Hundreds gather on the Hillcrest Huskies football field to remember coach Cazzie Brown

MIDVALE - One day after the passing of Hillcrest High School head football coach Cazzie Brown, hundreds gathered on the football field to pay their respects.

"He was like a father figure to me," Tyson Flores, a senior and the teams starting quarterback said.

Flores is one of several team captains, remembering not just his coach, but the lessons Brown preached everyday in practice.

"You get better or you get worse, he said that everyday," Flores said. "He strived to make you, not just a better football player but a better young man."

Coach Brown's influence stretched beyond the field, reaching into the lives of his players to make sure they were on the right track.

"I miss the phone calls.  He would call me after every practice almost, every game, just ask me how I'm doing, check up," said Brody Roemmich, a junior linebacker at Hillcrest High.  "He told me just to be the Brody he knew I was that's it, he just wanted you to be yourself, love yourself."

"Walking through this school he could put a smile to your face," Ezra Moleni, a senior running back for Hillcrest High said.  "I wish I could see that again,"

Brown's passing was sudden.  On Wednesday, he was admitted to a local hospital with signs of meningitis.  He died on Sunday.  A close family friend who was at Brown's side in the hospital said Brown tested positive for West Nile virus.  Meningitis is a complication that can arrive with the mosquito-spread virus.
"One of his sayings  he would always say is 'live everyday like it's your last, every play like it's your last,'" Roemmich said.  "So he wanted us to have a deep sense of love for every play of football, everyday for our family."