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Proviso West Coach to be Inducted into Track & Field Hall of Fame Jan. 14th

January 13, 2012 08:45 AM
Hillside, IL...In Proviso West’s history, the school has won four state trophies in track and field. There was one in 1997, one in 1998, one in 1999, and the other in 1968. The man behind each of those wins will soon be honored by the Illinois Track & Cross Country Coaches Association (ITCCCA).

After nearly 48 years as a teacher at Proviso West and 25 years as a track and field coach, Coach Michael Brazier will be inducted into the ITCCCA Hall of Fame for his contribution to the sport of track and field and for his contributions to the lives of his students.

"ITCCCA is deeply honored to induct Mike Brazier into its Coaches’ Hall-of-Fame," said ITCCCA officials as they released the names of this year’s inductees. "Mike has been the head girls’ track and field coach at Proviso West for twenty-five years. He has taught at the school for over 45 years. He has always stressed hard work, good citizenship, and sportsmanship. His style is quiet, firm, positive, and encouraging. Mike Brazier is very deserving of recognition and entry into the Coaches’ Hall-of-Fame."

Coach Brazier’s track students and fellow coaches agree.

"Coach Brazier has done a marvelous job throughout all of his years as a coach at Proviso West," said Proviso West alum and track team assistant coach, Tamika Harrington. Tamika ran track on Brazier’s team as a student in the class of 2001. Today, she works side-by-side with Brazier as his assistant coach. "As a student, I remember he made sure that we were on top of our school work. He helped us through our college years. He helped me with scouting. Even today he is always there and always working to keep his students on track."

Coach Brazier is a fixture in the rich sports heritage of Proviso West High School. Nonetheless, if you sit down with his track team, you would agree that perhaps his greatest legacy will not be the trophies in the trophy case. It will not be the impressive list of 30 All-State Athletes who have been on Brazier’s roster.  His strongest legacy may be the impact that he has had on his students as scholars, mentees, and athletes.
"He’s not your usual coach," said Proviso West sophomore, Emani Johnson. "He’s a lot more than a coach to us. He keeps us motivated.  He has taught us all about good work ethics. He taught us how to motivate ourselves. It’s hard to explain, but Coach Brazier is really one of the best coaches I’ve ever had."

Coach Brazier doesn’t shy away from the bond that he has created with his students. He even walked one of them down the aisle and gave her away on her wedding day. Brazier admits that he coaches much like he parents. He says students are generally receptive.

"I want my students to do as well as possible," said Brazier. "I want them to be healthy, strong, and productive. So the idea of parenting does come to mind. Much like parents, you help the kids become who they want to be. Everyone gets pushed along. As a coach, you help push them along. Even I get pushed by them."
 It certainly appears to be a push that players appreciate. He encourages them to be their best on and off the track. They say Brazier’s recognition is long overdue.

Students and teachers are welcome "off the track" to join Brazier’s induction ceremony. On Saturday, January 14th at Oak Park High School (201 N. Scoville Ave. Oak Park, Il), Coach Brazier and six other Illinois coaches will be inducted into the Illinois Track and Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame. A buffet lunch will be served at 1:00 p.m. Parents and friends can purchase tickets for $7.00. Brazier’s athletes can attend at no cost.

Congratulations, Coach Brazier! You are a vital part of Proviso Rising.


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