New Guide Helps Centralia Basketball Legends Reminisce on Ron Brown Era

By Sam Bakotich / For The Chronicle

Assembling a ebook that options far more than its fair proportion of basketball statistics doesn’t sound like a titillating time for the creators of the ebook, however don’t inform that to Ron Brown, Jared Stewart or Chris Thomas.

Former Centralia High School boys basketball coach Brown, who pulled off the almost extraordinary feat of teaching 56 years at one college, collaborated with Stewart and Thomas, two former gamers, to create a ebook chronicling that point known as “History of Centralia Basketball — Ron Brown Era,” which has lastly been printed and is out there for buy now (https://www.talltigers.com/).

The ebook was a very long time coming and all concerned couldn’t be happier. It includes a pair of tales penned by Brown, a Hall of Fame coach, some historical past of all Centralia basketball, an in depth dive into every of his 56 groups, and extra statistics than one might think about that mix to inform a narrative of how one man managed to spend his complete profession in a single spot.

“Jared was such a big part of this book getting done,” mentioned Brown. “He urged it after seeing all my data and stat books. It took some pushing and prompting however I lastly got here round and mentioned ‘Let’s do it,’ which actually meant him doing most of it.

“I supplied the material and a few other things and he grabbed it and ran … and he kept pushing.”

After seeing the ultimate product again from the printer this week, Brown couldn’t be extra happy.

“I didn’t think it would be as nice and readable as it is,” Brown mentioned. “I believe individuals concerned in basketball will get pleasure from it. I’ve already had just a few feedback again from individuals who’ve seen it and so they mentioned it introduced again loads of nice reminiscences.

“It does trigger a lot of things,” he went on. “And they’re all good things.”

Brown mentioned he spoke to former Weber State coach Denny Huston not too long ago concerning the ebook and Huston was shocked by one reality.

“He said ‘Ron, no one keeps stats that long. No one keeps them all.’ But I told him if you stay in one spot that long it’s not that hard,” Brown mentioned.

Both Stewart and Thomas admitted the work was intensive however each known as it a “labor of love.”

“I love the finished product,” mentioned Stewart, a 1991 Tiger graduate. “The best parts for me are the stories Coach wrote. You could see when we went over them with him how emotional it was for him.”

Brown labored on his “farewell to players” portion over the course of a number of days. Stewart mentioned it wasn’t till Brown’s son, Tim, came visiting and so they went over it collectively that the mission, and his profession, hit residence.

“I think at that point that all of his years coaching and all his relationships with players finally hit him hard,” Stewart mentioned. “It was really neat to see what it all meant to him.”

“That also meant the most to me,” mentioned Thomas, a former Chronicle sportswriter. “Getting to help present this and help write the forward was an utmost honor for me.”

The ebook options pictures and stats on all his groups and can certainly function a dialog starter to all Tiger gamers.

“The best part of putting this book together was visiting with a lot of former players,” Thomas mentioned. “The stats are all awesome but what that did was just stir up a ton of stories. That’s what it’s all about.”

Trevor Westlund, a 1988 graduate who was additionally an all-Black Hills League participant two years and league MVP for one, helped with modifying the ebook.

“This is a one of a kind book,” he mentioned. “I don’t know of any other situation where a coach has  been at one place for 56 years and who also kept detailed stats all that time and then could find them all when he retired.”

“And that’s not even all his stats,” Westlund mentioned. “He’s got stats I know of from when I played Saturday morning basketball from when I was in fifth grade.”

Westlund mentioned the ebook can be utilized as an encyclopedia of a particular time in Tiger historical past.

“Even for non-Centralia people,” he mentioned. “If you want to know more about larger-than-life people like Jay Roberts or Detlef Schrempf and how they played in high school, you can compare your stats to theirs. It’s a lot of fun to compare.”

Westlund additionally hosted a golf match on the course he co-owns — Newaukum Valley — to assist increase funds for the printing of the ebook. Such time was had by all that the plan is to make it an annual occasion and reunion of kinds.

“It’s like a reunion of all the people you want to see,” Stewart mentioned. “I know it was really cool for me. You hear of these players from different eras and always wonder what they’re like and it’s fun to be able to meet and talk with them.”

In Brown’s time on the Tiger helm, he compiled a 723-541 file, capped by two state titles in 1979 and 1981.

The ’79 title staff was particular as a result of it was the primary and featured the likes of Bob Peters, Paul Coty, Bob Wollan and Greg LeDuc to call just a few. All eight of the seniors on that staff confirmed as much as the golf match and when it got here time to take a particular photograph of the seniors and Coach Brown, LeDuc shocked the group by pulling out the precise web that had been reduce down from the title recreation and wore it round his neck for the photograph.

“That was awesome,” Thomas mentioned. “I can’t believe he had that net for the past 43 years. He had it hidden in his coat while we waited for (longtime assistant coach Tim) Gilmore to come in for the photo and then he said something like ‘wait, this picture wouldn’t be complete without this,’ and then he pulled the net out. And the guys went crazy.”

Thomas even remembered going to church as a younger boy the Sunday after the ’79 title recreation and LeDuc was sitting in entrance of him in his letter jacket with the online round his neck.

“That was so cool,” he mentioned.

Thomas mentioned the ebook helps rekindle reminiscences like that and plenty of extra.

“That tournament was great,” mentioned Brown, who attended and had a ball. “It really was cool. There was a lot of hugging and laughter, and memories shared.”

Now that the teaching is finished, the ebook is concluded and life slows down, how does the previous coach wish to be remembered?

“I never thought of that,” Brown mentioned slowly. “Mainly just as a good coach who worked hard. I always tried to be fair and I thought I was consistent in what I did. And I always hoped I set a good example for the players and students.”

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