Rabun Gap Stories

Faculty Profile: Jesse Brown, Lower School PE, Assistant Athletic Director, Boys Varsity Soccer Head Coach

Jesse Brown is our Lower School PE teacher, Assistant Athletic Director, and Boys Varsity Soccer Head Coach.  He joined the faculty in 2020.  He holds a bachelors degree from Castleton University and a masters degree from Sheffield Hallam University in England.  Coach Brown is a very accomplished coach with an overall record of 83 wins and 14 losses in the last 5 years.  He has also been to 5 consecutive state finals, 3 in New York and 2 in North Carolina, winning two state championships in New York, 1 Ivy Prep League Title, and 2 League Titles here at Rabun Gap.

What did you do before coming to Rabun Gap?

Before Rabun Gap, I taught at the Trinity School and lived in Manhattan on the upper west side of New York City.  I was a PE Teacher and their boys varsity soccer coach.  I also coached for Downtown United Soccer Club in Manhattan working with players from all over New York City.

What made you choose to work at Rabun Gap?
I chose Rabun Gap for the opportunity to be Assistant Athletic Director, Teach PE as well as coach a soccer program that was already successful, going to the state championship the year before with a solid group of players coming back.  With Covid and living in a city like Manhattan, getting out of New York for this opportunity seemed like a good fit.  

What makes Rabun Gap special to you?
The students make Rabun Gap special to me.  In the Lower School, there are so many great kids who I really enjoy teaching a wide range of ages.  Coaching in the Upper School, it's a rare opportunity to work with students from all over the world combining with the local students.  It's the chance for students to create a family, through sports team or activities, with students who may have completely different backgrounds and everyone can learn from each other.
You are also the Boys Varsity Head Soccer Coach.  Describe your program and what your goals and ambitions are in developing your athletes and program.

With the boys soccer program, we look at ourselves as a high level program looking to sustain a national level.  I was fortunate to have a solid group when I came in, we've been able to bring in some great student athletes to help further the program, in addition with students who were already here at Rabun Gap.  We like to play a fast technical brand of soccer, keep the ball on the ground and go at our opponents.  This year I feel like, at times, we've played a very high level of soccer and it's exciting to think we haven't played our best yet, I believe we can put a full 80 minutes together that will be hard to beat.
Your soccer team has had another excellent season.  What has been your favorite from this season? 

Favorite moment so far this season was probably beating Carmel Christian at home.  It was a lot of things coming together.  The stadium was rocking, it was two nationally ranked teams and we had lost to them 3 times in a row prior.  We'd been talking about that game all year and it was great to see the boys hard work paid off.  We really appreciate all the support we got that day and throughout the season as a whole.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone? 

One thing about me that you may not learn from my resume is that I grew up playing and enjoying a lot of different sports.  I played soccer, basketball and baseball in high school.  My dad doesn't really know anything about soccer other than he likes that I like it.  He lives in Rhode Island, watches the Patriots every Sunday and follows many different sports so that's how I grew up as well.  I think one thing that can help make me successful as a soccer coach is understanding and appreciating many different sports and what makes their athletes successful.  It's allowed me a perspective that I feel many soccer coaches in this country are missing when they only  focus on soccer and disregard other sports.   
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is a private, coeducational day and boarding school for grades Pre-K through 12. Centrally located between Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC, we prepare young people for college, career, and a lifetime of leadership and service.