Think Baldwin Park’s rookie head coach is feeling it? Try Duarte’s Travis Brown on for size: “There’s not a team in our league, with all due respect to everyone, that I see being able to stop us.”

brownd

The Duarte High School football program continues to give every indication that it’s on the verge of something special and new head coach Travis Brown is confident he’s the man who will get the Falcons over the top.

Brown, a former standout receiver at Los Altos in the early 2000s, is conducting his first fall camp as a head coach and the excitement is starting to build that the beginning of something big for both the Falcons and their rookie head coach is about to happen.

“We have a lot of guys that not too many people know about,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t expect us to be anybody’s favorite. But I will say that we’re going to turn some heads this year and we’re going to make a lot of noise.”

Brown did just during his playing days. He was a receiver on Los Altos’ 2002 and ’03 CIF championship team and earned Tribune All-Area honors in ’03. He then starred at New Mexico where he was an all-Mountain West selection in both his junior and senior seasons.

The success continued into the early days of what he hoped would be an NFL career. Brown was atop the depth chart for at one wide receiver spot for the Cincinnati Bengals entering the preseason in 2008.

After spending time on the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams practice squads, Brown’s pro football days were officially over in 2010. That’s when he decided the next chapter of his football life would be in coaching.

Brown started as an assistant coach at Diamond Bar in 2009 and then worked under his high school head coach Greg Gano at Damien for three years before eventually winding up at Ayala after Gano’s stint at Tustin following his resignation from Damien lasted only four games.

After trying to land a head coach job at other schools in the area, Brown finally got his chance earlier this year when Duarte hired him to replace the departed Jason Martin.

Duarte isn’t exactly a bad place to start for Brown. The Falcons were 7-5 last season, picked up a playoff win over Maranatha and it’s not like the cupboard is empty this fall.

Despite the mild success, Brown has had to implement some changes in the way the Falcons do business.

“It took a little longer to change the culture than I initially anticipated,” Brown said. “When I got here, consistently for the first two months, there were about 15 guys. We have about 65-70 guys in the program now.

“In the past, guys came and went as they pleased. I had to crack the whip and let them know that if you’re going to be a part of this program you’re going to be all in or not in at all. There’s not going to be any ‘I show up for a week, I miss a week.’”

With a consistent base of players, Brown can now turn his attention to Xs and Os. He has hired former 2002 co-Tribune Player of the Year Randall Brown, who also played at Los Altos, as his running backs and defensive backs coach.

Former Los Altos and Monrovia standout running back James Davis is the defensive coordinator. Brown hopes to add more to his staff and promises that by next season it could be quite a collection of former Los Altos greats.

In the meantime, Brown and his staff have the pleasure of fine tuning an offense that could be a force thanks to an offensive line whose lightest player is 240 pounds. Quarterback Isiah Scott is also back and receiver Kamar Watson is expected to do big things.

But getting Duarte over the hump will probably require even more talent than what’s on hand now. And that means not bankrolling other teams around the Valley, including nearby Monrovia, with Duarte talent.

Brown knows he must keep the city’s top players home, but that’s been easier said than done for previous Duarte coaches. Playing and beating Monrovia might help. Brown is hopeful to do just that soon.

“For me, it’s Los Altos-Wilson type of deal,” Brown said. “They’re (Monrovia) just right up the road kinda like how we (Los Altos) were right up the road from Wilson but we just so happened to be the more talented team on a consistent basis.

“Monrovia’s in the driver’s seat right now, but I think that just takes one season to turn around. This is an ideal time for that to happen. This is a game that will be scheduled in the next couple of years if I’m at Duarte. And when I say the next couple of years, the sooner the better.”

Before Duarte can think about taking back local supremacy from Monrovia, it must figure out how to get past Azusa in the Montview League, and even more dauntingly new league foe Baldwin Park, who most believe is the Montview’s new favorite.

Brown is confident about not only that happening but also continued postseason success. If he’s right, the potential of Duarte football is scary.

“The only people that beat us this year will be ourselves,” Brown said. “There’s not a team in our league, with all due respect to everyone, that I see being able to stop us.

“I believe in our players wholeheartedly. And I don’t think that if we come out and play our game that there’s a team that we play that can stop us.”

  • reality

    I like inner confidence in a coach not outer. Like TR said “Walk softly and carry a big stick”.

  • Foosure

    Brown learned about recruiting from one of the best recruiters in SGV history (Gano). I would suspect that Brown will be turning off the tap that feeds Monrovia and will redirect most of that Hawk talent to where it’s suppose to be going in the 1st place.

  • GP AKA Green Machine

    I am so sick and tired of Duarte crying in their off years. The Hawks is a shared youth program between Monrovia and Duarte. Monrovia kids can play their or Arcadia. Both Monrovia coaches and Duarte Coaches are there looking for kids. A lot of their influential staff has been Monrovia Alumni the last 10 years. Besides, There are many years where Duarte’s team was better with Monrovia kids and Pasadena Kids. People move from Monrovia to Duarte and vice versa all the time through out their life. I am sure that coach Brown will be looking to pull in kids from other cities besides Monrovia, on his climb to the top. Other SGV people might think Ahh Duarte Hawks = Duarte High School, however in Junior all american world, kids come from all over to play at Different parks. Duarte Stop blaming your down years on the 1 or 2 players that decided to attend Monrovia. We did not blame the years Crutchfield beat Monrovia, on the transfers he had. Duarte had their chance to be on top, but they fired Crutch. He knew how to make players want to come there, and he had the program looking good. Transfers is a part of life. Monrovia has kids that attend other schools like St Francis, ETC…Monrovia is in a higher division now, has better Facilities, a more experience coaching staff, and better known than Duarte. Brown is not turning off anything, nor will he surpass Monrovia. If we ever decide to play them again( which would not help us). it would be a crosstown Blowout. I wish this Duarte coach from Los Al would do his homework on the transferring history of both schools. If he did he would know, that Duarte-Monrovia is not like Wilson-Los Altos because they are in the same city. Mtown-Dtown are two different cities but everyone is related, and because of that their is fork in the road, and people choose to attend either school. NO one is recruiting anyone.

    • Mean Joe Green

      Very well said GP. You don’t hear Arcadia crying about Monrovia kids who played JAA with the Indians and left for Monrovia High. Arcadia could easily have the same argument for these students who are presently at Monrovia who played for Arcadia: Darian Huff, Christian Walton, Kahlil Bradley, Connor Helm, Dylon Delgado, Christian Luna or Phillip Castillo. Those are just a few names that are on MTowns roster this year that were Indians. That does not include those who played last year, including Star News Defensive Player of the Year, Logan Craig.

    • AramT

      I don’t see where Brown was complaining. He seemed understanding of the situation and aware that Duarte success would swing the pendulum.

      • GP AKA Green Machine

        Those days are over. I am not hating on Brown. I want him to do well. However, I would expect him to stay away from that topic. Someone filled him in. Duarte has some talent, but Bankrolling other programs in the Area? Besides, Talking about Monrovia, has nothing to do with this season. As new coach, in the eyes of the locals, these types of articles make kids want to go to Monrovia even more. It’s very simple sometimes the top player living in Duarte and playing for the Hawks, probably has some ties to Monrovia.

        • New York

          Bankrolling is Aram’s term. He uses it regularly in reference to Muir. He never really mentions how the rest of Pasadena (Blair and PHS) might be bankrolling Muir. Oh well.

          • GP AKA Green Machine

            Aram is a journalist. LOL
            That’s a good point tho’

      • Mean Joe Green

        Aram, I believe that GP was replying to ‘Foosure’ with his comments about crying. Foosure stated “I would suspect that Brown will be turning off the tap that feeds Monrovia and will redirect most of that Hawk talent to where it’s suppose to be going in the 1st place.”. This is at least the comment I was referring to. I don’t think anyone thinks a coach who is boasting about his team’s talent and welcoming a cross-town rivalry is crying.

    • YungFresh

      GP relax! Who is crying?? You going on that immature rant with horrible spelling is very childish. Read the article again and point out where the crying is please because I can’t seem to find it! You sound like a Monrovia fan that has never played a sport but had a kid who graduated that got no play time at all but still consider yourself to be apart of the program. Duarte doesn’t need to play you bums playing the same horrible teams in the playoffs every year. In fact the teams you guys beat for titles were a joke. Monrovia will get blown out every year in the playoffs and will be begging to be put back where they were in about two years!

      • GP AKA Green Machine

        haha…never played? Never got time..
        Wrong about that one there. That’s not even the focal point. However, I have respect for Duarte. However, Not sure we are talking about the same Duarte. The Duarte I know was very good In their own right. It was not even mentioned in regards to who Plays on the other side of Huntington Drive. Regardless of the spelling…the fact remains; what in the world does anything Monrovia is doing have to do with this years Duarte team? They are not in the Same Division, not in the same league, not in the same city. Why talk about Monrovia? Why mention them? I never said, I didn’t want Duarte to be successful. You are saying you hope Monrovia is not successful. I just said Duarte won’t beat Monrovia any time soon. If you read the article, he is talking about players. This is painting the picture, that Duarte’s best players are at Monrovia. I don’t think that’s the case. The last 5 years, Mtowns best were from and live in Monrovia. Everyone is pointing to Kurt Scoby, but Monrovia didn’t win with him. They won it with Monrovia guys. Don’t insult me…just stick to the issue. Truthfully, How long do you think Brown is going to be at Duarte to actually accomplish what he is saying is this article? This is just blogging. C’mon.

        • Mean Joe Green

          Again….very well said GP. I coached for the Arcadia Indians when quarterbacks Nick Bueno and Blake Heyworth were both a part of their JAA program. The two of them have three CIF championships combined for Monrovia. So please kill the noise that Duarte or the Duarte Hawks is a feeder for Monrovia High. Monrovia has enough homegrown talent to not have to siphon off of Duarte. Please keep in mind that when Monrovia was winning three CIF championships, Scoby was at Charter Oak, and St. Paul. No one accused Charter Oak of siphoning talent from Duarte and Monrovia, even though Pasadena, Duarte and Monrovia talent clearly contributed to their championships.

          I personally have no problem with what Coach Brown is doing. If I was gonna make a splash as a new coach, I would definitely take on a big dog. I would use Monrovia as a rallying cry to drum up interest from players, parents and press. He gets more publicity making noise with Monrovia than barking at Azusa.

          • GP AKA Green Machine

            Aram does not discuss the fact that CO is the biggest recruiter in the SGV. If they don’t win the Central this year, it will be evident, the faucet is not running. Coach Brown is cool, but I would be talking about this subject after a league title and decent playoff run. Not now. They have not done anything.

          • New York

            Can you blame Aram? If you were a sports journalist, would you ever challenge Big Lou? Bad idea…

          • GP AKA Green Machine

            It’s just a question. Not a challenge…. NY Besides…Monrovia and CO could meet in the playoffs.

          • New York

            Speaking of Azusa, this article is great locker room material for the Montview defending champ. They just do not get any respect, no matter what! They’ve got some great coaching over there, but little stuff like fundamentals, X’s and O’s and team chemistry just are not exciting enough to write about.

          • Mean Joe Green

            I agree with you New York. That is why I mentioned them. I think he would have been better served talking about Azusa rather than mentioning Monrovia, but he knows that Monrovia beef would bring more news coverage and controversy. Good tactic.

          • GP AKA Green Machine

            Aram claims he brought it up. So…really this is Aram beating a dead horse.

          • Mean Joe Green

            Yikes. I didn’t read that part too carefully.

          • GP AKA Green Machine

            He bated him into this ancient debate. Everyone from Monrovia and Duarte understand the Dynamics of the competition for players. The problem is Monrovia’s coaching staff is full of Monrovia Alumni who remain regardless of who the head coach is and understand how to get the interest of local kids. Duarte’s staff is filled with Los Altos Coaches, who may not be around in the years to come, they kids don’t know them, and may not be as loyal. It’s a no brainer on why mtown gets the players.

        • AramT

          I asked Coach Brown about Monrovia during our interview. He didn’t bring it up. I think it’s a valid question/subject to ask of any Duarte football coach. Especially when the school’s are a stone’s throw from each other and the communities are so intertwined. There’s a program reeling off CIF championships in his backyard and I shouldn’t ask about that?

          I still don’t see anything wrong or provocative with his answer. In fact, I agree with him. He’s exactly right that the timing is right because the Cats may not be such a postseason juggernaut after this season. I’ve heard lots of things about smallish numbers on the lower levels. Maybe that info is wrong, maybe not.

          Also, Monrovia has gotten plenty of help in recent years and continues to do so from kids who started their careers in other places. I don’t begrudge the Cats for getting transfers. The program has been wildly successful in the playoffs and at getting kids schollys. Just don’t point fingers (Mean Joe) at CO for enjoying the same advantages.

          • GP AKA Green Machine

            Well, We don’t know where the Cats will be, but remember, Monrovia players left to go CO and elsewhere even though Monrovia was a lock to make the semis in the midvalley. As Long as The RHL exist, The Cats are hosting a playoff opener. Duarte is nowhere near a post season Juggernaut as you put it. That’s not going to be a overnight turnaround. Besides, Duarte hardly keeps a coach there for 4 years so… A lot of rivals schools are in the same City. I don’t see the new coach at Covina asked about why all the talent is at CO…There should be snooping on the transfer of power in Pomona. This Monrovia-Duarte Transfer issue is played out. Even if Duarte had whichever players that are being discussed…I don’t think they are going to catch back up with Monrovia. I hear a lot of stuff too. You just did a piece showing the incoming Monrovia Frosh talent..plus we have soph to be on varsity. We are good.

          • observantcat

            Aram, Monrovia will always have the upper hand in terms of kids from the other side of the track, meaning Duarte rd. Most go to Monrovia Jr. High’s such as Santa Fe, then they decide to go to either High School which for the most part would be Monrovia. High School football has changed a lot in the past 10 years and Schools like the Charter Oaks of the world has really put pressure on kids to stay put. Had it not been for the 5 Monrovia transfers to CO as well as 3 to Duarte in 2009 Monrovia would have well been on its way to several more CIF championships. During that same period of time, the Canada’s transferred out to Duarte then to South Hills. Our guys were not only just transfers but D1 type players as well. I like the Coaches enthusiasm about turning the program around but didn’t the last coach say the same thing? as well as one of the most respected coaches in the West SGVN Coach Saunders? So it is nothing new to me to hear about a crosstown rivalry that usually ends up in the green corner. Maybe what you should do is post the history of this rivalry so that coaches take a minute to dissect what their oppositions stronghold have been to give Monrovia its advantages. Duarte Unified school district has it’s work cut out for it trying to qualify students under CIF rules just for eligibility wear’s Monrovia has alternative schools for its students to attend with full support from the Monrovia Unified School district. The Duarte of the 2000′s is far different than the Duarte of the 70′s, 80′s & 90′s. The new age Duarte is starting to succumb to a lot of family’s moving out of the old neighborhoods and being replace by more Hispanics. Monrovia on the other hand has had an increase in population and has stayed pretty stable in terms of it African American community. So if the new Coach over at Duarte thinks that Duarte still has the numbers running over to Monrovia, he will find that he missed that boat around 2005-2006. But as a good neighbor I still hope Duarte good luck and hope that we do one day meet them in the Big game. It almost happened in 2008 but we met them in the Quarter finals and we won.

          • Mean Joe Green

            I wasn’t pointing fingers at CO. I simply responded to the idea that Monrovia’s success can be attributed to Duarte kids. If that can be said of Monrovia, then the same can be said of CO. A school who has had its share of Monrovia, Duarte and Pasadena kids. You seem to think I was responding to you and your article when in fact I have no issue with the article or the coaches confidence. I took issue with a blogger who said that Duarte needs to cut off the faucet that is pouring into Monrovia, as if our championships were the result of transfers. There simply are no facts to support the idea.

        • 4peat

          I Have coach the Duarte hawks! for years…and i can tell you first hand..after the city seen what. there school “Ad Robin” did to Crutch..we lost hope over there..Shes the problem.

          • YungFresh

            I can tell you one thing you can’t write or spell at all lmao. I wonder how many games your team won?

  • New York

    It would be great for Duarte to do well. Maybe Duarte Hawks would no longer enroll over at Charter Oak. The real question is will Brown be a good head coach? If so, how long will he stay at Duarte? He is a young, ambitious guy. Duarte will be his stepping stone.

    Coach Martin came in with a lot of passion as well.

  • New York

    I wonder what Steve Ramirez is predicting for the Week #2 matchup with San Marino, Steve’s prediction to win the Rio Hondo League.

    “Well, based on Coach Brown’s interview, I’d say that Duarte has the advantage.”

    • GP AKA Green Machine

      San Marino beating Monrovia? Nahhh.

  • Methinksyouprotesttoomuch

    Based on all of these comments I would tend to believe that the Monrovia faithful are getting a little nervous about the leveling of the field over there in the Duarte Monrovia corner of the world.

    • GP AKA Green Machine

      nah…

    • Mean Joe Green

      yawn….here we go again

    • MonroVian

      Not one bit