By Dan Arritt     6/5/2018

The third-oldest track and field record at Mater Dei is safe for another year, and if Vince Brown’s middle son couldn’t surpass the mark, it might just last another 40 years. 

Tommy Brown, the 6-foot-7, 315-pound former offensive lineman for Mater Dei who’s headed to Alabama on a football scholarship, has been vowing to break dad’s school record since his freshman year with the Monarchs. 

“He talks smack, so I want to take him out,” Tommy Brown told after the Trinity League finals on May 5. “He reminds me constantly that he doesn’t care what I do in football. He has the shot put record, and it’s a lot of smack.” 

Vince, of course, is the master of motivation. 

He was the senior class president at Mater Dei during the 1977-78 school year, breaking the school record in the shot put that spring by heaving the 12-pound metal ball 61 feet, 3 and 3/4 inches. Vince went on to finish second in state in the event, beating out a field that included Don Mosebar, who went on to play 13 years in the NFL with the Raiders. 

Brown continued to compete at UC Irvine and Long Beach City College before accepting an athletic scholarship to Alabama. There, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Education. 

Brown returned to Mater Dei and coached football, baseball and track from 1982-85. He was then hired to take over the baseball program at Tustin High, where he helped developed future major leaguer Shawn Green.  

After two years as head coach at Woodbridge High School in Irvine, Brown settled at Foothill High School in North Tustin in 1995. After a very successful nine-year run as the head baseball coach, Brown stepped down to become the school’s athletic director, which allowed him to spend more time with his young family. 

The head coaching position at Foothill opened back up following the 2013 season, and Brown was hired for his second tenure. He led the Knights to the CIF-SS Division I finals in 2014 and has continued to maintain Foothill’s program at an elite level. 

On May 22, the Knights knocked off El Toro, the defending Division I champions, to reach the quarterfinals of the highest division. 

All the while, Vince has been bolting from practices and games to watch Tommy compete in football and track, oldest son Dillon come out of the bullpen as a top relief pitcher for the Cal State Fullerton baseball team, and youngest son Zachary try to follow in their massive footsteps. 

Vince’s presence at their sporting events is motivation alone, but he might do his best work at the dinner table. 

That’s where his school record was discussed the most. 

Tommy came closest to breaking the record during in a Trinity League dual meet against JSerra on March 28, posting a winning mark of 59-8 ½. 

He hoped to get a final shot at breaking the record at the CIF-SS finals on May 19, but fouled on all five of his throws at the preliminaries a week earlier, ending his high school career. 

Brown has plenty of goals moving forward, however. 

He graduated from Mater Dei on May 26 and immediately left for Alabama, where he’ll join an elite program that has won two of the past three national championships, as well as five of the past nine.