Many of you may not have noticed last week, but basketball coaching legend Larry Brown is back in the college game. At the age of 71, he is the new head coach at SMU.
Brown has had a remarkable career, but he is truly a coaching gypsy. He has been everywhere. In college he has coached at UCLA and Kansas. In the NBA and the old ABA, he has coached the Carolina Cougars, Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76’ers, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats.
He is the only coach in basketbal history to win an NBA championship and an NCAA championship. He won an NBA title coaching the Pistons in 2004. He won an NCAA title at Kansas in 1988. He also took UCLA to the NCAA finals in 1980 where they lost to Louisville.
There have been issues. When he won the 1988 NCAA title at Kansas, the Jayhawks went on a major probably seven months later. They did not have to vacate their title, but they did admit to major violatioins. Roy Williams came in from North Carolina to clean up the mess after Brown left for the NBA and San Antonio.
Brown is a basketball Hall of Famer, having been inducted in 2002. As a player, he played on the 1964 U. S. Olympic team that won a Gold Medal in Tokyo.
One thing that Larry Brown has not done in his career, is to coach in our state. That will change next winter. SMU will be in Conference USA for one more season before heading to the Big East. As a result, Brown will coach the Mustangs in Huntington next season when the Mustangs play at Marshall. His appearance in Huntington will make that game an event.
Brown has his work cut for him at SMU. The Mustangs are not very relevant in college basketball, but Brown’s presence could change that. He does provide some sizzle.
If his past history is any indication, Brown’s stay in Dallas may not be that long. But it should be long enough for us to see him in our state in the winter of 2013.