Ron Brown, who has coached boys basketball at Centralia High School the past 56 years, has retired the school announced Wednesday.
Brown, 82, took a leave of absence for health reasons midway through the 2016-17 season, though he planned to eventually return.
“My heart hasn’t been good for quite some time,” Brown told The Olympian in January. “As a result, I’m a little more tired than normal. I’ve had a couple of bugs — and bronchitis — that’s knocked me for a loop.
“It’s just been one of those years where I haven’t felt right, and haven’t done as good a job as I should. It was best for the kids and best for my health to take a break.”
Brown finishes his career with 722 wins, which ranks third all-time in Washington. He began his head coaching career with the Tigers in 1961, and won two state championships with the program in 1979 and 1981.
The Tigers reached the state playoffs 16 times during Brown’s coaching career, including a trip to the Class 2A state regionals this season.
Brown was named Washington State Coach of the Year twice during his career and received the National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches Association’s distinguished service award for section eight — which represents six states — in 1999.
He was inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association hall of fame in 2006.
The school’s release said a ceremony recognizing Brown’s retirement is in the planning stages. The search for his replacement begins immediately.