June 29, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina track and field assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Kevin Brown will join the Team USA coaching staff at the upcoming NACAC U23 Championships in El Salvador. The games, comprised of athletes from North American, Central America, and the Caribbean, run July 15-17.
“Any time you can represent Team USA ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” arguably the number one track and field team in the world ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” any time you can be put in a role of leadership with that type of organization, it’s definitely an honor,” Brown said. “It’s not like you raise your hand and volunteer, they choose you, so being picked to represent them means you have the respect of the committee and the athletes.”
This will not be Brown’s first foray into coaching at an international level. He was first voted in as a member of the Team USA coaching staff in 2002, and worked as an assistant at the Junior Pan American Games in 2003 down in Barbados. At the upcoming NACAC meet, he will serve as an assistant coach for the men’s sprints and hurdles team and also work with the relay teams.
“As a coach, you understand what an athlete has to do and the work they have to put in to achieve those levels of performance,” Brown said. “You appreciate seeing those great performances and what it takes to get to this level in the sport.”
Team USA will be well-served by Brown, who has been an instructor for nearly every discipline in his time at South Carolina. He has coached All-Americans in the pole vault, sprints, multis and relays, most recently guiding Markus Leemet to second-team All-American honors in 2015 for the decathlon ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” just the second All-American ever for the Gamecocks in the multis.
Brown won’t be the only member of the program representing the country at the meet. Also on the coaching staff will be Mechelle Lewis (Freeman), a 2002 graduate of South Carolina who helped the women’s team capture the national title in her senior year. She will be the relays coach for Team USA at the NACAC championships, and Brown said he excited to work with a fellow Gamecock in El Salvador.
Brown will leave for the meet in two weeks and will welcome the team for training and practice on July 13, where he will prepare them for the three-day event.
“These younger athletes are starting to move into the role to prepare to replace the older athletes,” Brown said. “I’ve already had a relationship with the majority of these athletes, from the college recruiting process and seeing them run through high school, and now as college athletes ready to move to the next level. This is a great time to get back involved with the governing body of our sport.”