Jimmy Brown insists the only thing that has changed about him is his job title.
Brown, who served as Nelson Huggins' longtime assistant football coach at St. Andrews and North Charleston, takes over as head coach now that Huggins is an assistant for John McKissick at Summerville.
Brown, who served as a Cougars assistant for seven years, knows of Huggins' legacy.
Huggins instilled pride in the team and helped develop young men into athletes and good citizens. He finished with a 28-38 record in seven years. His best season at North Charleston was in 2000 when the Cougars went 9-3 and won their first playoff game since the early 1960s. Nehemiah Broughton, who went on to play for The Citadel and was taken by the Washington Redskins in the NFL draft in the spring, was the star of the team.
In 2001, the Cougars won the first conference championship in the school's history, and hosted its first home playoff game.
Huggins also helped develop lineman Jarriel King, who played in the North-South game and eventually will play for the South Carolina Gamecocks.
"I know coach Huggins is a tough act to follow, but I've been a part of that success as well," Brown said. "I plan to continue what he started. I was fortunate to work with coach Huggins, but I had free reign. He was never looking over my back telling me what to do. He trusted me. The only thing that has changed is my title."
Brown, whose team opens the season Aug. 26 against Bishop England, said there are approximately 40 players out for varsity, and 16 are returning lettermen. The Cougars took big graduation hits on both sides of the ball with only four starters returning on offense and five on defense.
A.J. Leonard, a 5-11, 225-pounder, is the only starter returning to the offensive line.
"It's critical we develop linemen," Brown said. "On defense, we have three linebackers returning, so we pretty much have to develop a line and secondary."
Jammar Wolfe, a 6-2, 235-pound senior, should get plenty of chances at linebacker. He will play tight end as well.
Another key returning starter is Nathaniel Ladson, a 5-9, 150-pound junior who rushed for 600 yards last fall as a sophomore and led the team with eight rushing TDs.
Brown knows it will be tough to challenge region powers Timberland and Manning, noting that Bluffton and Lake Marion should be better.
TD CLUB GOLF
The 2005 Palmetto Touchdown Club Golf Tournament will be held Monday at The Links at Stono Ferry. The format is Captain's Choice with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. The entry fee is $80 per player or $320 per team. All proceeds go to scholarships for local high school athletes.
For more information on the golf outing or about membership, call John Downs at (843) 478-1850.