You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Feb 10, 2013 : 5:30 a.m.

New Pioneer football coach Jari Brown says expectations are high

By Kyle Austin

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.


Jari Brown

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



Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.



Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

Coaches should never speak negatively. It's there job to look challenge in t he face and tell the world there is on such place as too high to reach, but to stride for personal growth in himself and his students. If he has doubt of his talents as a coach, maybe he should be seeking employment elsewhere where he can safely say he can do this.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

To bad all the talent has left pioneer


Sun, Feb 10, 2013 : 3:28 p.m.

Oh No! Not another coach in Ann Arbor who wears a wrist band. The last one we had here had some of the worst defenses in Michigan history.