The impact Jim Brownfield had on his students and athletes alike was immense.
It’s appropriate then that Brownfield, who was a teacher and coach for more than 40 years in Southern California, will have a memorial service spread across two days at three different sites.
There will be a “Celebration of Life” for Brownfield on Friday at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. The public memorial in the Hall of Liberty will be open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m.
A capacity crowd of 1,300 is expected to attend the memorial where there will be video tributes and guest speakers from those who were students or worked alongside Brownfield’s career.
On Saturday, Loyola Marymount will have a memorial dedication from 2 to 5 p.m. Some members of the 1969 Loyola University footbal team that won a national championship during Brownfield’s lone year as head coach are expected to attend.
There also will be a memorial at Muir High School’s football field from 4 to 7 p.m. More than 50 former Brownfield students are scheduled to speak. Both memorials will be open to the public.
Under Brownfield, Muir won two CIF-Southern Section football titles in 1985 and 1986. He led the girls Mustangs track team to four CIF-SS track titles and two CIF State titles in 1985 and 1989. He also served as an assistant under John McKay at USC and was enshrined into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1998.
Brownfield, who died at 81 on May 24 after heart complications, did not want a funeral. He was cremated nearly two weeks after his death.
Brownfield’s brother, Warren, said the fact there will be several memorials is a testament to the lives Brownfield influenced over his career.
“It’s very touching to see how many people’s lives he’s touched,” he said, “and now they’re all coming back to pay their respects.”
Brownfield coached Muir to national prominence in the 1980’s and 90’s, compiling a 191-41-1 record, 22 league title sand six CIF championships as coach in various sports across 16 years.
Among Brownfield’s former students are 1996 Olympic gold medalist Inger Miller and Linetta Wilson; Ricky Ervins, the 1990 Rose Bowl MVP at USC who helped the Washington Redskins win Super Bowl XXVI his rookie season; and Pro Bowl NFL linebacker Chad Brown.
Brownfield’s memorial was initially scheduled to be held in the Court of Champions at the Rose Bowl, but the site already was booked.