Legendary men’s basketball coach Larry Brown is returning to college this fall. On Monday, Coach Brown was formally introduced as the men’s basketball coach at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Brown, who is already a member of the basketball Hall of Fame, is 71 years old. This is his first college basketball position in almost 25 years. This position follows many stints in the NBA.
When accepting the job, Brown said he anticipated “quality basketball with quality student-athletes.” Dallas based SMU has long looked for a way to make waves in the Cowboys obsessed market. SMU has not won an NCAA tournament game since 1988, which is coincidentally the last year Brown coached in college. Brown won the national title that year with the University of Kansas. Brown is the only coach to win both an NCAA and NBA title.
Brown said, “When I look in the mirror, I get kind of scared, but inside, I feel like I can do this forever.” Brown, using the media attention, already started recruiting and selling the SMU program. He commented on the revamped athletic facilities at SMU stating, “Walking around this campus, if we can get a kid to visit here, I can’t imagine him going anywhere else.”
Brown is replacing Matt Doherty. Doherty spent 6 years at the helm at SMU. Doherty, in a show of good faith, attended the press conference stating, “My biggest concern in this process was that they hire a good coach and a good person for my players and my recruits, because I care about those kids. And they did it.” Kansas coach Bill Self was present at the news conference as well.
Brown did not give a firm answer about how long he would be at SMU. However, he stated that he thinks the school has the resources to compete when they join the Big East conference in 2013. The Big East, one of the legendary conferences in college basketball, has lost many of the key schools recently due to the Big East’s not-so-legendary status in college football. SMU will be replacing one of the outgoing programs.
Brown is known for incredible starts and turnarounds of teams, but also for controversial departures. He has notably sparred publically in the media with star players of his in the past such as Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury. He has coached in the NBA in Denver, New Jersey, San Antonio, the Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana, Philadelphia, Detroit, the New York Knicks and Charlotte.
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