Ponies Hiring Hall of Fame coach Brown
Late Tuesday afternoon, ESPN reported that Larry Brown had accepted SMU’s offer to coach the Mustangs’ men’s basketball team. SMU notified Matt Doherty on March 13 that he would not be retained in the position, and athletic director Steve Orsini has been searching for a replacement since.
However, the Dallas Morning News web site has a post indicating that an agreement with Brown has not been finalized. According to ESPN though, Brown is working on putting together a coaching staff to join him on the Hilltop. Terrence Howard of Illinois is rumored to be one staff member, and he is known as a very good recruiter. Tim Jankovich, head coach at Illinois State is also rumored to be coming to Dallas as “head coach in waiting”. Jankovich is supposedly leaning toward SMU, but torn as this year’s Illinois State team finished 21-14 and returns most of the talented nucleus.
The 71 year-old Brown is the only coach in history to win both an NCAA championship (Kansas 1988) and an NBA championship (Detroit 2003). SMU will be his third collegiate coaching stop, following UCLA and Kansas. Brown most recently coached the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010.
There is no question that Brown would bring instant credibility to an SMU program that has not been to an NCAA Tournament since 1993. Larry Brown merely showing up at a high school gymnasium to look at potential recruits would cause a stir. He is a Hall of Fame coach that has coached players in the past of the ilk of Danny Manning and Alan Iverson.