ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Long-time high school basketball coach Mike “Papa” Brown passed away last summer after a battle with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). The annual Mike Papa Brown MSA Scholarship was created and the first recipients have been announced.


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Brown was a longtime coach for Albuquerque Academy who led the Chargers to six consecutive state titles and 14 district championships while racking up 442 wins between 1984 and 2010. Upon retirement, Brown still coached as an assistant with his sons Danny and Greg. Mike Brown was inducted into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.

Over 45 entries were submitted for the scholarship, and everyone was read and discussed by Brown’s family on how the student reflected Papa’s ideals of leadership.

$5,000 – Shaelyce Hann: Highland High School; four years tennis, two years basketball, two years cross country, two years swimming

$4,000 – Brandon Cabaniss: La Cueva High School; three years football, one year track and field

$3,000 – Dylan D’Arco: Sandia High School; two years baseball, four years basketball

$2,000 – Cade Wallin: Volcano Vista High School; four years football, four years track and field

$1,000 – Aelea Thomas: Highland High School; three years soccer, three years cross country, four years basketball, two years track and field

In addition to the scholarships, the Brown family is donating ten percent of annual donations directly to the MSA foundation and Coach Papa’s MSA team.