, a 1994 BTW graduate, has quite a gridiron resume. 
After making All-State for the Hornets, he was All-SEC at Tennessee, played in the NFL, NFL Europe and the CFL.
“I tell the kids this, as you move up each level, the game gets faster,” Brown said. “Going from middle school to high school, or from Friday nights to Saturdays and going from Saturdays to Sundays, the thing I had to deal with was the speed of the game.”
Brown becomes the first BTW alum in 40 years to be the school’s head football coach.
“I think he’ll do a great job,” Calip said of Brown. “He’s an alum there and that’s his dream job. That is something he has always wanted. I think he’ll do a fantastic job. 
“He knows the kids. It’s not a new coach coming in with some philosophy. They’ll keep it going. I think that was a great hire. He’s young. He’ll figure things out. He’s a smart coach and I think he’ll do very well. So I’m proud of him.”
Preparing for the season came with adversity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
“I think it’s (COVID-19) been tough,” Brown said. “We usually do two groups — a big group and a small group. We had to break it down to groups of 10-12 people. We had athletes rotate between lifting and working out on the field. 
Brown said he tries not to complain.
“One thing my daddy told me, and it has always stuck. He said don’t worry about anything you can’t control. Worry about what you can control. I try not to worry about a lot of things. I just try to handle the things I can control. 
“We’ve had a great turnout. I’ve told the boys this is just some adversity that you have to work through. I think the one thing that sports and football in particular helps you deal with, it gives you life skills, communication skills and adversity. You also deal with how to get knocked down and get back up. Right now, we’re going through some things that’s going to help these kids out when they get older. And it will help us put this year through the season. You can control what you can control and let the chips fall where they’re going to fall.”  
As always, there is a lot of talent in the Hornets’ ranks with defensive back Keuan Parker (5’11”, 165 pounds), wide receiver Jalen Teague (6’3″, 195 pounds, senior) and nose guard Jaden Brown (6’1″, 250 pounds, senior), who is Brown’s son. All three are seniors. Parker is a Baylor commit.
“I think we’re going to have a fast team and a physical team,” Brown said. “I like the makeup of this team, I really do. I think we’ve got a good mix of leadership and guys that are hungry, that haven’t tasted success on this level yet but want to be successful. They want to work hard, want to grind. I think it’s really going to help this team out moving forward.”
When asked who will be the toughest opponent, Brown said “All of them. We don’t take anybody lightly around here.”
Booker T. Washington opened the season at home Aug. 28 against Southmoore. Through September, they will host Del City (Sept. 4), travel to Edison (Sept. 11), an open date the following week and meet Choctaw at home (Sept. 25).

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