Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Report: Former KU coach Larry Brown returning to college hoops as Memphis assistant

Kansas guard Malik Newman (14) and former Kansas head coach Larry Brown talk on the sidelines on Friday, March 30, 2018 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Kansas guard Malik Newman (14) and former Kansas head coach Larry Brown talk on the sidelines on Friday, March 30, 2018 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.


A former national championship-winning head coach at the University of Kansas, Larry Brown is once again returning to the college ranks, this time as an assistant, according to a report from The Athletic.

Most recently the head coach at SMU, Brown reportedly is set to join Penny Hardaway’s staff at Memphis as an assistant.

Brown has been away from the college game since 2016, when he finished a four-year run at SMU. His most recent job within the coaching ranks came in 2018, when he led Auxilium Torino, in Italy.

At the college level, of course, Brown’s largest accomplishment came at KU in 1988, when he coached Danny Manning and a sixth-seeded Jayhawks team to the national title. KU went 135-44 during the five seasons Brown was in charge.

While the 80-year-old Brown has worked as a head coach for most of his adult life, he only spent 11 seasons as a college head coach between his stints at UCLA, KU and SMU.

Brown has logged far more time at the professional level, primarily in the NBA. His first head coaching job came in the ABA in 1972, when he was with the Carolina Cougars. Next, Brown led the Denver Nuggets in the ABA, beginning in the 1974-75 season, and he remained with the organization as it joined the NBA two years later.

The only head coach to win both an NCAA and NBA title (with Detroit in 2004), Brown through the years coached the Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats in the NBA, with his last stop coming in Charlotte during the 2010-11 season.

His career NBA coaching record is 1,098-904.

As pointed out by The Commercial Appeal, Brown hasn’t worked as an assistant college coach since the mid-1960s, when he was on Dean Smith’s staff at North Carolina.


Bryce Landon 1 year, 3 months ago

Wow. I wonder how Brown will adjust to being an assistant after all these years being head honcho.

Joseph Bullock 1 year, 3 months ago

Penny is going to the NBA, and Brown will end up being Memphis head coach!

Scott Proch 1 year, 3 months ago

He never ceases to amaze. I hope he over 100 when he collapses on the practice court somewhere.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 2 months ago

He is definitely a basketball junkie. I’m recalling him hanging out in Lawrence one year just to be around the team.

‘88 was also amazing to watch the run through the last 3 games in particular and all the great coaching adjustments. The championship game was almost embarrassing to see the coaching disparity. Probably true of any profession that there’s more that goes into long term success than just brilliance.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 2 months ago

Something that gets missed in accounting the teams, victories and championships is what he did to revive the program. It had really stagnated by the early 80’s and made a concerted effort to restore some of the nostalgia to the program. I remember being able to go back to visit and being able to scalp a ticket for next to nothing. It does “help” that Coach Brown was followed by 2 of the winningest coaches, but he started the revival.

David Robinett 1 year, 2 months ago

Absolutely Dirk.

I believe KU was ranked 19th in the preseason when I arrived as a freshman in 1979. I think they were beginning to fade under coach Ted. Competitive in the big 12 but not dominant. And definitely not considered a blue blood unless some of that was still carrying over from the 50s. Coach Brown definitely started the new era for us.

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