American Football Database
R. R. Brown
File:RR Brown - WLU.jpg
Brown pictured in The Calyx 1908, Washington and Lee yearbook
Sport(s)Football, basketball, baseball
Biographical details
Born(1879-11-28)November 28, 1879
Joliet, Illinois
DiedDecember 24, 1950(1950-12-24) (aged 71)
Roswell, New Mexico
Playing career
Position(s)Fullback, halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)



Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech (assistant)
North Carolina
Washington and Lee
New Mexico A&M

New Mexico A&M

Virginia Tech
Washington and Lee
Head coaching record
Overall52–20–9 (football)
48–31 (basketball)
45–34–3 (baseball, excluding 1906 season)
College Football Data Warehouse

Robert Roswell "Buster" Brown (November 28, 1879 – December 24, 1950) was an American football player, coach of football, basketball, and baseball, and college athletics administrator. After playing college football at Dartmouth College, he coached football teams at Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Washington and Lee, and Tulane. In 1910, he moved to Roswell, New Mexico, where he served for more than 25 years as the football coach and athletic director at the New Mexico Military Institute.


Brown was born on November 28, 1879 in Joliet, Illinois.[1][2] He attended high school in Elgin, Illinois, graduating in 1898. He played football and baseball in high school and also competed for the Elgin Athletic Club football team in 1898 and 1899. In 1900, he enrolled at Dartmouth College where he played football for the Dartmouth Big Green football team as a halfback and fullback.[3][4] He attended Dartmouth from 1900 to 1903.[5]

College coach

Early years

Brown served as the head football coach at Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute—now Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University—in 1902, at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1904, and Washington and Lee University from 1905 to 1908. In 1909, he was head football coach at Tulane University,[2] which he led to a 4–3–2 record.[6] Brown was also the head baseball coach at Virginia Tech in 1904.

In 1905, Brown accepted a position as the athletic director and coach at Washington and Lee. He remained at Washington and Lee until 1910.[5][7]

New Mexico

File:Robert Roswell Brown.png

Brown at NMMI, 1937

Brown moved to Roswell, New Mexico in 1910 and became the football coach and athletic director at the New Mexico Military Institute.[8][9] In his first year as the head coach at NMMI, he led the team to a 2–0 record with wins over New Mexico State (5–0) and New Mexico (80–0).[10] He also led the team to undefeated records in 1912, 1916, 1917, and 1919.[11] Players from his 1912 team were selected for four of the eleven spots on the 1912 All-Southwestern Eleven.[12] In a historical account of that institution's football program, Brown is credited with the development of the program: "Gradually, football got under way and with the arrival of Mr. R.R. Brown and professional, precision coaching in 1910, interest in the sport boomed and regional success followed."[8] With the exception of a brief period when he coached at New Mexico College of Agriculture, Brown remained the head coach at the New Mexico Military Institute until at least 1937.[13][14][15]

Brown also served as the head football coach at New Mexico College of Agriculture, now known as New Mexico State University from 1923 to 1925. He led the 1923 New Mexico State Aggies football team to an undefeated 9–0 record, including victories over Hardin–Simmons, University of New Mexico, and University of Texas at El Paso.[16]

In April 1928, Brown was selected as an aid in the southwest to Notre Dame Fighting Irish football coach Knute Rockne.[17] In July 1928, Brown traveled to the 1920 Summer Olympics as part of Rockne's Olympic party, a group that also included Glenn Scobey Warner.[18]

As of 1918, Brown was also employed as a bank clerk at the First National Bank in Roswell. In a passport application filed that same year, he identified his profession as an athletic director and teacher. During World War I, he traveled to France for one year as part of a Y.M.C.A. service.[1][19]

At the time of the 1930 U.S. Census, Brown was still living in Roswell, New Mexico, where he was employed as a teacher at the state school.[20] Brown died on December 24, 1950 in Roswell. He had retired from his position as athletic director at the New Mexico Military Institute in 1948.[21]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Virginia Tech Hokies (Independent) (1902)
1902 Virginia Tech 3–2–1
Virginia Tech: 3–2–1
North Carolina Tar Heels (Independent) (1904)
1904 North Carolina 5–2–2
North Carolina: 5–2–2
Washington and Lee Generals () (1905–1908)
1905 Washington and Lee 7–2
1906 Washington and Lee 4–1–1
1907 Washington and Lee 3–2–1
1908 Washington and Lee 5–2–1
Washington and Lee: 19–7–3
Tulane Olive and Blue (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1909)
1909 Tulane 4–3–2 2–1–1 L Bacardi
Tulane: 4–3–2 2–1–1
New Mexico Military Institute () (1910–1922)
1910 New Mexico Military Inst. 2–0
1911 New Mexico Military Inst. 0-1–1
1912 New Mexico Military Inst. 2–0
1913 New Mexico Military Inst. 0–2
1914 New Mexico Military Inst. 2–2
1915 New Mexico Military Inst. 1–1
1916 New Mexico Military Inst. 2–0
1917 New Mexico Military Inst. 2–0
1919 New Mexico Military Inst. 2–0–2
1920 New Mexico Military Inst. 2–1–1
1921 New Mexico Military Inst. 2–2
1922 New Mexico Military Inst. 0–4
New Mexico Military Institute: 17–13–4
New Mexico A&M Aggies (Independent) (1923–1925)
1923 New Mexico A&M 9–0
1924 New Mexico A&M 7–3
1925 New Mexico A&M 5–3–1
New Mexico A&M: 21–6–1
Total: 69–33–13


  1. 1.0 1.1 U.S. Passport Application for Robert Roswell Brown dated September 4, 1918. The application stated that Brown was unmarried and was born in Joliet, Illinois on November 28, 1879. The application identifies his father as Roswell Stuart Brown, deceased. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925; Collection Number: ARC Identifier 583830 / MLR Number A1 534; NARA Series: M1490; Roll #: 640. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line].
  2. 2.0 2.1 Who's Who in American Sports. Washington, D.C.: National Biographical Society, Inc.. 1928. p. 101. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  3. The Dartmouth, volume 23. Dartmouth College. 1901. pp. 222–223.
  4. [1]
  5. 5.0 5.1 Catalogue of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. Delta Kappa Epsilon. 1910. p. 649.
  6. Exchanges, The Cavalier Daily, April 24, 1909.
  7. The Bugle 1903. 1903. p. 102. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Bronco Yearbook. New Mexico Military Institute. 1943. p. 112.
  9. "Roswell Institute Greatly Improved: To Open Sept. 5 With Costly Improvements and Large Attendance". El Paso Herald: p. 11. August 24, 1910.;words=Brown+Mexico+new+r+Military+New+R.
  10. New Mexico Military Institute - 1910
  11. New Mexico Military Institute
  12. Spalding's Official Foot Ball Guide. 1913. p. 29.
  13. "To Refuse Games With Tech: Action Of Texas Tech Coach Is Severely Criticised By New Mexico Grid Mentor". Morning Avalanche: p. 1. November 20, 1934.
  14. "Says Aggies To Insist on Standard Eligibility Rules". El Paso Herald: p. 8. October 19, 1936.
  15. The Bronco. New Mexico Military Institute. 1937. pp. 159, 163.(Brown still the football coach during the 1936-37 academic year)
  16. New Mexico State Yearly Results, 1920-1924
  17. "Rockne Names New Mexico Coach as Aid in Southwest". Daily Las Vegas Optic: p. 4. April 13, 1928."Capt. Brown is a popular figure in athletic activities in this area and has been a prominent factor in football for mere than twenty years. He has been head coach of football at Tulane, Virginia Poly, the University of North Carolina and at Washington and Lee. He has been at the Military Institute since 1910 and since then has won the championship of the Southwestern Conference several times. Brown was a star halfback and full back at Dartmouth in 1900 and 1901.")
  18. "Rockne and Party Sail for Olympics: 200 Board the Carmania for a Four-Week Tour of European Countries". The New York Times. July 21, 1928.
  19. World War I Draft Registration Card dated September 1918 for Robert Roswell Brown, born November 28, 1879. Registration State: New Mexico; Registration County: Chaves; Roll: 1711858. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line].
  20. Census record for Robert Roswell Brown, age 50, born in Illinois. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Year: 1930; Census Place: Roswell, Chaves, New Mexico; Roll: 1393; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 2; Image: 81.0; FHL microfilm: 2341128.
  21. [2]

External links

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