WASHINGTON, Ill. — Washington Community High School’s boys basketball coach Kevin Brown passed away Tuesday night.
Brown struggled with cancer. He had a brain tumor removed in August 2018 and took a medical leave of absence from Washington High School in February of this year.
Washington’s athletics director Herb Knoblauch confirmed he died at 9:56 p.m. Tuesday.
Brown was 50 years old.
WCHS issued the following statement:
“It is with great sadness that we share Kevin Brown passed away June 11. Kevin’s 15 year career as an educator and coach at Washington Community High School had a great impact on thousands of students, and he was also a dear friend and colleague. He will be greatly missed and we will feel the loss for years to come.”
This story will be updated.
Coach Brown died Sunday night, but on Monday people in Washington are remembering his life.
He was said to have a ‘Never Give Up’ mentality, and while he was a great competitor, he truly cared about his players and students as if they were his own children.
“Mr. Brown had worked here for 15 years, he was a well-loved coach and teacher. He’s been a member of the family at this school for a long time and he definitely will be missed,” said Washington Community High School Superintendent Dr. Kyle Freeman.
Last August, Kevin Brown had surgery to remove a brain tumor. By November, he was already back for practices with his team. Dr. Freeman says that speaks to the impact he had on those around him.
“I think anytime that you have that kind of support, and that number of people who are concerned for your well-being, it talks a lot about who you are as a person and how well-respected and appreciated you are by those who you have been able to impact,” said Dr. Freeman.
The Central Illinois sports community knows that Coach Brown was very competitive, but Dr. Freeman says there was so much more to Coach Brown off the court.
“He was a very reflective person and not everybody got to see that side of coach Brown, but he would look back and look for ways to improve what he did,” said Dr. Freeman.
Washington Mayor Gary Manier says losing Coach Brown will leave a void across the Central Illinois sports community.
“I don’t know if anyone could’ve fought harder than Coach Kevin Brown at trying to beat this disease and to the point where I think they did analogies of, this is the 4th quarter, and we gotta get it done. He’s gonna be missed,” said Mayor Manier.
Both Coach Brown and his wife Jodi took his players and students under their wing.
“He cared deeply for those kids that he worked with, both in the classroom and on the basketball court,” said Dr. Freeman.
Coach Brown had a very successful career at Washington Community High School where he celebrated his 400th victory at home back in 2017. He also played a vital part of hosting the Tournament of Champions.