Coaching isn’t always flashy. And at the end of the day, there’s much more to it than the win column. It’s about being an example for young athletes to look up to, and instilling lifelong lessons that they will carry with them throughout their lives.
Coach Mike Brown at West Point checked both of those boxes. Not only did the Warriors win 6 consecutive Cullman County titles with Mike being on staff, any West Point player who was a part of the program during his tenure is quick to tell you that Mike was always there – as a coach and a friend. Lillie Burdette, a standout player who won 4 titles under Mike, was one who certainly considered Coach Brown a role model.
“The softball program we had at West Point, and with a Coach like Mike Brown will make anyone wish for four more years of eligibility when the last game of your senior season is played. I have played different sports for different Coaches, but playing softball for Mike Brown, Kevin Sullins, and Eric Pendley will always be my favorite memory of High School to look back on. They cared for you on and off the field, and even after they watched you graduate High School. You don’t find Coaches like that very often, and those memories are part of why I chose to get into Education and one day coach the same sport. I want to be what Mike Brown and the other Coaches were to me to other student athletes because I know how pivotal it was to me at that age, and that’s to be someone who makes a difference in other’s lives and can be a reliable mentor,“ said Burdette.
Mike’s sidekick from his coaching days, Eric Pendley, was thrilled of the announcement that the softball field would be renamed in his honor. “Kevin Sullins and I were asked our thoughts [on the renaming] by the booster club. We both felt like it would be a great idea.” said Pendley, “ It’s a great tribute to Mike. That field was his art.”
Pendley and Brown coached together in the last six county championships, and the duo began coaching travel ball together in 2009.
With the renaming of the field complete, the West Point Softball team is looking for a big season in honor of their beloved former coach.