Lehi Luminary: Barbara Brown

Donna Barnes | Lehi Free Press

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When Barbara Brown, daughter of Lowell and Thelda Brown, was five when she would perform gymnastics routines with the Lehi Pep Club during the half times of basketball games at Lehi High School. She was cute, athletic, and very funny and was always a crowd favorite.

She continued to hone her athletic and gymnastics skills and played sports at Lehi High School where she excelled in basketball, track, and gymnastics. She was also a student body officer her junior year and was a cheerleader her senior year. She attended Dixie College, University of Utah and Idaho State University where she lettered in basketball, volleyball and field hockey. She graduated with a master’s degree in athletic administration and physical education.

Brown taught at ISU for one year, coaching the women’s swim team, before becoming a teacher and coach at Snake River High School. She was at Snake River for eight years where she coached track, cross country, basketball, volleyball and gymnastics. She was also the advisor for the drill team, pep club and cheerleaders. Her entire life has been dedicated to teaching and coaching. Brown commented, “I’ve spent more time on school buses than anyone in history. Most competitions were miles away and many times I would not return home until the wee hours of the morning.”

In 1977, she was selected from coaches across the nation to be trained in gymnastics with the Bucharest and Constana Gymnastics Training Center in Romania. For six weeks, she learned from the greatest gymnastics coaches in the world. Brown went on to coach four state champion gymnasts while at Snake River High School. She also coached six individual state champions in track.

She continued her teaching career at American Falls Middle School in American Falls, Idaho and coached at American Falls High School. She coached cross country, track and field, volleyball, and JV basketball.

Her greatest joy in life was seeing young people become productive citizens. Many of her students continue to acknowledge her positive influence in their lives.

Barbara retired after 36 years as a teacher and coach.

She says she still bleeds purple and loved her years in Lehi. She keeps very active doing award winning wood carving, gardening, traveling and antiquing. She quipped, “I love to buy and sell antiques. I am an antique and I am for sale—cheap.”

Literally thousands of students have been taught or coached by “Ms. Brown,” as her students call her. Her commitment and dedication to young people is legendary in American Falls and the surrounding area. A former student commented, “Everybody loved Ms. Brown. She made learning fun and playing sports exciting.”

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