Washington girls basketball coach Jade Brown becomes athletic director, will still coach

·4 min read
Wildcats head coach Jade Brown shouts to her team on the floor during the Navarre vs Washington girls basketball game at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.
Wildcats head coach Jade Brown shouts to her team on the floor during the Navarre vs Washington girls basketball game at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.

Through 10 years of coaching the Booker T. Washington girls basketball team, head coach Jade Brown has become a fixture in the Wildcats community.

That won't change, as the head coach won't hand over those duties, but she will be trading in her classroom for an office.

With BTW's Joe Williams moving from athletic director to assistant principal, Brown, who has taught psychology at the school for the past 12 years, has been named the newest Wildcats athletic director.

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"I think Joe (Williams) has really set the precedent," Brown said. "It's not a lot that I'm looking to come in and say, 'hey, let's be a gamechanger here and there.' We just want to continue to add to our student-athletes becoming winners on and off the playing field."

Brown has exemplified her alignment with that goal throughout her career.

On the court, she's one of the most animated coaches the Pensacola area has to offer. Down 30 or up 30, you'll never find Brown sitting on the bench. Instead, she sprints up and down the sideline, instructing her players to her maximum capacity.

Wildcats head coach Jade Brown talks with her team in between periods during the Navarre vs Washington girls basketball game at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.
Wildcats head coach Jade Brown talks with her team in between periods during the Navarre vs Washington girls basketball game at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.

Aside from that, Brown has also been the social studies department chair at Washington. Her vision for success is not biased towards her girls, or athletes alone, but to each student that walks the halls at Booker T..

She wants to keep the school's deep history alive for generations to come.

"Booker T. Washington High School has such a rich tradition and I'm not saying just athletically, but culturally, "Brown said. "At one point in time it was the only African-American high school that African-Americans attended. It is the oldest Booker T. Washington High School in the country. So what I love here is the tradition that people carry, you run into old Wildcats, they aren't going to say Washington, they're going to say Booker T.."

Now in an administrative position, she'll be able to carry out her passion for her place of work and its pupils on a higher pedestal.

"I can't just only show love to the athlete, I can't just show love to the coaches, I can't only always show love to the admin. I am a liaison between those three individuals," Brown said. "I just want to continue to expand upon my relationships I have with a lot of our coaches already, building more relationships with our athletes and better relationships with our admin in this new role."

Williams, who becomes assistant principal after four full years as the Wildcats AD, was a member of the committee that chose Brown to fill his former post.

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In citing a laundry list of reasons why Brown was the selected candidate, ranging from her leadership, depth of athletic knowledge and connections to the community, one stood out above the rest. One that gives her an instant edge in her new job.

"You'd be hard pressed to find somebody who doesn't have a good impression of Coach Brown from kids she's taught to anybody in the community," Williams said. "Not that that's the reason to hire an AD, but to know that people trust her, the kids trust her, teachers trust her and coaches trust her, she has all the relationships needed to effectively lead."

Despite her first losing season as a head coach last year with a 3-14 mark, Williams sees that experience as rounding out Brown's resume. Having seen the good and the bad, she'll be able to lend advice in any situation.

"She's an accomplished coach who has seen both the top of the hill as well as the bottom," Williams said. "To be able to guide head coaches through the lean times but also how to elevate a team to a championship level is knowledge that she possesses and that's very enticing."

With just a couple months to adjust to her new position, Brown will be thrown right into the fire this fall by overseeing the state and area's leading sport: football.

Other hiring news

2019- Fall-PNJ All-Area Coach - Scott Cochran portrait in Pensacola on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.
2019- Fall-PNJ All-Area Coach - Scott Cochran portrait in Pensacola on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.

In other athletic director news, Pensacola Christian Academy has shaken up names towards the top of its hierarchy.

Scott Cochran, the school's successful cross country head coach, was hired to serve as the new athletic director in early June.

He will continue along as the cross country coach, and "if everything goes as planned," will also coach track and field come the spring of 2023.

Lucas Semb can be reached at Lsemb@pensacol.gannett.com or 850-281-7414. Follow him on Twitter at @Lucas_Semb for stories and various Pensacola area score updates.

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Washington girls basketball coach Jade Brown now the athletic director