Albertville taps Bert Browne as next football coach

ALBERTVILLE – Bert Browne knows his way around both sides of the football, both as a player and a coach.

Now, the extraordinary turnaround coach and one of the most prolific quarterbacks in Tennessee Tech football history, is headed to Albertville. 

Browne, a native of Richmond, Ky., was approved by the Albertville Board of Education as the new head football coach of Albertville High School during a special called board meeting Monday morning.

“Several things about Albertville made me want to be head coach here. The commitment from Dr. English and Mr. Phillips to all the extracurricular activities made this an easy decision for me and my wife, Ashley. I don’t want to be somewhere that is only concerned about football but also academics, theatre, band, etc. When you see a place like Albertville that wants to see every aspect of the school succeed, you know you have found a great place,” said Browne. “I did a lot of research on Albertville before I interviewed, because I knew the next job I took, I wanted to be the last. Albertville is that place.”

Most recently, Browne was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Tennessee Tech.

“Coaching at Tennessee Tech University was always something that I aspired to do. For the past three years, it has been a pleasure to work with the players and coaches who have helped me grow. However, college football has changed over the years, and I believe I can impact more kids at the high school level. That’s why I got into coaching – because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of young men,” said Browne.

As a player, Browne spent a season at Northeast Mississippi Junior College in 1986, before making the move to Cookeville and Tennessee Tech for three seasons between 1987-1990. During his tenure with the Golden Eagles, Browne set 16 school passing records, setting the stage for the rise of the Tennessee Tech quarterback as he paved the way for many of the biggest names in program history. A two-time Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week selection, he was the first Tech quarterback to throw for 2,000 yards in a single season.

Browne joined the coaching ranks in 1991 as he was named the quarterback coach at Madison Central High in Richmond, Ky., the first of two stops there – the latter being the head coach from 2010-2013. In 2009, Madison Central didn’t win a game in 2009. In Coach Browne’s first season as head coach, he went 1-10, but by the second season, the Indians were undefeated in district play, winning the district title for the first time in seven years.

Coach Browne has a way of turning football programs around and creating a winning atmosphere on and off the field. Two of the four programs he has taken over had not seen success in more than a decade.

His first head coaching position was at Coffee County High in Manchester, Tenn., in 1996. The program had not seen a winning season in 15 years. In his second year, the team earned a top six spot in pre-season rankings and went on to finish second in the region, making the playoffs for the first time in school history.

In 2002, he took the reins of struggling Perry County Central High School in Hazard, Ky. The team had won three games in two seasons. That year, they went 7-4, the most wins in school history. In 2019 at Stewarts Creek High School in Tennessee, Coach Browne and his team went 8-3, also the most wins in school history.

“I like to look at the glass half full, not half empty. You see a challenge as an opportunity to strengthen yourself mentally and physically,” said Browne. “There are challenges everywhere you go, and there have been at every head coaching job I’ve ever taken. Most importantly, we must develop a winning mindset and face the challenges a 7A schedule presents. I’m confident the administration will give us everything we need from the top down.”

Browne returned to the collegiate level to coach at Eastern Kentucky, coaching the wide receivers for Roy Kidd. After that season, he became the offensive coordinator at Holmes Junior College for three seasons, before taking the same post at the University of West Georgia from 2003-2005. He’s also a former wide receivers coach, recruiting coordinator and academic coordinator at Arkansas Tech.

“I want to thank Dr. (Boyd) English, Mr. (Jordan) Phillips, Mr. (Todd) Watkins and Mr. (Matt) Lambert for giving me the opportunity to be the head coach at Albertville High School. When I left my interview that day, I felt good about what they all stood for and our shared belief in caring for kids. I knew then that Albertville High School would be a wonderful place to be.”

“What sets Coach Browne apart from the other candidates is his wealth of experience at the high school, junior college and collegiate levels,” said Albertville Superintendent Dr. Boyd K. English. “This extraordinary background will serve our students well as we continue to build the Albertville High School football program. I want to personally welcome Coach Browne and his wife Ashley to our city,”

Players can expect Browne to work tirelessly and never shortchange them in his preparation. They can also expect someone who tells them the truth, even if it hurts a little.

“I don’t sugarcoat things. I don’t think you can improve if you are constantly told how great you are,” said Browne. “My players families can expect a coaching staff to care for their sons and hold them accountable in the classroom, the community and on the field. We’ll teach them life lessons daily that will help them as they enter the world and become adults.”

Browne’s previous teams have always been physical on both sides of the ball, something he believes is a mindset. As a quarterback, he prided himself on being someone the other team couldn’t take out of the game, as someone who always got up. 

“As a head coach, your team takes on your personality; mine would be a tough physical mindset. We are going to talk about winning every day of the year. It has got to be a lifestyle. If you want to do it, you have to talk about it. You have to dream and have to do it. We’ll win in the classroom, in the community and on the field,” said Browne.

Browne’s top priority is meet the players and coaching staff and to dive into the off-season program. His first official day at Albertville will be Wednesday, March 1.

“I will also look to add to the coaching staff, so finding coaches will also be a top priority for me. I want to get out, meet people and speak to community organizations. I can’t wait to get to started and am incredibly excited to hit the ground running.”

Coach Browne will be joined by his wife Ashley, who is a current middle school assistant principal. Ashley is a fellow Tennessee Tech alumna who grew up in the small town of Monterey, Tenn. She’s been an educator for the last 15 years and has been selected as a teacher of the year at the school, district and regional levels. The duo, along with their three dogs – a Jack Russell Terrier named Commodore, a Shih-Tzu named Presley, and a golden doodle named Finley – is looking forward to making Albertville their home.

“Ashley has been a huge support to me during this process. We’re looking forward to getting to know all the players, their families and coaches,” Browne said. “God has truly blessed us with this opportunity, and we give him all the glory.”

three men standing in front of media backdrop

Bert Browne has been selected as the new head football coach of Albertville High School. He is pictured with Albertville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Boyd K. English, left, and Albertville High School Principal Jordan Phillips, right.