Bill Brown Jr. - Sport Builder - 1982

Born in Cascade, Idaho, Bill started skiing at a tender age and won his first race in the seventh grade.  Continuing with his love of skiing and speed, he became Idaho Junior Slalom and All Around Junior Champion. On a full skiing scholarship, Bill attended the University of Idaho in 1941. He became a member of the College All American Ski Team, won the National Intercollegiate cross-country and Nordic Championships, and placed in the upper half of the downhill skiers at the Sun Valley meet.  Finished with college, Bill entered military service in 1942. Due to his accomplishments in skiing, he was transferred to Camp Hale and served with the famed 10th Mountain Division.  Bill met Bob Parker after the war while the two men were in Austria racing together. Pete Seibert met Bill at Camp Hale.  During the war, Bill suffered severe injuries. During recuperation from those injuries, he organized the first of the annual Junior Nationals, coached three Junior National Championship teams, and was invited to participate on the 1948 Olympic team but injuries prevented his participation. In 1952 he again missed the Olympics due to injuries received in the line of duty. Bill spent several years at Dartmouth, organizing and maintaining a winter warfare ROTC program. By 1966, Bill was ready to retire from military life and he left with the rank of Senior Sergeant Major.  Both Bob Parker and Pete Seibert invited Bill to come work at Vail. He accepted.  Bill’s contribution to mountain management is legendary. One of his assignments was to supervise the trail crew – those individuals who foot-packed the slopes for a life ticket. “Half the time I couldn’t find them,” Bill said of those early days in Vail. Despite conflicts with Mountain Manager Don Almond, Bill earned his nickname as “Sarge” Brown by setting new rules and firing lazy workers. Bill demonstrated his method of work by example and earned everyone’s respect, including Don Almond’s. It wasn’t long before Bill was in charge of the snowcats, the trail crew, and the ski patrol.  “Sarge” Brown refined Paul Bacon’s race manual to the point where it is still used in the industry today. It is the format used for major races all over the world. After Almond left the company in 1970, Bill became Mountain Manager in charge of everything on the mountain except, marketing, the ski shops, and the ski school. Bill honed his skills at running ski races in Vail and in 1989 ran successful World Alpine Ski Championships.  Bill “Sarge” Brown retired shortly afterward as a most popular leader with an international reputation as a man who could run ski races, maintain ski slopes, and get just about any job done.   (Deceased)