It hasn’t been the most pleasant of months for SMU athletic director Steve Orsini.
After head coach Matt Doherty was fired in mid-March after six seasons, Orsini and the Mustangs are still looking for a head coach and reports are that they have turned to a candidate that has some scratching their heads: Larry Brown.
Over the past four weeks, the Mustangs’ coaching search has seen St. Louis’ Rick Majerus, Marquette’s Buzz Williams, and Long Beach State’s Dan Monson all turn down the job.
A report from SNY.tv’s Adam Zagoria says Williams’ assistant at Marquette, Tony Benford, is on the SMU campus today.
The 71-year-old Brown is the only coach in history to have won both an NBA title (Detroit, 2004) and an NCAA title (Kansas, 1988), having last coached the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010-11.
He has been quoted as saying that he would like to return to coaching, but has not been at a college program since that championship season at Kansas in 1988.
SMU is trying to work its way to national prominence and went 13-19 last season, including 4-12 in Conference USA. They will be moving to the Big East in all sports in an attempt to grow their national brand.
The better question, in regards to Brown, is how a man in his 70s, having not coached at the college level in over 20 years, would be able to make an impact on the recruiting trail, which is increasingly dominated by younger coaches (in comparison to Brown) like John Calipari, Scott Drew, Tom Crean, Sean Miller, etc.
“I’m not going to be politicking for a job right now,” Brown told ESPN’s Dana O’Neill. “I’d like to get back involved in the game in some capacity. Whether that’s as a coach, assistant, running a team or just as a resource, I don’t care.”