J.C. Brown's personality is contagious.
The Prairie Ridge girls soccer coach found a way to connect with his players on a personal level and they responded by winning 17 consecutive matches. Opposing coaches respect his style and his calm nature on the sidelines. Parents and fans want their kids to play for him.
So when the first-year coach looks back on the season and how far he has come, Brown couldn't help but think of his father, John, who had taught him all of these lessons and made sure to guide him in the right direction.
"He preached hard work and commitment," Brown said. "He always kind of pushed me and came to all of my games and had high expectations for me, and it carries over to what I do now.
"He has been there every step."
Brown was able to find a unique balance of having fun while still pushing his players to the limit and the Wolves responded with 17 straight wins. During the streak, the Wolves won the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division with an undefeated conference record and roared through the postseason to a program-best second-place finish in the state. The Wolves finished the season with an impressive 19-3-1 record. For his accomplishments Brown is the Northwest Herald Girls Soccer Coach of the Year.
"He is just a great guy and coach," Wolves goalkeeper Whitney Whitehouse said. " He just kind of knew what to do at all times and we were confident that whatever he told us to do what the right thing."
Brown, a counselor a Prairie Ridge, never could picture himself as being a coach but when he got his chance this season with the varsity girls soccer team, he thought back to his playing days and what he wanted out of a coach.
He became not only the leader of the program who directs practices, calls plays and makes players run, but a person his players could sit and talk with.
Said an FVC coach: "I have seen many good coaches but only a few I would consider great and J.C. Brown is one of those coaches. His style sparked my interest from the few interactions I had coaching against him. He was someone that seemed different than the rest.
"J.C. Brown is a rare coach. Prairie Ridge needs to celebrate the find they have in him as a great person to influence so many players and students and as a coach that can take great players and improve them. The success his method brings is an education to all coaches that needs to be celebrated."