There is a famous Rick Flair quote that seems to encapsulate the swagger of Last Chance U coach Jason Brown. “You’re talking to the Rolex wearin’, diamond ring wearin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’, limousine ridin’, jet flyin’ son of a gun,” Flair once boasted during a wrestling interview.
While this seems far from the life of a junior college football coach, Brown’s confidence rivals Flair. It is clear from first episode that Brown is the main character of Season 3. In Last Chance U’s first season at Independence Community College, the head coach’s interesting journey becomes the focal point of the show. From Compton to the middle of Kansas, Brown is a journeyman just like many of his players. Brown spoke with Football Scoop prior to the 2017 season about how he wanted to see Last Chance U filmed.
“After sitting down, thinking about it, talking to other people, I said, ‘Well, you know this is a different story, a different situation than East Mississippi,’” Brown explained to Football Scoop. “I said I could spin it in the right light, in a positive manner. I think Greg Whiteley, who’s the producer and the director of the show, does a great job. I said between the two of us we could come up with a storyline that is really raw, uncut and honest. I’m going to be brutally honest. I don’t care about the cameras or anything like that, they know that, I think, and that’s why they chose us.”
Learn more about the Last Chance U coach.
1. Brown Planned on Turning Down Netflix’s Last Chance U Offer
With the limited coverage JUCO football receives, many would expect Brown to have jumped at the chance to be featured on a Netflix documentary. That was not the case when Brown received the Netflix offer, as the coach worried about cameras following his team around each day. Seeing the potential of the show, Brown later warmed up to the idea as he explained to SB Nation.
They called me, and we were in our December exit meetings with my staff. I say, I got a call from Last Chance U, and I was like, no way in the hell that I’m taking it. I don’t want cameras on me.
My staff didn’t say nothing. They looked crazy, though, and I said, ‘Does anyone disagree?’ I think [they thought] the college’s history, not being very good over a span of time at least until I got here, was a reason I should listen to ‘em.
So we called them back, and for whatever reason, they had heard about me and wanted to see my crazy ass, I don’t know.
2. Brown Has Not Seen His Daughter, Gizelle, in 8 Years
On the show, Brown opens up about his strained relationship with his ex-girlfriend. When Brown moved to Kansas, he took his young daughter, Gizelle, with him. Brown noted he packed up her belongings, and took her to Kansas without her mother knowing. Members of the Independence community often watched her as Brown ran football practices. Brown eventually lost a court battle with the mother, and did not retain custody.
Brown showed the camera crew a stack of letters he has been mailing to his daughter, only to have them mailed back. He is keeping them in hopes that his daughter will come find him when she is old enough. Brown described their early relationship as close, noting his daughter was a “Daddy’s girl.” During Last Chance U, Brown admitted he has not seen his daughter in eight years.
3. Prior to Getting Into Coaching, Brown Played in the NFL, Arena League Football & NFL Europe
Brown’s career fits perfect for players that go the JUCO route. Brown was an All-American quarterback at Compton Community College before playing at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. According to Indy Athletics, Brown was picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, but his time there was brief. He was later picked up by the New York Giants before spending time in NFL Europe and the Arena Football League.
Brown began a coaching career once his playing days were through. He coached at Compton Community College, Long Beach Cabrillo High School and Garden City Community College prior to his time at Independence. According to Indy Athletics, Brown has helped 130 players make Division I programs, and some have moved on to the NFL.
4. Brown Owns 3 Cadillacs & a California Beach House
Early in Season 3, viewers watch Brown shop and eventually buy a Cadillac. The coach professes his love for Cadillacs, and now owns three Cadillacs. Brown spoke with The Wrap about his car collection.
“I’ve got three [Cadillacs],” Brown told The Wrap. “I’ve got two in Independence. I got the DTS, the bigger body, and then I got the CTS, the $100,000 one, I just went out and bought because I wanted a fast coupe. It’s like the fastest Cadillac, it’s pretty scary. Ultra-luxury too. It’s the CTS-V Sport, with the saddle leather man. I had to have it specially made. I got my pit bull, my puppy, the exact same saddle leather harness on him.”
As for his California beach house, it does not appear to be in the same kind of shape. Roof issues has kept Brown out of the house during the off-season.
“It’s under construction, man, I can’t even use it right now,” Brown explained to The Wrap. “I’ve having to get an Airbnb. My place had like a roof issue, so construction and insurance are fighting it out. So I’m waiting to get back in there, so it’s been about six months. So I haven’t basically been home since. But yeah it’s by the beach, I got like a 100 x 100 deck on the sand. It’s pretty cool.”
5. Brown Grew Up in Compton, California
One of the reasons Brown connects with many of his players is he had a similar upbringin in Compton, California. During episodes of Last Chance U, Brown noted he watched friends get shot and die next to him. He admitted to being arrested and put in jail. Brown was in the car while friends were committing robberies. From Brown’s retelling of his upbringing, his father appeared to be an alcoholic, and his parents, Bill Brown and Cecilia Sims, divorced when he was young.
Does Brown have his eyes on coaching at a bigger program? In an interview with Football Scoop, Brown noted he has had some interest in Division I jobs, but nothing materialized. Brown pointed to his path to Independence, and his experience in Compton as big reasons why his players buy-in to the program.
“Bottom line is, I can touch more people here than I can at a 4-year, in my opinion,” Brown noted to Football Scoop in a 2017 interview. “I love JUCO. I’m a JUCO product. I’m a Compton College alumnus. Former Junior College All-American in California. I love junior college. Would I take a big time job at a 4-year? I’m not going to lie and say I wouldn’t. I don’t know. I’ve had Division I interviews before. I haven’t got the job for whatever reason. A lot of times it’s who you know, not what you know. I think I can coach with anybody in America and I can recruit with anybody in America.”