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Big Irv Favre --- Tribute
Remembering “Big Irv”
It didn’t take long for word to spread throughout Hancock and Harrison communities neighboring Big Irv’s turf near the Kiln. One of the first places to hear of Irvin Favre’s auto accident was at the Broke Spoke where Irv Favre was known to saddle up at the end of the bar on a near weekly basis. He would swap stories and on leaving, would twirl his pointed finger in the air and say, “I’m gone.”
Just before Christmas 2003, age 58, Big Irv made his final farewell as he had a heart attack that caused him to run his pickup truck off the road.
In most Gulf Coast communities, everyone knew or heard of Coach Favre. The Favre home off Rotten Bayou on Irvin Favre Road is steeped in trophies gained by all family members. Big Irv had coached his sons and many others that matriculated through Hancock North Central school — during the many years before son Brett became a three-time NFL “Most Valued Player” and lead quarterback for the Packer’s Super Bowl winning victory in 1998.
Brett told a story of his father’s coaching habit of hyping his teams with pregame oratory. "If opponents referred to the North Central Hawks as 'Chickens,' the players were prepped for a kill."
Big Irv coached for 28 years — 24 in the Hancock County School System. He began by guiding Biloxi's St. John High School to its only state championship in baseball in 1970. He became head coach at Hancock North Central in 1972 and turned the school, which was best known for its basketball teams, into a South State contender in football. Big Irv was a determined disciplinarian and hard nosed. There were no excuses for missed practices. ---And all three of his sons, Scott, Brett, and Jeff, were quarterbacks.
From retirement, Irvin Favre returned to coaching with the Mississippi Fire Dogs, an indoor minor league football team that went to the 2001 National Indoor Football League championship.
An earlier comment by Brett was to state, "Sure, he was harder on me than he was on other kids, and I probably got mad about it at the time. But they all had to wait until the next day to get more coaching. I got it all the time. We talked football on the way home from practice -- We talked football at supper -- We talked football before bed -- We talked football when we got up in the morning -- We talked football all the time."
Photos: At top, early years of coaching, Above Right: Irv coaching the FireDogs, At Left: Dressing out Brett in 1970, At Right: Irv fishing, Below: Waiting lines at the funeral of Big Irv 12/24/2003.