ShareThis Page

Baldwin coach's roots enriched by USA Hockey

| Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

When Jim Brown received the call about being the next Baldwin ice hockey coach, it had been almost a decade since he was last behind the bench.

“Baldwin kind of brought me out of mothballs,” Brown said. “I had moved down south for almost 10 years and was out of hockey, sort of.”

Brown owns a construction business and moved to help rebuild communities after Hurricane Katrina.

“I helped rebuild several blocks in the Ninth Ward, and what not,” he said. “Spent some time in (Las) Vegas in between there.”

Brown also helped coach the Mississippi Sea Wolves of the ECHL. But he got his start in the late 1980s at Penn Hills before becoming involved with USA Hockey.

“There were some people that were part of the Steel City Stars organization, so they got me involved in travel (hockey),” Brown said. “I got involved with the USA Hockey side of things. I went to USA Hockey and made a name for myself.”

The height of Brown's tenure with the USA Hockey organization came in 1999 when he helped coach at the Select 17 national festival.

“That year, I was the only non-professional head coach in that tournament to my knowledge,” Brown said.

Since coming back to Western Pennsylvania, Brown has noticed the growth of the game's popularity.

“The level and the elements of hockey here has just grown immensely,” he said. “It's near equal to the Massachusetts and Minnesota (hockey).”

Brown guided Baldwin a 15-1 record at the PIHL all-star break, and a first-place position in the section standings.

But Brown strives to be better each day.

“He brings a lot to the practices. He knows how to play the game,” said Baldwin's senior captain, Anthony Alaimo, about the Highlanders' first-year head coach. “He just knows how to run hockey. When we're down, he corrects us and puts us on the right path.”

Brown coached the Northeast Conference open division team Sunday in the PIHL all-star classic.

The Northeast Conference team, which won a 4-2 decision, featured Alaimo at the forward position.

Dakota Becker, a junior forward at Baldwin, was an alternate for the Northeast Conference team.

Justin Criado is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.