J.A. "Babe" Brown


James Allen "Babe" Brown was an football and basketball coach and college athletics administrator. He was the head coach in basketball and football at the University of Idaho in Moscow, and later a three-sport coach and athletic director at the College of Idaho in Caldwell. He also coached multiple sports at four high schools in Idaho: Lewiston, Burley, Moscow, and Nampa.

Brown graduated from Boise High School in 1919 and was a multi-sport athlete at the University of Idaho in Moscow, where he lettered in football, wrestling, and baseball. He was a hard-hitting fullback on the football team under head coaches Thomas Kelley and R.L. "Matty" Mathews. His senior season was Idaho's first as a member of the Pacific Coast Conference.

Following his playing days, Brown was an assistant at Idaho under Mathews,then became a high school coach in 1925 at Lewiston High School, and won the state title in basketball in 1926.

Brown was then hired as the freshman football coach at the University of Idaho in 1941. Brown moved up to the varsity as an assistant to head coach Francis Schmidt in 1942, but the football program went on hiatus prior to the 1943 season. In the meantime, he became acting head basketball coach in December 1942 and acting athletic director in 1943, when Guy Wicks and George Greene joined the navy. Brown led the UI basketball team to the northern division title of the PCC in his fourth and final season in 1946.The Vandals met southern division winner California in a three-game series in Berkeley; Idaho lost game one in a near-riot, won game two,but lost the third.After Schmidt's death in September 1944, Brown was the interim head coach for the abbreviated 1945 football season and was named head coach in March 1946.

After a dozen years residing in Moscow and six years as a collegiate coach, Brown returned to the high school level in 1947 back in southwestern Idaho at Nampa High School, where his teams won titles in football and basketball during his nine seasons with the Bulldogs. His 1950 basketball team won the state championship

In 1956, Brown was hired at the College of Idaho in Caldwell as athletic director, and also served as the head coach for basketball and baseball. When head football coach Ed Troxel resigned in 1958 to go to the new Borah High School in Boise, Brown took over as head football coach of the Coyotes.He stepped down as head basketball coach in 1961,and as football coach and athletic director following the 1964 football season.

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