It's spring and all the baseball gloves and lacrosse sticks are out,but it's football news that continues to steal the spotlight in Carroll.
While the Western Maryland College football team is making history with its trip to Russia, South Carroll made some history of itsown last week, selecting Gene Brown as the school's second head football coach.
Gearing up for his 14th season as South Carroll's boys lacrosse coach, Brown was an assistant football coach under Ken Parker for 16 years. He has yet to decide whether he will remain on as lacrosse coach after this year.
"I'm excited and looking forward to the new challenge," Brown said. "It's the middle of lacrosse season and that's the main focus right now, but I'm trying to get some things done with football as well."
The official announcement came Wednesday with approval from the school board.
"He's a proven coach, and we're tickled to death to have him in our program," said South Carroll Athletic Director Fred Baker.
"He's been Ken's top assistant for some time, has head-coaching experience in lacrosse and knows our sports department. I'm 100 percent confident the program will remain at the level it is now. He's perfect for the job."
Brown, a University of Maryland graduate who majored in physical education, is a special education teacher at South Carroll. He first took an assistant coaching jobwhen a vacancy came up 16 years ago. He started with the freshman team and worked his way up.
"I've learned a lot from Ken over the years but the two biggest are knowledge of fundamentals, which are crucial to a successful program, and organizational skills. You have to be organized as a head coach," Brown said.
Parker, who ended his 25-year career as head coach of the Cavaliers with a 125-114 record andthree playoff appearances, said Brown is "dedicated and gets along well with the kids. He's been with us for 16 years and knows what it takes to be a head coach."
Parker has five more years left of teaching and plans to remain active in the football program as an assistant.
"We talked about making some changes and it will happen, but we'll also keep some of the things that worked for Ken," Baker said. "Isee Gene carrying on right where Ken left off."
The new head coach agrees.
"Any time someone new takes over a program you can expect a certain amount of changes, but I don't see the need to make any drastic changes," said Brown, who inherits a team that finished 6-4 overall a year ago and won the county championship with a 3-0 record.
"We lost a great group of seniors, some tough guys to replace," Brown said. "We do have a fairly decent junior class back."