Found this old article on the Browns. Pretty good trip back in time.
Corps employee married to NFL star
Kim Brown, a Corps regulatory specialist with Huntington District, is married to Troy Brown, of the New England Patriots. Also shown is their son, Simon. (Photo courtesy of Huntington District)
By Elizabeth Slagel
Kim Courts Brown is not the average Corps employee.
Not that there's anything overtly different. The 35-year-old gets up every morning, picks out something to wear, kisses her almost two-year-old son good-bye and goes off to work. An ordinary working life.
But Brown's salary as a GS-12 regulatory specialist is just two percent of the household income! Her husband is National Football League (NFL) player Troy Brown, who recently signed a $12 million contract for the next five years with the New England Patriots, with a hefty $3 million signing bonus.
And the next day Kim Courts Brown showed up for work! The question a lot of people ask Brown is "Why?"
"Me and Troy had this discussion this weekend and he can't understand why I'm working," she said. "I've been working since I was 18 years old."
The independent career-oriented woman said she never dreamed she would even have a family when pursuing a chemistry degree at Marshall University. Today, she has it all -- family, career, famous husband, and an assured comfortable future.
But sometimes having it all is not all it is cracked up to be.
The couple has been together for seven years. They met at a party one night in Huntington, W.Va., while he was playing football for Marshall University and she was starting her career. They facing new challenges as their family grows with Kim and their son Sirmon living in Huntington and Troy living in Boston.
"Before, being apart wasn't hard," Brown said. "But when you have kids it's hard to get into a family routine, and it's getting harder every day. Sirmon is starting to miss his daddy."
That's not all. The Brown family has another child on the way, expected sometime in September. "At first Troy was proud of me working and everything," Brown said. "but he misses Sirmon and he wants to see him more. And I can understand that. If the shoe were on the other foot, I'd feel the same way."
What makes the struggle between work and family so hard for Brown is that she actually loves her job in the North Permit Section of Regulatory Branch. "I think I have the greatest job in the world and I work with great people."
Brown describes her office as close-knit and considers her coworkers friends rather than counterparts. She works full-time, but often takes leave without pay during the pro football season, averaging a week a month away from work.
Her work arrangement is not exactly the norm, but it works for her and her office. While some of her coworkers spend a lot of time in the field evaluating sites, Brown can usually be found at her desk reading cumbersome environmental impact reports or writing meticulous statements of finding, something her coworkers do not enjoy.
Brown's supervisor, Jim Richmond, said that Brown is good at it. "Kim is one of the best analytical thinkers I've ever worked with." Richmond added that Brown's ability to analyze and document her thoughts on paper saves the Corps a lot of scrutiny if and when permits are challenged. So he allows Brown time off when she needs it.
Brown said she sometimes worries others may view her as getting special treatment. "I try to take on work that no one else wants and before I leave I ask them 'Are you okay with this?'"
So, like her husband belongs to a professional team, Brown too belongs to a professional team -- the Regulatory Branch team. Her co-workers visit and evaluate projects for her. She writes statements of finding for them. No one keeps score as long as they all win. And Brown asked her husband sign hats for everyone in her office while playing in the 1997 Super Bowl.
Just as she is a nontraditional Corps employee, so too is she a nontraditional NFL player's wife.
"Other players and their wives live on a level that we don't," she said. "They make $2 million a year and they live like they make $2 million a year. We live a lot lower than our income level. They start talking about their $200 hairdos and I say, 'That's crazy. I pay $15 for mine.'"
Brown said Troy has a conservative approach to money. About 75 percent of his earnings go to investments or charity. If his football career were to end today, they could not work another day and still live comfortably. "That's a nice feeling," Brown said.
Although most of Brown's co-workers would deem one year of her husband's salary means for early retirement, she said she doesn't feel any different from others. When coworker Mark Taylor first came to work for Permits Section, he had followed Troy Brown's career and was surprised when someone told him his coworker was married to him. "Kim never treated it as anything."
"They call me Granny Clampett," Brown said of her co-workers. "When we go out to lunch I order water instead of soda or the least expensive thing on the menu. I live the same way I lived before."
That does not erase the fact that everyone at work, in town, and the country knows Troy Brown's salary. Brown shrugs it off. "People don't treat me any different, I think because I don't act any different."
Despite her humble attitude, Brown is proud of her husband who has played for the New England Patriots since 1993. His awards to include winning the Unsung Hero Award for two years, and the Courage Award for the quickest recovery from an injury.
While some NFL players have a bad reputation, Brown describes her husband as a responsible player and father who shakes his head at the recklessness of other players. The Blackville, S.C. native agreed to make Huntington his home when they married in 1997. "He's made a sacrifice to stay here because my family is here. I don't think I tell him enough how much I appreciate him. He's very generous in taking care of me and giving me everything I need or want. I'm making it harder with not quitting this job."
Although Brown mostly avoids the glitz and fame associated with the NFL life, she does enjoy perks here and there like free trips to the Bahamas or Las Vegas. "It's kind of neat when we go to a nice restaurant in Boston without a reservation and we get the best seat in the house because my husband is Troy Brown," she said.
While some people could easily get used to the privileged lifestyle associated with professional football, Brown struggles for normalcy. "It's tough, and it's getting harder every day. There's a time coming when I'm going to have to make the decision do I want to work or be with my family. I may have to make it sooner than later. I think Troy thinks I'll leave after the baby is born. I don't know. We'll see."