As reported by the Dallas Morning News, SMU and Larry Brown have agreed to terms in regards to their head coaching vacancy.
Brown confirmed the news in a conversation with the Dallas Morning News a short time ago.
The move, which has been rumored for some time now and first reported by Jason King of ESPN.com, means that SMU will take one of the best coaches in basketball into the Big East when they join the league in 2013.
“I’m thrilled that they think enough of me to put me in this position,” he said when reached by SportsDay’s Brad Townsend. “I realize how important this hire is, going into the Big East. But it’s a thrill. I always thought of myself as a college coach. Now this gives me a chance to get back where I started.”
According to the paper SMU could be willing to pay in the high six figures for a coach that Brown would bring along as a “head coach in waiting” to take over whenever he decides to leave.
The most popular name in recent days has been current Illinois State head coach Tim Jankovich, but according to Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com the name of Penn head coach Jerome Allen has come up as well.
It’s also been rumored that former Illinois assistant Jerrance Howard and Kentucky assistant Rod Strickland will be members of Brown’s staff, but more will be known about that when Brown is officially introduced.
This is Brown’s first head coaching job in college since 1988, when he led Kansas to a national title.
Unfortunately for Brown stints at both Kansas and UCLA ended in controversy, with the Jayhawks being placed on probation and being banned from the 1989 NCAA tournament and UCLA having its 1980 title game appearance vacated due to NCAA rules violations.
But the move to hire Brown puts SMU in the national discussion when it comes to college basketball, something that didn’t happen under Matt Doherty.
And with the move to the Big East on the horizon, that’s the first step towards building a program that can put forth a respectable showing in its new conference.