November 23, 2010


Former Memphis coach Al Brown passes away


James Allison “Al” Brown, former head coach at Memphis, passed away Monday at the age of 81.


A native of Memphis, Tenn., Brown was a star left-handed pitcher for Memphis Central High School before hurling for Memphis State College from 1947-48. He played professionally in the Chicago White Sox system. Brown was a part-time scout for the White Sox until 1978.


Brown returned to coach baseball at Central High School and led the Warriors to the 1955 state title. He became athletic director, basketball and football coach at Overton High School in Memphis from 1959-62.


Brown became head baseball coach and assistant basketball coach at Memphis State in 1962. He also was the color commentator for Memphis football and basketball and for the Memphis Chicks from 1962-96. Brown authored two books, Coaching Isn’t Easy and Basic Thoughts in Coaching Baseball.


From 1963-71, Brown was head baseball coach for the Tigers, posting a record of 156-118-4. Memphis enjoyed winning seasons in seven of his nine campaigns.


He joined the Memphis Park Commission and later became manager of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium and the Memphis Fairgrounds. Brown was a founder and served 14 years with the Mid-South Stadium Managers Association.


Brown returned to the University of Memphis in 1991 and was Executive Director of the M Club for 15 years.


Brown was inducted into the city of Memphis Amateur Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. He was a board member for the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame for more than 25 years and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.


(photo courtesy of Memphis Media Relations Office)