Published April 19, 2012
Dallas, TX – Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Brown is the new head coach at Southern Methodist.
SMU athletic director Steve Orsini made the announcement Thursday, adding, "Larry Brown is one of the top coaches in the history of the game. He is a legend and has made every team he has ever coached a winner. As we transition into the nation's top basketball conference, the Big East, his leadership will be invaluable."
The 71-year-old Brown coached at the collegiate level at UCLA (1979-81) and Kansas (1983-88), compiling a record of 177-61. That included a national title in his final season with the Jayhawks.
His NCAA tenure was not without controversy, however. UCLA's 1980 Final Four appearance was vacated, and recruiting violations caused Kansas to be barred from participating in the 1989 NCAA Tournament, the only time in history a national champion has been banned from defending its title.
Brown's most recent head coaching job came with the Charlotte Bobcats in the NBA from 2008-10, when he compiled a mark of 88-104 before resigning his position.
"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to coach at SMU," said Brown. "I've built so many relationships in the basketball world and my success has been due to the coaches I've played for and the players I've coached. I want to thank them all. I always thought of myself as a college coach and this gives me a wonderful chance to get back where I started."
The Mustangs need a replacement for Matt Doherty, who was fired last month after six years on the job. He posted a record of 80-109 at SMU. The Mustangs, who accepted an invitation to join the Big East in all sports starting in 2013, finished 13-19 last season and had a 4-12 mark in Conference USA play.
Brown's actual first head-coaching position at the collegiate level came at Davidson, but that lasted only during the summer offseason before he resigned.
After that, Brown went to the ABA and coached the Carolina Cougars and then the Denver Nuggets. After his time at UCLA, Brown spent two seasons coaching the New Jersey Nets and also coached at the NBA level for San Antonio, the Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks and Bobcats.
Brown has a pro career record of 1,098-904 and is the sixth-winningest coach in NBA history. Six of his nine NBA coaching jobs have lasted three seasons or fewer. He won an NBA title with Detroit in 2004 and also guided Philadelphia to the NBA Finals in 2001.
Brown also reached the NCAA Tournament title game while at UCLA. He is the only head coach in basketball history to win both an NCAA Championship and NBA title.