The Brown family announced the winners of the inaugural Coach Mike Papa Brown MSA scholarship.
Mike “Papa” Brown, the hall-of-fame coach who once led the Albuquerque Academy boys to six straight state championships, died on June 30 from multiple system atrophy (MSA).
In December, Brown’s family announced the scholarship.
Brown’s daughter Shawn is the president and treasurer, his wife Carol is the vice president, his son Greg — the head coach of the boys basketball team at Volcano Vista — is the executive director, and Greg’s brother Danny, who coaches boys basketball at Sandia High School and is a former head coach at Highland, is the chief operating officer.
Mike Brown, a former English teacher, decided he wanted the scholarship to be strictly for senior student athletes at APS schools. Applicants must have a 3.5 GPA or higher and they must submit an essay about leadership. Shawn Brown said they received more than 45 entries and read every essay as a family before deciding on the five winners.
“Our intention is to not only honor the student athlete that Papa was so proud of, but to continue to bring to the forefront information about the devastating disease that took his life,” Shawn Brown said in a release Saturday. “We are so grateful to everyone who offered their support and made donations to the scholarship.
Shawn Brown gave special recognition to the Sandia High School boys basketball team, which generated the largest donation ($6,000) to the fund with a free-throw shooting contest, and to Volcano Vista High School girls basketball head coach Lisa Villareal, who raised funds with “Purple for Papa” games.
The winners of the first annual Papa Brown scholarship are:
- $5,000 Shaelyce Hann, Highland, tennis, basketball, cross-country and swimming
- $4,000 Brandon Cabanas, La Cueva, football, track and field
- $3,000 Dylan D’Arco, Sandia, baseball, basketball
- $2,000 Cade Wallin, Volcano Vista, football, track and field
- $1,000 Aelea Thomas, Highland, soccer, cross-country, basketball, track and field
For more information on how to apply for or donate to next year’s scholarship, click here.