Norman Brown, originally
from Minnedosa, Manitoba, completed his high school and BA programs at
Notre Dame College in Wilcox, Saskatchewan and his
University of Toronto. He excelled on both the hockey and baseball Notre
Dame Hounds' teams. In 1948, Norm returned to Notre Dame to teach two
years - he asked for no salary just room and board. During this teaching
tenure, he played league and semi‑pro baseball with other notable
athletes like Gordie Howe. Norm spent the entire 1951 season playing for
the Saskatoon '55s.
In 1953, Norm began his 32 year
teaching career at Wetaskiwin Composite High School (WCHS).
In that time he became one of the Wetaskiwin's most popular and well
touched the lives of a lot of people
as an educator as well as
Notre Dame College was a school which emphasized academics, athletics,
leadership and spirituality. Norm Brown exemplified these principles in
Wetaskiwin. He was always involved in various school and community
organizations, and in curriculum and professional development. In
sports, he organized and coached hockey, curling and softball and
introduced T‑ball to Wetaskiwin.
His sports legacy, however, is with
WCHS Sabres Football. Unexpectedly, he assumed the Head Coach position
in 1953. Not having played football, the sport was not that
familiar to him. In short order, however, he changed the offensive
scheme to the Split T and the Sabres began to win games. In the next six
years, the Sabres posted 46 wins, 0 losses, and 3 ties. The Sabres won 5
consecutive league championships. Their first defeat came in the third
league game versus Camrose Lutheran College in October of 1959.
For a number of years, the 46-0-3
statistic was also a North American football record. Norm continued to
coach until 1964. With no league to play in, Norm Brown felt it was time
to pass his clipboard to Frank Lockhart. After more than fifty years the
Sabres Football program at WCHS remains strong to this day. After
playing with the Sabres many players have gone on to play Junior and
Norm received many awards for his
professional, service‑club, or community service contributions.
Four awards for his sports affiliation are listed here.
1948 ‑ University of Toronto ‑
1987 ‑ City of Wetaskiwin ‑ Norm
1988 ‑ Football Alberta ‑ Lifetime
Achievement Award -Norm Brown Conference
2001 ‑ Baseball Saskatchewan ‑ Sports Hall of Fame
Photo: Courtesy Enid Brown