We here at Corn Nation are sad to pass along the news that our friend Brian Towle has passed away. We are at a loss for words. He was a warm and friendly guy, who loved sports almost as much as he loved his family. We are absolutely devastated for Brian’s family, especially his wife Kelly, his son Brock, and his daughter Emerson. Please, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Corn Nation would not be what it is today without his tireless work behind the scenes. Whether it was covering the highs and lows of Nebraska recruiting or shepherding our daily posts, Brian worked hard to make sure we were a reliable news source for all of you. We cannot count the number of articles Brian had ready to go, awaiting confirmation, but it was Brian’s work that made sure we delivered the big news as it happened.
Brian loved this community and it is fitting that we gather to remember him in the best way we know how: a round-table.
Jon: Brian’s first post at CN was in 2012. It was about recruiting, something I’d wanted him to do because I really wanted no part of it (and still don’t). The days that I didn’t chat or communicate with Brian since then were few and far between, even as he was in the hospital this time, we were all still communicating about the site, Nebraska, and his frustration with hospitals.
Brian has done most of the work at CN for at least a couple years now. If nothing else, he was relentless about what he was doing here, and he had plans to do even more. He was a damned good right hand man, and good at providing everyone with what was happening in the Husker world.
I cannot express what a shock this is, and I’d like you to keep his wife Kelly, son Brock, and daughter Em in your prayers as they go through this.
This hurts my heart, but as we go through life, we can chose to hide ourselves away or chose to build relationships that as you grow older, you always know someday will end. This one ended way too soon.
Godspeed, Brian Towle.
Greg: At no time did i ever expect to receive this news. My wife texted me to tell me as I was on the road at the time. I opened up Slack immediately.
I have known Brian for several years, and had the pleasure to meet him and his wife and break bread with them. Brian loved his family, he loved the Huskers, and he loved this madness of Corn Nation. I open each episode of the Five Heart Podcast and introduce Brian each time as my "good friend, fellow Husker fan, and longtime broadcast buddy." Thats a very short list of superlatives to describe a man who did so much.
Pray for Kelly, his wife, Emerson, their daughter who just celebrated her third birthday, and Brock, Brian’s older son.
Brian, my friend, you will be dearly missed. GBR
Jill: This is a huge shock as we thought he was on the road to recovery. It is going to be really strange for me because Brian was always here. Not just here, but the guy who was the glue of CN and ready to fire off an article at a moment’s notice. He gave us a lot of direction and kicked butts when needed. We depended on Brian and in some ways he relished that role. His heart was big and his love for family was great. Fortunately for us, he considered CN part of his family. I send my deepest condolences to his wife, children, family, friends, and coworkers. If this merry band of bloggers on a college football website feel his loss this keenly, I am sure those around him are even more devastated.
Ty: I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with Brian on a couple of occasions. He was one of the truly nicest people you’d ever meet. At the same time, there were definitely times when he cracked the whip on us to keep this motley crew of misfits on track. We knew he was having some health problems, but we all thought we’d have him back among us soon. Heck, he was cracking the whip from his hospital room. This is an immeasurable loss for CN and the whole SBNation community. My heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to his family and friends. There is a huge hole in my heart today. I can’t begin to imagine what they’re going through. Rest well, my friend. GBR
David: This was devastating news to wake up to this morning. In so many ways, Brian was the secret sauce that made Corn Nation work. He was tireless in his efforts to get the news out to Husker Nation. He was a workhorse. His loss will be great for the CN family. I think you will see a common refrain from those that talk about him today: He loved his family and he loved the Huskers. Personally, he was incredibly generous with his time with me, gave me space to do what I needed to do when life largely necessitated I back away from much of what I was doing here. He cared about us as people; genuinely concerned about our lives and families. I think and pray that care was returned by us here at, CN. We will mourn this loss for a while. We will miss him terribly. Pray for his wife, their young daughter and his son. They are devastated this morning.
Ted (Salt Creek and Stadium):
Brian and I joined CN as contributors around the same time. I can safely say I learned almost everything I know about writing for a site like CN from following Brian’s lead. Bantering with him about sports was the highlight of many of my days over the last five years. Indeed, Brian made graduate school more than tolerable and losing him now has left me a little lost and beyond devastated. I can safely say he made me a better and smarter Nebraska fan, but more than that, he has made me a better person. His love for his family was absolutely inspiring and I can only hope that I am as loving and proud of my family in the future. He taught me so many things and I only wish I had been able to return the favor.
As far as the universe and mysterious ways goes, here is Brian’s last tweet:
Godspeed, Brian. We love you, and we’re going to miss you a lot around here.
Patrick G: Brian Towle was one of the main reasons I started writing for Corn Nation. When the opportunity came to do so, I jumped at the chance. Mainly because I knew I would be working with such a great guy.
As you have seen online and in this piece, Brian was an exceptional writer and even a nicer person to work with. His loss will be felt here at Corn Nation for some time and the void he leaves behind will never be filled. He was always there to help you when you needed it and could crank out an article faster than anyone at the last second. If you had any questions on recruiting, whether it was football or basketball, he would know or quickly find out. No one worked harder for this site and its readers. Thank you again Brian for all that you’ve done for us.
Hoss: I never had any designs on getting involved with something like Corn Nation until Brian DM’d me on Twitter the week of the Oregon game in 2016 asking if I would be interested in doing so. Previous to being a contributor at CN, I knew Brian through Twitter and the Husker message board community. Throughout the past year Brian had been more than kind in cutting video for the Decoding Langsdorf breakdowns at a moment’s notice and also put up with my convoluted method of publishing until I finally learned how to use the editing software. Although I had never met Brian in person, I had always hoped to, as I always enjoyed the conversations and banter in the CN Slack Room. My deepest condolences to the Towle family. RIP Brian.
Nate M: Life comes at you fast. This morning I saw the CN Slack Room notification on my phone. I opened up the app and saw that there was “breaking news” of some type. My first guess was that Rimington fired Mike Riley. That was my initial thought.
So I started on scrolling up to see the “breaking news.” I started piecing things together as I continued to scroll up, then I saw that Brian had passed away. Like I said, life comes at you fast.
Nebraska football is at a huge crossroads in the history of the program and as of right now I don’t care. What matters is that Brian was a person that cared about people. It seems from the comments above and elsewhere is that if Brian felt something was going on in your life he didn’t hesitate to message you and see how things were going. Our world could use more people like that today and yet we lost another one.
I joined Corn Nation this past August and Brian accepted me with open arms and was always willing to answer any of my questions. I never met him personally, but I got the chance to know Brian through our CN Slack Room and the way he talked about his wife and his kids makes this so much more difficult. I’ll be praying for Brian, and for his family. RIP Brian.
Mike: I’m sitting here at an offsite all-day meeting for work at Creighton, proudly wearing my Husker stuff on enemy territory, and came into CN’s Slack room to drop a funny line...and got floored by what I learned. I won’t gloss over the fact that Brian and I had different perspectives on many things, especially recruiting.
What I will say is that we grew to respect each other’s positions, and more importantly, we both grew to appreciate what each of us had to offer. When I had to downsize my involvement at CN over the last year to leave more time for family stuff, Brian stepped up to fill a void that Jon and I were leaving.
Now we have a much bigger void to fill here. Not only will the entire staff miss Brian, our entire community will really miss his contributions. I ache for his family, who is now suffering unbelievable heartache.
Thanks Brian, for everything. And God bless your family.
Paul: In a week that seems like one disaster after another for me, this is by far the hardest for me to wrap my head around. It was only last night that Brian messaged me to ask how I was doing. I’m heartsick for his wife, daughter, and son. I’m devastated for our small community of writers here at Corn Nation and for all of the readers and Husker fans that Brian has informed, argued with, supported, and entertained over the last five years.
Goodbye Brian. Resquiat en pace.
Nathaniel: Brian helped make Corn Nation what it is today. Reading this news today was shocking. Thankfully I was able to meet him when I first started for Corn Nation as a UNL Broadcasting student. He was an amazing person who cared about his family and friends. Brian poured his heart into Corn Nation and always make sure we published the articles as quickly and accurately as we could (especially the recruiting news). He always some interesting stories and anecdotes to share whether they were sports or non-sports related. I'm going to miss our conversations in the Slack room whether it was about the Huskers, BBQ or horrible dating stories. Thanks for everyone you have done Brian. My heart goes to his family.
Fundraiser by Kelly Towle : Funeral for my husband Brian Towle
- Brian passed away suddenly on Sept. 27 after a short stay in the hospital due to complications from blood clots.
- He is from Lincoln Nebraska and is survived by his wife Kelly, his young daughter and older son.
- Brian was very involved in the Corn Nation as a sports blogger and the bowling industry.
- Kelly needs our help to pay for the funeral as well as other expenses.
Please consider helping out the Towle family with these unexpected expenses. A GoFundMe site has been established to help them out. Thanks to everyone who has helped so far!