As we finish filling out our brackets – thankfully there are some pools that have chosen to ignore the “First Four” – we do so keeping an eye on Providence College’s ongoing search for the next men’s basketball coach. Some names make sense; others leave a lot to be desired.
With rumor mill in full regale, we present the case for one Larry Brown. No, this isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem.
Brown may be 70 (he turns 71 in September), but age shouldn’t automatically dismiss his candidacy. He is the very definition of a basketball lifer, and a very good coach to boot. The fact he took Kansas as a sixth seed all the way the NCAA championship in 1988 furthers this argument, even though many remember Danny Manning’s tourney exploits on that memorable Jayhawk outfit.
We stay on 1988, which was the last year Brown coached at the college level. Being away from the game for over 20 years shouldn’t knock him down a peg or to in the eyes of PC athletic director Bob Driscoll. Brown has been lauded as both a student and a teacher of the game, two traits that don’t diminish with age.
Brown last patrolled the sidelines as recent as 2010, when he coached the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats. He was born in Brooklyn, so there are the Northeast ties that are critical to running a program like Providence.
If Brown’s age still scares you, think about this. There’s a reason why assistant coaches are in place, to do the necessary heavy lifting when it comes to feeling out recruits. Brown has enough name recognition already, which would allow him to swoop in at the very end and serve as a potential dealbreaker.
What would it cost to land someone of Brown’s caliber? More importantly, would Providence be willing to meet his salary demands? Driscoll is on record in saying he’s more interested in winning games than the press conference. Hiring Brown would allow the A.D. to do both.