If there was a person whose face was synonymous with Colorado Sports, it was Irv Brown. Long before he was a well-known media personality, and long before he was a college and high school coach, Brown was a standout athlete for Denver’s North High School.
He went to play basketball and baseball at Colorado State Teachers College (now, University of Northern Colorado).
He started his teaching and coaching career at Arvada High School, while at the same time picking up a whistle and starting to officiate basketball. His 1964 AHS team won the 1964 title with a 5-3 win over Grand Junction.
He was one of the nation’s premier basketball officials, having worked six Final Fours. Just a few years back, he was recognized as one of the 20 most influential officials in the country.
Brown was also one of the pioneers in the country’s sports talk-show business and a new television network called ESPN. He did talk radio for 42 years, before leaving the airwaves in the last year after becoming ill.
Despite the demand for college and professional sports talk, Brown never forgot his roots in the high school game and was tireless promoter of high school athletics and the values they brought to young people. He worked with the CHSAA on occasion and was master of ceremonies for the CHSAA Hall of Fame on numerous occasions.
In 1995, he received the CHSAA Distinguished Service Award for promotion of high school sports. While coaching three sports at Arvada High School, Brown’s 1964 baseball team won the state title. His penchant for promoting high school sports and their values earned his spot in the hall of fame.
In 2003, Brown was inducted into the CHSAA Hall of Fame as a significant contributor.
Brown passed away February 3 at the age of 83.