IRV BROWN THE ATHLETE
A 1953 graduate of North High School in Denver, Irv earned seven varsity letters in football, basketball, and baseball. The natural athlete spent a year at Garden City JC, playing basketball and baseball. From 1954−1958 Irv attended UNC (then called Colorado State College of Education) and earned All-Conference honors in each sport and helped the UNC Bears appear in the 1957 College World Series.
IRV BROWN THE COACH
Irv was a history and physical education teacher and coach at Arvada High School from 1959 to 1970. The energetic educator was head coach of three sports: baseball, basketball and football. In his 11 years at Arvada, Brown’s teams won ten conference titles and the 1964 state baseball championship. In the late 60’s, while still serving Arvada High, Irv was also head baseball coach at Metro State University − Denver before becoming CU’S head baseball coach in 1970. The Buffaloes won almost 60 percent of their games under Brown’s tutelage and several players, including All-Star’s John Stearns and Jay Howell, went on to play professionally. Howell, who won a World Series title with the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers, calls Brown, “The most confident and respected coach I’ve ever been around.” Brown was also an assistant football coach for the Buffs and part of the 1971 Bluebonnet Bowl Champions ending the season ranked third in the nation.
IRV BROWN THE REFEREE
Brown’s legend grew beyond the Centennial State when he began officiating basketball games in the ’70’s. Before his legendary career ended, Brown had become a nationally respected whistle carrier and worked six NCAA Final Fours. Former Indiana head basketball coach and Hall of Fame member Bobby Knight considered Brown, “One of the best officials ever.” Upon retiring, the teacher/coach emerged in Brown again as he became commissioner of officials for the WAC and Big Sky conferences.
IRV BROWN THE SPORTS BROADCASTER
Irv spent more than four decades broadcasting sports including ESPN’s first-ever college football game between CU and Oregon in the fall of 1979. On ESPN he also was involved in broadcasting NBA games, college basketball, baseball, boxing, karate, billiards, bowling, and body building. Irv was a pioneer in sports talk radio in Denver for various stations including stints with Dave Logan, Woody Paige, and his long-time partner Joe Williams. “Nobody in the history of this state has touched more people than Irv. Fans would come to our remotes all those years and Irv would remember every one of their names. I never figured out how he was able to do that,” Williams remembers.
SPORTS HALL OF FAME
The legendary sports figure was inducted into the Jeffco Sports Hall of Fame in 1989, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, the Colorado HS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Colorado Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2015