ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH
COLLEGE STATION HIGH SCHOOL ASSISTANT FOOTBALL
coach Kyle Walsh would certainly qualify as an advocate for
the axiom “What doesn’t kill you … makes you stronger.”
He coaches from a wheelchair. Now 42, one of three sons
of Bill and Janet Walsh, he considers himself richly blessed.
He was a center as a sophomore on the 1991 Ross Rogers’ A&M Consolidated Class 4A state championship team
that defeated Carthage 38-16 in the Astrodome. He later
walked on as a deep snapper at the University of Texas when
John Mackovic coached the Longhorns.
Walsh’s life changed forever on a trip home to visit his
family. He and a friend were in Manor, Texas, on their way
back to Austin when a tire on their pickup truck blew out and
rolled into a ditch. Thinking back to that horrifying day, Walsh
said, “I never lost consciousness, but I suffered a broken
neck.” The accident left Walsh a quadriplegic with paralysis
in both arms and legs. His friend suffered minor injuries.
Following weeks in Brackenridge Hospital and months of
rehabilitation at St. David’s Healthcare in Austin, Walsh was
able to return to school and graduate in 1998. His love for
football would not be contained by his physical limitations.
“Coach Rogers hired me on his staff. I was fortunate and
grateful he would give me a chance to coach, to be in a
position to make a difference in young people’s lives.”
Walsh served as an assistant for Ross, then Martin Allen,
Jim Slaughter and eventually David Raffield at A&M Consoli-
dated. In 2012 newly-opened College Station hired Coach
Steve Huff, also an assistant at Consolidated, and Walsh
joined Huff on the Cougars’ staff as an offensive line coach.
“I’ve never heard him complain one time in the 10 years I’ve
coached with him,” said Huff. “He has a brilliant football mind,
works with our off-season program and does all our recruiting
and PR. He’s a man of Christ and a great family man with a
beautiful wife [Audra], and two children, Adalee [ 5] and Eli [ 4].”
“I’m so grateful God has truly blessed me with a tremen-
dous support group that helped me through the tough times,”
Walsh said. “People can look at me and see all the challenges,
but to know me, you know I’ve been richly blessed.”
PAUL CHEEK IS 63 AND IS
beginning his 16th season
this August as the public
address announcer of Allen
High School football. He’s a
year-to-year guy who does his
job for the love of the game
and the enjoyment of being
there. For him, Friday night
football in Texas ranks right
beneath God, family and
country. Cheek’s booth is
tucked into the press box of Eagle Stadium, the $60 million
complex where the high school football team plays before
about 18,000 on Friday nights in the fall.
Cheek, a 1970 graduate and former football player at
Houston Lee High School, has been an announcer of Friday
night football dating back to Fort Bend ISD, located just
outside Houston in the late ’70s. His announcing career en-compasses stops at Richardson Berkner and Duncanville as
well. After graduating from the University of Houston in 1978
with an education degree, Cheek, who served two years in
the U.S. Navy on the USS John S. McClain off the coast of
Vietnam, went to work as a coach at Fort Bend. A round of
golf with a representative from Balfour, though, changed
his career path. From a teacher, he became a salesman in
1980, eventually moving up the ladder to opening his own
Balfour office in Dallas.
“I’m grateful for the being in the right place at the right
time,” Cheek said. Being a good guy with a voice also helped.
He loves the camaraderie that comes with being in the
booth. It is about a 45-minute drive from his home in Tom
Bean to Eagle Stadium. Along with his spotters, his brother-
in-law and his friend, Cheek arrives around 6 p.m. for a 7: 30
p.m. kickoff, and leave when the game is over.
“It’s really an honor [for me],” Cheek continued. “It’s a
pleasure to see the excitement of the community and the
quality of players, parents and coaches through the years.
There are a lot of good people in the education business.”
Over the years, he’s crossed paths with coaches such as
Fort Bend’s Buddy Hopson, Richardson Berkner’s Bob Dubey,
the legendary Bob Alpert at Duncanville, not to mention
Allen’s Joe Martin and Tom Westerberg.
At Allen, he’s seen or been a part of — one way or another
— the 2008 state title run, the 57-game win streak, and the
2012, 2013 and 2014 state championships (a run that was
broken last season after a 23-17 loss to Austin Westlake).
When asked how long he would continue, Cheek replied,
“I enjoy what I do. To be honest, I don’t have any idea. For
as long as they want me, I suppose. I started when my boys,
Brian [ 42] and Josh [ 39], played.”
PAT BROWNING WILL
never know how many lives
he’s touched as a teacher,
coach and administrator at
Tatum and Carthage schools
over the last 44 years.
Despite losing his mother
and father, Marie and Mike,
at a very young age, Browning used education to pull
himself up by the bootstraps
and make something his
parents would be proud of.
Born and raised in Fair
Play, an East Texas community, Browning’s happiest
days were growing up on
the farm with his dad before
he died, his grandparents,
aunts, uncles and neighbors
– all of whom he considers
his extended family.
Browning attended and
played football at Carthage
High, and then at Tyler Junior
College and Sam Houston
State University before
taking an assistant coaching
position on the staff of W.E.
Hawthorne at Tatum where
he coached running backs
and defensive ends.
“What sticks out is our
teams evolved into a family.
These players become my
sons. The love and closeness
never leaves. I attribute a lot
of this to the way I grew up
on the farm. When athletes
know no work or practice is
too hard, they produce 110
percent and give their all.”
After Hawthorne retired,
Browning coached under his
friend and former TJC team-
mate Ray Dowdy, Johnny
Thompson, James Conway
and John Crawford.
After 24 years at Tatum,
Browning returned to his
alma mater (Carthage) as an
assistant principal, but on
Friday nights you will find
him manning the football
FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL TEXAS
MEN WHO MAKE THE GAME GREAT