When Lamar University decided to reintroduce its football program starting in the 2010 season following a 21-year absence, the Beaumont, TX, school brought on a local product to coach the Cardinals’ running backs. A local product that Texas football fans still hold dearly in their hearts.
Mention the name James Brown to any Longhorn fan old enough and they’ll immediately recall “Roll Left.” It was on that play in the inaugural Big 12 Championship Game in 1996 that Brown, then a junior QB, burned Nebraska on fourth-and-inches for a 61-yard pass play that sealed a huge upset win.
Brown was no one-play wonder either. The year before he was the Southwest Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. At the end of his career, he held 30 school records, including passing yards (7,638), total offense (8,049) and TD passes (53).
The undersized Brown never played in the NFL, spending a six-year professional career in the AFL and NFL Europe. His first coaching experience was at Hyde Park Baptist High School in Austin, where he also used to run an income tax business.
Brown’s alma mater takes on Kansas State in the regular season finale for both teams on Saturday while Lamar went 4-8 in the FCS this season. James Brown profile