Hurlie Brown used to draw pictures of Mustangs and his favorite Merritt Island High football players as an elementary school student.
Tuesday, he became the head coach of the high school program, the eighth in its history. Brown called it “one of the best high school football programs in the country.”
“It’s still sinking in. It’s so surreal,” Brown said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s a dream come true.”
Five weeks after Jeff McLean stepped down from the head coaching job to focus on his duties as athletic director, Brown was named to follow him. It marks the fifth naming of a new head football coach in Brevard this offseason.
More: Merritt Island’s McLean steps down from head football job
A 1987 graduate of the school, Brown has coached the Mustangs secondary and special teams for the last two years.
He also has college and professional playing and coaching experience, his coaching career now spanning 20 years. Brown had college stints at Miami, Florida International and Louisiana-Lafayette. In addition to Merritt Island, he coached at Dillard in Fort Lauderdale. One of his early coaching experiences was as an intern for the Oakland Raiders.
“He’s played and coached at the highest levels, and he’s a Merritt Island guy,” McLean said. “I think he’s a good fit.”
A University of Miami player himself, Brown started on two national championship teams and was an undergraduate defensive assistant for one.
“From that point forward, I knew I wanted to be a coach,” Brown said. “To come home and coach at my alma mater is such an honor.”
He played four seasons in the CFL and went to training camp with the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers.
Brown will begin teaching at Merritt Island as soon as possible, and he listed some of his head coaching priorities as work in the weight room, mental toughness and player development.
OTHER NEW BREVARD HS HEAD FOOTBALL COACHES FOR 2018:
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