Braun, Walt1992 Jim Crowley Award Winner

Walt Braun Awarded ‘92
Crowley Award
at MHSFCA Clinic Banquet

By Larry Sellers, Crowley Award Chair, Traverse City St. Francis

The Jim Crowley Award is the most prestigious award given by the Michigan High School Foot- ball Coaches Association and is in honor of the late Jim Crowley, the long-time coach at Jackson St. John High School and Jackson Lumen Christi High School, who was tragically killed in 1980, just two short months after winning his second state football title.
    Webster defines the word courageous as “having the mental strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or extreme difficulty with firmness of mind and will in a determination to achieve one’s goal.” This definition certainly describes this year’s recipient of the Jim Crowley Award.
    Walt Braun graduated from Romeo High School in 1952. He received his B.S. in education from Central Michigan University in 1956 and a Master of Arts in physical education and athletic administration from Central in 1959. Walt got his first football coaching job at Brown City High School right out of college in 1956, becoming one of – if not the – youngest head football coach in Michigan. He had a rather inauspicious beginning as his team was winless in his first season, certainly not an indication of things to come. He coached four years at Brown City and five years at Oxford High School before taking the head coaching job at Marysville in 1965. Over the past twenty-seven years at Marysville Walt has coached: track, baseball, wrestling, and basketball (varsity and junior varsity), but it is in football where he has made his mark, posting an eye popping 214-39-1 record. His victory total of 248-80-3 places him third in total wins among coaches in the history of Michigan High School Football. Coach Braun’s teams have won three State Championships (two mythical), and four Regional Championships. They have made seven playoff appearances, had eight undefeated untied regular seasons and have won nineteen SCAL Championships. A Past President of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association, Walt has been named a MHSFCA Regional Coach of the Year nine times, State Coach of the Year twice and is the only coach from Michigan ever to be named as the National High School Coach of the Year. Coach Braun was inducted into the MHSFCA Hall of Fame in 1984. He was the first recipient of the Detroit Free Press Sports Figure of the Year Award in 1986.
    Walt received the MHSFCA’s Jim CrowleyAward, not only for his tremendous achievements as a football coach, but also for the inspiration he has given to his many players over the years and his willingness to share his knowledge of the game with fellow coaches.
    Walt Braun has overcome tremendous physical difficulties in the past year and has courageously persevered to return to coach the 1991 Marysville Vikings. His courage and determi- nation are examples of the “never quit” spirit that demonstrates what can happen when one has the courage to make it happen.