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INDUCTEE 2006 - BUILDER - Norman E. Brown


 


"He started the modern‑era Wetaskiwin Sabres Football Program which continues to this day
"


Norman Brown, originally from Minnedosa, Manitoba, completed his high school and BA programs at Notre Dame College in Wilcox, Saskatchewan and his Master's at 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 liked individuals. 

“He touched the lives of a lot of people
as an educator as well as coach." 

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 University Football.
 

RECOGNITION AWARDS

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 ‑ Letter‑Hockey

1987 ‑ City of Wetaskiwin ‑ Norm Brown Field

1988 ‑ Football Alberta ‑ Lifetime Achievement Award -Norm Brown Conference

2001 ‑ Baseball Saskatchewan ‑ Sports Hall of Fame
 


Photo:  Courtesy Enid Brown
 

 







 
 

 

 

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