Football is in Ted Brown’s blood. He played RB for the Vikings from 1979-86 and in that time became the franchise’s 3rd-leading rusher with 4,546 yards (he now ranks 5th in franchise history). Prior to becoming a 1st-round pick of the Vikings, Brown set the Atlantic Coast Conference’s all-time rushing record at North Carolina State with 4,602 yards and he also set the single-game rushing record with 251 yards against Penn State in 1977.
Brown has a son, J.T., who is also a standout athlete. But he’s not running around, over and through defenders on the football. Instead, J.T. Brown has taken to the ice and he recently guided his team – the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs – to the Frozen Four title, becoming NCAA champions.
J.T., a finalist for the Mr. Minnesota Hockey award in 2008, has loved hockey his whole life and has been lacing up skates since the age of 3. Through it all, J.T. says his Dad has been supportive and has also given him valuable advice.
“Play hard, play smart, play together,” J.T. said when asked of his father’s advice. “My dad has really been supportive of me throughout my whole life and that advice is something I kept in mind during our run (in the Frozen Four).”
Ted Brown has experienced the bright lights of big-time college football and of the NFL gridiron, yet he came away astonished at the experience of the NCAA Frozen Four.
“The magnitude of the Frozen Four was unbelievable,” Ted said. “It was bigger than I ever imagined. The whole atmosphere was awesome. Not as big as the Super Bowl, but close to that level. I was just amazed at how great it was.”
Being a big-time athlete who has performed on the big stage himself, Ted couldn’t help but give advice to his son at such an important moment.
“My advice to him was to just relax and do what you do naturally,” Ted said. “Relax and have fun. And that’s what he did. He embraced the experience. I also told him to stay humble, and that’s what he did. He embraced the moment, took it all in and really handled himself well.”
J.T. Brown was a standout during the tournament, scoring a goal in a victory over Notre Dame in the semifinals and then tallying an assist against Michigan in the title game. His performances netted him tournament Most Outstanding Player (MOP) honors.
“The whole experience was spectacular,” J.T. explained. “And getting the MOP award was just something I never thought of. To accomplish the goal of winning the championship as a team was a thrill.”