Our Story


Our founder, Matthew Brown, is a local businessperson and proud graduate of Lansing Eastern. With a deep-rooted passion for the youth of Lansing, he is committed to ensuring their success. The passion of our youth program emphasizes affordability, education, exercise and positive choices for inner city kids in a safe and fun environment. We are incredibly grateful for the tireless dedication and generosity of our founder, Matthew Brown, who has single-handedly funded the Lansing Cowboys Youth Program from 2009 - 2019. Thanks to his support, our program has been able to provide a cost-free experience for all participants, regardless of their financial background. However, as we strive to continue offering this invaluable opportunity, we kindly invite you to contribute and help sustain our mission.

In the annals of the Mid-Michigan Youth Football League, the 2009 season witnessed a remarkable turn of events when an astute local entrepreneur by the name of Matthew Brown attended a Lansing Warriors game, where his eldest son was donning the football gear. Amidst the spirited contest, Brown's discerning gaze fell upon the struggling Lansing Dolphins, a team grappling with a series of disheartening defeats. Bolstered by a sense of empathy and a desire to extend a helping hand, Brown took the initiative to engage in a conversation with the team's coach, the esteemed Terry Hall, and expressed his willingness to lend his expertise as a defensive coach for the remaining matches of the season.

Furthermore, to alleviate the considerable burdens borne solely by Coach Hall, Matthew Brown enlisted the assistance of his nephew, Deon Hollis, thereby augmenting the coaching staff. Given the constraints of time and circumstance, their collective efforts could not reverse the tides of the prevailing season. Nonetheless, undeterred by this initial setback, Matthew Brown and Deon Hollis resolved to adopt the program and effectuated a transformation that encompassed a renaming of the team to the Lansing Cowboys—an homage to Brown's cherished NFL franchise. The newly revamped program was established as a 501.3c nonprofit entity, with the necessary funds predominantly emanating from the benevolence of the co-founders themselves. Matthew Brown's Businesses, in particular, assumed the entirety of financial responsibilities for the 200 participants each season encompassing players, cheerleaders, and coaches, steadfastly supporting the program throughout the years spanning 2009 to 2019.

During this decade-long period, the Lansing Cowboys program attained a distinctive status within the state of Michigan, distinguishing itself as the sole youth program that offered unwaveringly cost-free participation for all individuals involved. However, in the unprecedented year of 2020, the program was compelled to halt its operations due to the pervasive Covid-19 pandemic, which engendered grave safety concerns. Following the lifting of the shutdown measures, the program was reestablished in the subsequent year of 2021. Yet, the exigencies of the pandemic necessitated a shift towards a scholarship-based framework, impeding the program's ability to fully subsidize the expenses of all participants, confining coverage to a range of 30 to 40 percent for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Nevertheless, the Lansing Cowboys program has garnered a multitude of accolades, including a repertoire of city, state, and regional championships. Its eminence extends to the national level, as evidenced by the team's appearances in the esteemed AYF national tournament in Florida from 2017 to 2019. Yet, amidst the resplendent tapestry of achievements, it is the program's steadfast commitment to nurturing the development of quality youth football within the inner city of Lansing, Michigan, that serves as the bedrock of its endeavors. This vision is actualized through the collective dedication of passionate coaches and mentors, who embody the very essence of our program's ethos. In essence, the motto that permeates the Lansing Cowboys program is a testament to this unwavering passion, encapsulated by the phrase "Forged by Passion."

Our Mission

The Lansing Cowboys, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Lansing, Michigan, is dedicated to providing low-income inner city youth with a competitive tackle football experience. Our mission is to promote personal growth, teamwork, and sportsmanship through football in the Lansing area. By creating a positive and inclusive environment, we aim to inspire a love for the sport and develop critical life skills such as confidence, discipline, and leadership in our participants. With a focus on youth development and a commitment to excellence, the Lansing Cowboys is the premier destination for inner city football in the Lansing, Michigan community.

Our Vision

Our vision at the Lansing Cowboys, based in Lansing, Michigan, is to empower underprivileged youth in our Lansing community through the sport of tackle football. We strive to be a leading force in the development of young athletes in Lansing and to create a culture of excellence, teamwork, and sportsmanship in the city. Our ultimate goal is to provide opportunities for our participants to reach their full potential and to use the skills they have learned on the field to positively impact their lives and the lives of those around them in Lansing, Michigan. We envision a future where every child in our Lansing community has access to a quality football program and the chance to achieve success both on and off the field in the heart of Michigan.

Our Goal

Our goal at the Lansing Cowboys is to bridge the gap in grassroots football development and provide a pathway for young athletes to reach their full potential in the sport. By aligning with the local school district and partnering with local schools, we aim to bring high-quality football programs to the youth in our community and to create a sustainable pipeline for future high school football players. Through our mission of promoting personal growth, teamwork, and sportsmanship and our vision of empowering underprivileged youth in Lansing, Michigan, we aim to make a meaningful impact on the lives of the young athletes we serve and to build a stronger, more inclusive community. By working together with schools, we aim to achieve our goal of providing the highest level of football development and opportunities to the youth of Lansing, Michigan.