by Wesley Peterson
Wheeler Brown, who served as Jackson State’s interim Director of Athletics since the first of October, was named the university’s full-time Director of Athletics.
“I am blessed and grateful to be chosen for this position at such a historic institution as Jackson State University,” said Brown. “I thank the search committee, as well as Dr. (Carolyn W.) Meyers for this opportunity to lead the Division of Athletics.”
Brown has more than two decades of athletics administration experience. Before coming to JSU, Brown served as the Associate Director of Athletics at Coppin State University, 2013-2015. He also served as Director of Athletics at his alma mater North Carolina A&T State University, 2007-2010, where under his leadership the Lady Aggies basketball team won the MEAC championship in 2009, as well as made an appearance at the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Aggies also posted wins over Wake Forest and UNC-Charlotte during the 2010 WNIT Tournament.
Before Brown being named interim Director of Athletics at JSU, he served as the university’s Associate Athletic Director for Compliance.
‘Right person for the position’
“Our search committee did a tremendous job of selecting the right person for this position,” JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers said. “Wheeler Brown embraces the tradition of excellence at Jackson State, shares our values and has the ability to navigate the changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics.”
Brown accepted his first collegiate athletics administration position in 1996, when he was named Assistant Athletics Director and assistant men’s basketball coach at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia. Two years later, he was promoted to men’s head basketball coach.
In 2001, Brown was named an Associate Athletics Director at Bowie State University. In 2002, he returned to the NCA&T Athletics Department. While at NCA&T, Brown was one of 12 people, from an applicant pool of more than 300, to be accepted into the NCAA Fellows Program in 2008. The program (currently called the NCAA Pathway Program), which is sponsored by the NCAA, pairs minorities and women who aspire to become athletic directors at Division I programs with an executive mentor who is a Division I Athletic Director.
A history of leadership
In addition to completing the NCAA Fellows program, Brown also graduated from the Leadership Institute for Ethnic Minority Males in 2005. He also has been a member of the NCAA Athletic Certification Committee, which oversees the certification of every Division I athletics program.
Brown began his professional career as a teacher and coach at C.L. Harper High School in Atlanta. After a four-year stay at Harper, he returned to the Baltimore area in 1983 and worked as a recreational therapist at a group home for adolescents before accepting the men’s head basketball coaching position at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland, in 1987. Over a period of 11 seasons, he compiled a 191-110 record as a collegiate head coach.
Brown is the only one of his three brothers to graduate high school. He credits his sister, Edna Parker, for inspiring him to attend college. She was the first in the family to earn a college education when she earned an undergraduate and graduate degree from Coppin State University in Baltimore.
Brown played for the Aggies football team, 1974-78, and graduated from NCA&T in 1979 with a degree in health and physical education. Brown, a native of Baltimore, was part of NCA&T’s first MEAC football championship in 1975. He was an all-conference performer at offensive tackle for the Aggies and was inducted into the NCA&T Hall of Fame in 2003.