It’s hard to imagine now, but in 1962 Nose Hill Park was practically at the edge of the city boundary. Being the new high school on the edge of the city, St. Francis would be the only Catholic High School in north Calgary for over 30 years. The first Head Coach in school history, Gary DeMan was given the task of challenging perennial powerhouses St. Mary’s and Western Canada, who had traded city championships for years.
He started a program based around simple, physical and effective football, running the ball on most plays. Slowly but surely, he established his running game and a hard-nosed gritty program. It took 8 years to win the school’s first City Championship in 1970, but that was just the start.
Coach DeMan won 14 Championships in the next 22 years! In 1993, Coach DeMan retired after 31 years and Joe Stambene became the new head coach. He went right to work preserving the dynasty and its hard-nosed running game, winning his first City Championship in his second season and the school’s first provincial championship in his third season, 1995.
The Browns would win 5 City Championships in a row before Darren Dudar would take the reins. In 2003, under Head Coach Gino Divincentis, the Browns would go undefeated for two full seasons winning the 2003 and 2004 City and Provincial Championships. Coach Dudar returned in 2005 and the Browns quickly won their 4th Provincial title in 2007.
After two more Stambene led teams, Tyler Park would take the reins in 2012. The Browns fought hard but had to wait until 2015 for their next undefeated season and City and Provincial Championships. For the first time since 2004, the Browns repeated as Provincial Champions with the 2016 title, and after a loss in the 2017 Provincial final, we won our 3rd Provincial Championship in 4 years in 2018. The Browns have won 27 City Championships and 7 Provincial Championships… so far! You are now part of this tradition. What will your story be?