TOPEKA (KSNT) – Hayden High School will have a new face on the sideline for boys’ basketball in the 2023-24 season.

Trey Brown, a 24-year-old graduate of Shawnee Heights, is stepping in as the new head coach of the Wildcats. Brown spent last season at the helm of Cair Paravel Latin School.

“Blessed and thankful [Hayden is] willing to give me a chance,” Brown said. “Trying to continue a program with such great tradition and history.”

Despite a lack of experience, Brown doesn’t see his young age as a negative.

“Being able to relate to these guys, I think that’s the biggest [strength],” Brown said. “The players got to respect you, but you got to earn their respect.”

Brown follows in the footsteps of Dwayne Paul, who left to coach at Lawrence Free State after two years at Hayden. Paul’s program had players hustling and working hard on each play, something Brown wants to mimic.

“A lot of that same stuff,” Brown said. “Gritty, tough…toughness is something I touch on all the time. Gritty, tough, compete…as long as you do those three things, you’re always going to give yourself a chance.”

Bouncing from Cair Paravel to Hayden, two private, Catholic schools, Brown says his faith is a big part of his coaching.

“Faith is a big part of my life and it continues to grow,” Brown said. “Playing for an audience of one.”