Brown begins as new activities director
By next week, with all five Spencer fall sports starting competitions as well as cheerleading, marching band, FFA and the fall musical practice beginning, new Spencer activities director David Brown will be immersed in all things Spencer Tigers.
Brown, who started his new position July 1, will take over for Roger Johnson running the Spencer activities and has already been getting accustomed to the position.
"I've been working with Roger all summer, going through the day-to-day operations and pretty much everything that I'll deal with," Brown said. "I understand all the big pieces of the puzzle, now it's just a matter of school starting and getting the little pieces together. I'm looking forward to the kids getting into school."
Spencer cross country begins with a home meet on Tuesday, volleyball with a home tournament on Thursday, and the first home football game will be Friday, Aug. 24, so Brown will hit the ground running next week.
The new stadium and track renovations will be completed, which were overseen this summer by Johnson, who's official last day is Aug. 31.
Brown comes to Spencer after six years as a middle school activities director in Fremont, Neb., and most recently, six years as the middle school physical education teacher and head boys basketball coach at Decorah High School. As an AD, Brown is excited to get to know all the kids in the high school.
"I'm looking forward to being with all the kids in high school in every activity and helping them be successful," Brown said. "As a basketball coach, I was just working with 20 kids. Now I've got a whole school of kids, which is how I like it. I enjoy all kids and it's what I like about the job."
Brown and his wife of 10 years, Katie, have two children of their own, Noah, 7, and Josie, 5. After his time in Fremont, Brown considered AD positions but wanted to be a head basketball coach. The time spent running the Decorah program will benefit him now as an AD.
"I had some possible opportunities to be an AD after Fremont, but I always wanted to be a head coach. I learned what coaches go through and some good communication skills with parents. High school coaches have a lot on their plate and I think I've got a better understanding of the things they go through."
One thing Brown is looking to establish is to build on the strength and conditioning programs across all the sports and allow each program to be on the same page.
"It's going to be a work in progress but we want to make the strength and conditioning program more seamless for kids as they go from sport to sport."
Brown has met with all the fall coaches to begin laying out what he feels can benefit every athlete in all sports with aligning everything into a strength and conditioning program, which will feature expert help from trainers from Spencer Hospital.
"When you look at something like strength and conditioning, it affects every kid in all sports. It's not about the coaches or the kids in one program, they're all of our kids," Brown said.
Becoming more technological and issuing electronic updates on all things relating to Spencer activities is another item on Brown's to-do list. He's already set up a Twitter account (@SpencerTigers1) to inform the public and students on results and important activities-related information.
Another thing Brown hopes to promote is the Bank Iowa Traveling Challenge Cup, which recognizes Iowa high school students for academic excellence in the classroom and outstanding achievement during state athletic, music, speech and debate competitions. Each school in the state is awarded points throughout the year for success in academics, activities and athletics.
Last year, Spencer finished 10th in Class 3A with 650 points. Brown's former school, Decorah, won the Challenge Cup in all classes for the 2011-12 school year.
"It's a nice way to promote all the activities because it's not just for sports."
The Life of a Tiger program that was started last year, which is for students who sign a contract saying they won't use alcohol, tobacco or drugs, will continue and Brown hopes to expand it.
"It's a group for everybody and it promotes a positive school culture. It's for kids who want to be good leaders."
The new school year is about to begin, and activities at Spencer High will be in full swing soon. From volleyball matches to the play (this fall's musical is 'Grease') to football Friday nights, Brown will be in the middle of it, interacting with the kids, and helping them along. Just how he likes it.