Overcoming failure, Brain Gawne is the definition of determination

“My childhood growing up, was dysfunctional,” said Brain Gawne, throws coach of Piedmont College Track and Field team.

Battling the game of life, Brain Gawne didn’t let the dark times hold him back. Having parents that didn’t graduate high school and living among five siblings, Gawne taught himself by trial and error. During his time as a kid, he could only be perfect, or there was a chance of being hit. Everything changed once someone finally started to believe in him.

“One of my favorite teachers asked me to do wrestling, and he believed in me, which my parents never did,” he said.

Finally, having someone believe in him ignited the spark to become something great. Other sports wanted him to participate in their sports programs, and from middle school to high school, Gawne collected numerous accolades. After graduating, he used his knowledge to teach youth and coach in a variety of sports until he retired.

“I was miserable at home, and part of being a man is your job,” he said, discussing retired life.

Gawne’s wife made him come out of retirement and challenge himself to find a new job. The new job is Piedmont College, where he already led his throwers to a conference championship and is preparing to win another. Through all the tough times, Gawne appreciates sports being a part of his life.

“I have been very blessed with the coaches I had, they gave structure I didn’t have in the house,” he said.

School and sports were Gawne’s happy place where he learned and got the support he needed to be successful in life. Without sports Gawne wouldn’t be the man he is today.

“You have to find something you like to do and play with passion.”

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