Gazebo Gazette

If you’re an early riser in Long Beach, you may have noticed a lot of activity lately at Long Beach Harbor. And if you’re a football fan, you may have recognized the main instigator — former SEC and NFL linebacker Richie Brown, who’s applying lessons learned from his standout career in athletics to promote sports and fitness in his hometown.

“I love the Coast, so returning here to do what I love has been tremendously rewarding,” said Brown, 27, a sports performance specialist whose sunrise beach workouts are popular among local fitness fans. “This is where my passion for sports began, so it’s also a way to give back to the community that has always been so supportive of me throughout my career.”

When Brown graduated from Long Beach High School in 2012, he was the No. 4 football prospect in the state. He decided to attend Mississippi State University, where he was a leader on and off the field, earning multiple SEC football and academic honors and making key plays that helped vault the Bulldogs to top conference and national rankings. Brown received an industrial technology degree in 2016 followed by work on his MBA before pursuing his dream in the NFL. 

After MSU, Brown signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers before sustaining an injury in 2019 while playing for the Atlanta Falcons. That’s when he decided to transition to a new career and founded his company, Edge Performance Training.

It was a natural fit for Brown, who stayed busy during NFL off-seasons conducting training and coaching workshops focusing on speed, agility, conditioning, recovery, technique, and other aspects of athletic performance. His sessions were designed to benefit football players as well as athletes wishing to improve performance in baseball, track, soccer, softball and other sports.  

Since launching Edge Performance Training, Brown has led a series of training camps around the state for athletes and sports teams ranging from elementary to college level. He also has expanded his professional services to include personalized fitness programs, corporate health and wellness programs, and specialized diet planning and nutrition advice.

Brown conducts onsite sessions at locations that are convenient for his clients, including sports fields, gyms, fitness centers and anywhere that offers safe and appropriately equipped areas for workouts. 

Which brings us back to the beach. One of the advantages of training in Long Beach is an abundance of sand — a surface that makes workouts challenging and beneficial for physical conditioning. Brown began offering sunrise beach workouts to the public in August and since then, his morning workout groups at Long Beach Harbor have steadily grown. 

“Sand is easier on the joints. It helps strengthen and stabilize joints, activate more muscle fibers and increase workout productivity,” he explained. “You can also burn up to 50% more calories by working out on sand.”

In addition to his growing sports business, Brown stays busy raising two young children with his wife, Erin Nesbit Brown, a former MSU softball player from Acworth, Georgia. They met at MSU in 2013 and wed two years later.  

“We considered a few other places to settle down, but we felt Long Beach was where we belonged,” Brown said. “This part of Mississippi has produced so many great athletes, and we’ve enjoyed being part of the amazing sports culture and benefiting from such a tight-knit and resilient community.”

Brown was 11 when Hurricane Katrina struck the Mississippi Coast in 2005. Living through that difficult chapter and watching Long Beach rise again from the devastation made lasting impressions that reinforced Brown’s connection to his birthplace.

“My family lost our house and had to live in Florida for several months before we were able to return,” he said. “I will never forget the feeling of being separated from my home and all my friends, but then I saw how everyone pulled together to rebuild this community. I know what these people are made of, and it’s a matter of pride when I tell people I’m from Long Beach.”