New Pioneer football coach Jari Brown says expectations are high
Jari Brown became a high school football head coach for the first time this week, and he knows he’s taking over a program that isn’t exactly in need of a rebuild.
Ann Arbor News file photo
Brown was hired at Pioneer High School Wednesday, where he inherits a program that is coming off back-to-back Southeastern Conference Red Division titles and back-to-back playoff appearances. The Pioneers were 16-7 in the last two seasons.
“It’s a program with such rich tradition, for me right now it’s a transition to where I’m moving in and you’re not really starting over, you’re building off of what they already have there,” Brown said. “They have some great things in there already.”
And along with that rich tradition comes expectations.
“I knew the expectations are high, but we’re definitely up for that challenge,” Brown said.
Brown has the opportunity to take over a winning program due to the departure of Paul Test, who resigned in early December. Both Test and former Huron coach Cory Gildersleeve resigned after an on-field brawl between the two schools, meaning Brown will be one of two new head coaches in Ann Arbor next fall.
Since playing at Eastern Michigan from 1999-2002, Brown has spent every season as an assistant in Washtenaw County. After one season at Lincoln, he spent five at Huron, the last two as defensive coordinator.
Before leading the Huron defense, Brown led the junior varsity team in 2006, where he said he first got the urge to become a head coach.
“After that year I felt the impact that I had, it was a great experience,” Brown said. “We had a winning season and we had a great time. Just to see all that kind of stuff transpire, at that point I realized I wanted to be a head coach.”
The last four seasons, Brown has coached at Chelsea, working primarily with the defensive line and also doing film work.
During that time, he said, his coaching style evolved while learning at Washtenaw County’s most consistent program, one that has high expectations every year.
“I have higher expectations, and my goal as a head coach is to push everybody to the next level,” Brown said. “I’m really just trying to take everything we have in place and take it to the next level.”
Kyle Austin covers sports for AnnArbor.com.