Chan Brown tried his best to shift the attention elsewhere.
As the recipient of the 2021 Ethics in Coaching Award, the longtime Parkview High School baseball coach refused to take credit for the honor, one of the highest a high school coach can receive from the Georgia Dugout Club.
“It’s a big honor for the program, community and our staff,” Brown said. “There have been a lot of people put blood, sweat and tears into the program. A lot of pieces of the puzzle have to come together.”
Brown, already a GDC Hall of Famer, will be honored at the annual GDC Coaches Clinic December 11, 2020 at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center. He will be honored along with the six newest members of the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame.
“Chan Brown has been recognized many times for his success on the field, but his leadership off the field made him an easy choice for this award,” said Greg Frady who chairs the Ethics in Coaching Committee for the Georgia Dugout Club. “He is a man of strong principles. Many times, coaches talk about doing it right and Coach Brown has done it right from the beginning.
“Like many coaches, he has had strong role models around him to show the way. He was blessed with Coach Hugh Buchanan and Coach Roy Massey that came before him. Those two men were pillars of strength in their community. Coach Brown not only learned from those men, but has taken his commitment to doing it the right way to a new level. He is a committed father, husband and role model.”
Brown, who was inducted into the GDC Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2018, has a decorated coaching career. He is in his 18th season at Parkview, 17 as the head baseball coach. After inheriting the Parkview program from longtime coach Hugh Buchanan in 2005, he helped keep the program among the nation’s elite.
In 21 seasons as a head baseball coach, he boasts a 449-149 record. He has guided the Parkview program to 11 region titles and five state titles (2011, ’12, ’15, ’18 and ’19). His 2012 team was voted the national champions by Baseball America.
The 2015 Parkview squad was named national champions by five national media outlets, including Baseball America and USA Today. His 2018 state championship squad was named as national champions by Baseball America, while his 2019 squad won a state-record 36 games.
He was named National Coach of the Year in 2015 by USA Today, Max Preps, Perfect Game and Baseball America. The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) named him Southeastern Regional Coach of the Year three times (2011, ’12 and ’15), and the Baseball Coaches Association named him Regional Coach of the Year in 2015.
He was the ABCA National High School Coach of the Year in 2019.
He boasts three Georgia Dugout Club Coach of the Year honors and three Gwinnett Dugout Club Coach of the Year awards.
His peers also have great respect for the Parkview coach.
“Chan is one of the premier high school coaches in the country who always gets the very best out of his players and has developed a total high school program that rivals any program any where,” Johns Creek head coach Billy Nicholson said. “Chan has always been more than willing to share his model of success with anyone and has always been very accommodating to help young and old coaches with advice, mentoring and being an incredible ambassador for high school baseball in our state and across the country.”
While Brown’s coaching career is impressive, he said he wants to be known more for helping young players grow into better men.
“We want to make sure we run things the right way,” he said. “When I first got here, I made a lot of mistakes that hopefully I learned from. I don’t know if I was the best coach for Parkview, but I like to think I’ve grown and matured.”
Brown has helped guide many players to the next level, but he said when they keep strong relationships with him and his staff and come back home for the program’s annual alumni golf tournament, it means a lot. He added that more than 25 alumni sat in the dugout at Hugh Buchanan Field when his Panthers played Mill Creek for the Class 7A state championship series in 2018.
“That was a very cool thing to experience,” he said. “Hopefully, we have made an impact on all of them to be very successful people in society. and the most important thing is I hope we have helped them along the way to become leaders, great husbands and fathers.”
Frady said that Brown is a player’s coach who has had a lot of success, but his players come first.
“Much success has come Parkview’s way over the years and with that has come personal recognition,” Frady said. “However, Coach Brown has always put his players first and helped them to be recognized without compromising his values. He has built a family environment for all players to thrive. His commitment each year to the off-field work with charities and fundraising efforts is exemplary.
“This has given his program and players experiences they could not have experienced without his strong leadership. This award reflects how Coach Brown was raised by his family and now, how he mentors his values to his community.”