Sweetwater’s own Kippy Brown will soon be a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame announced its nine-member 2019 class on Thursday.
A star athlete at Sweetwater High School, Brown was the first African-American quarterback at the high school. Under the coaching and leadership of the late King Berrong, Brown and his teammates went on to win two state championships in 1971 and 1972. Brown and his teammate, the late Anthony Oggs, formed one of the most feared backfields in Tennessee high school football history.
After graduating from SHS, Brown continued his education at Memphis State University, where he also played quarterback on the football team from 1975-77, before embarking on a successful career in both collegiate and professional coaching positions.
In 1983, Brown joined the University of Tennessee Volunteers as wide receivers coach under head coach Johnny Majors. After the 1989 season, he left the college to serve as running backs coach for the New York Jets from 1990-92. He then returned to Rocky Top as assistant head coach and wide receiver’s coach under Phillip Fulmer.
But in 1995, the National Football League (NFL) called again and Brown served stints on the coaching staffs of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans and Detroit Lions.
In 2009, Lane Kiffin called Brown to return to the Volunteer state as the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator for the Vols. A short time later, Kiffin left for the head coaching job at USC (the University of Southern California) and the university named Brown the interim head coach.
In what upset some of the college’s fan base, Derek Dooley was ultimately named head coach over Brown and in 2010, Brown returned to the NFL as the wide receivers coach for the Seattle Seahawks.
In 2014, with a 43-8 blowout of the Denver Broncos in Super Bown XLVIII, the Seahawks secured their first Super Bowl victory and sealed the deal for a lifetime dream of the legendary SHS quarterback. Later that year, the circle drive that runs in front of Sweetwater High School was named “Kippy Brown Way” in his honor.
Brown remained with the Seahawks until his retirement in spring of 2015. In total, he spent 18 years as an assistant coach in the NFL.
The latest Sports Hall of Fame induction class also includes Tennessee’s beloved Peyton Manning. Manning, 43, was a University of Tennessee quarterback from 1994-1997, who passed for 11,201 career yards and 89 touchdowns before going on to become the NFL’s only five-time MVP. Manning is a two-time Super Bowl champion.
Along with Brown and Manning, the class will also feature George Taliaferro, a Tennessee native who became the first African-American drafted by an NFL team. Taliaferro is being honored posthumously along with former major league catcher Bob Tillman.
Other inductees include Duke football coach and former Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe, Fox football analyst and former Tennessee safety Charles Davis, ESPN broadcaster and former Lady Vols basketball player Kara Lawson, former Sewanee basketball player Kimberly Anne Valek and former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.
In February, the Hall of Fame announced that Tennessee Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Struck will be honored as its 2019 Tennessean of the Year.
The class will be inducted on June 15 in a ceremony at Omni Nashville Hotel.