Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Coaches Stay with Ex-Star

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Coaches Stay with Ex-Star

Article excerpt

It was during a solemn occasion recently that a wave of warm memories swept over Mike Brown. It was at the funeral for his football coach at Paramus High School in the Seventies, John DeGasperis.

"Gas was such a great guy," Brown said, "and back in those days, coaches were like father figures to us. I was fortunate I had my dad [Charlie], but Gas was at our house all the time. He'd give me and my brother crew cuts. We were 6 and 4 years old."

Brown also thought back fondly to another now-deceased Paramus coach, Lou Lanzalotto, who ran the track program.

"Labor Day at the Lanzalottos. Those were the best picnics. We had all those great coaches back then -- Gas, Lou, Joe Cervino senior and junior, Bob Kingsley, Charlie Bauer, Ralph Polito -- and they'd all be swimming in the Lanzalotto pool."

Sports have served as a magical connection for Brown throughout his life. He played basketball in high school, but was more accomplished as an All-Bergen County football and baseball player. He graduated in 1976 and played both sports at Columbia, where he majored in history.

The baseball team won the Ivy League championship his freshman year.

"And the football team won some games," said Brown, who is now 57. "We weren't part of that long losing streak. But sports taught me how to handle rejection.

"Sports got me to Columbia," he recalled. "And then an old Bergen County guy, Jack Armstrong, who I think coached at Teaneck and Englewood, gave me a job as financial adviser in 1980 [at Merrill Lynch]."

Brown has worked on Wall Street for 35 years. He eventually left Lynch after seven years to run a trading desk for Bear Stearns, then went into personal banking for Bank of America U.S. Trust. In 2010 he co-founded Dynasty Financial Partners, which he describes as a services and technology platform for independent investment advisers. There, he is a partner and the director of wealth management. …

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