Council Rock football coach with special needs District Hall of Fame inductee

When you meet Peter Brill, the Honorary Football Coach of Council Rock North, it’s hard not to smile back at him infectiously.

Brill, who has been steeped in the fabric of his former high school for over 25 years, has become known on campus and on the fringes for his positive attitude – win or lose.

He won the endearing title of “Mr. Council Rock” as one of the most recognizable faces in school, and he was tied for “best smile” when he was a student at Council Rock.

“He would come in with his big old smile and was just happy to be here, happy to do whatever you asked him to do,” said Mike Ortman, retired Council Rock North football coach and special education educator.

He first helped his former student get involved in the management of the football team in 1997.

Peter graduated from his alma mater in 2000. He has been a manager, and now a coach, alongside five different coaches, including Ortman, whom he started working with in his second year.

“The cheerleaders loved him, the players loved him,” Ortman recalls of Brill’s talent at entertaining the crowd behind the bench during games.

“A lot of them weren’t even watching the game, they were watching Peter on the sidelines,” Ortman said. “It’s quite spectacular.

The former CR student and Penn State fanatic was by Ortman’s side for 10 years until the coach and mentor retired in 2007, and he shared his smile and coaching trivia. in trainer since then.

Current head coach John Greiner said he was honored to have Brill in the football family during the three years he coached at CR North.

Council Rock North football team principal and honorary coach Peter Brill sits at the table with his family before being inducted into the Council Rock Hall of Fame in the Council Rock North High School cafeteria on Friday, October 29 .

“He’s never had a bad day in his life, and he makes sure I try not to have one either,” said Greiner, who teaches in the Pennsbury School District. “He constantly keeps a smile on my face, he always looks on the bright side.”

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Brill’s decades of dedication to the school’s track and field program earned him the distinction of being inducted into the Council Rock Hall of Fame on October 29.

He was nominated for the special honor by former Council Rock North athletic director Robert Findlay. Brill himself summed up his thoughts on the nomination in one word: “Awesome!

Ortman got emotional just talking about the significance of recognizing his longtime friend.

“I didn’t expect this to happen, I’m glad it did,” he shared.

Mike Ortman cries as he delivers a speech on Peter Brill before inducting him into the Council Rock Hall of Fame during the induction ceremony in the Council Rock North High School cafeteria on Friday, October 29.

Council Rock is known for the way the district works with students with special needs and learners with Individual Education Plans, or IEPs.

Families have moved to the district because of its reputation, said Ortman, who presented at the induction ceremony Friday.

“Council Rock has been great with kids with special needs, I mean people move to Council Rock because of the way they treat them,” he said.

An only child, Brill was born with linguistic and intellectual disabilities. His mother, Linda Brill, prefers to view her son’s special needs as an intellectual difference.

“In a lot of ways he’s a lot more aware and astute of things than ‘normal’ kids, he’s a lot more sensitive, and his emotional intelligence is really high,” said Brill, who previously worked as a special education teacher.

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Peter Brill, director of the football team and honorary coach of Council Rock North, shows his Council Rock Hall of Fame plaque to students on the pitch after being recognized at halftime on Friday, October 29.
Peter Brill, director of the Council Rock North football team and honorary coach, punches a student holding his Council Rock Hall of Fame plaque after being recognized at halftime on Friday, October 29.

“They don’t exactly fit into the box we all have to fit into, but given the opportunity, I guess everyone (those with special needs) has something special to share,” she said. said, calling her son’s induction “an incredible honor.

Brill’s parents say he’s been wholeheartedly welcomed into the Council Rock community over the past two decades.

At first, her parents worried about her transition from a small high school to a much larger high school.

Earlier in life, Brill said her son’s issues were more complex. Over time, he has become more able to express himself and much less shy.

Thanks to his involvement with sports teams, coaches and athletes, the more he was accepted, the more he blossomed.

“(He’s) like all of us, where we walk into a room and people love us and we’re not nervous,” Peter’s mother said. “It is beyond our wildest imaginations. “

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