Hall of Famer Larry Brown mulls high school job in New York

ByC.L. Brown ESPN logo
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Larry Brown, the Hall of Fame head coach who resigned from SMUin July, might return to the sideline --for the East Hampton High School Bonackers on Long Island, New York.

While staying at his summer home in East Hampton, Brown learned the local high school unexpectedly needed a new boys' varsity coach after the newly hired one resigned last week. Brown could become what he had envisioned as a youngster: a high school coach.

"Tonight, I'm going to the high school and see the kids and talk to the [athletic director]," Brown, 76, told ESPN on Tuesday. "I wish I could tell you when I'm going to make a decision. I'm hopeful, it's pretty close."

East Hampton athletic director Joe Vasile-Cozzo told Newsday on Tuesday that "we're game" if Brown decides to coach. Brown had initially discussed his interest in the high school job with The Kansas City Star on Thursday.

Bus rides to away games and untelevised games in small, cramped gyms don't give Brown pause -- he said they would be fun in the same way that Michael Jordan found relief while stripped of all the amenities during his two years of playing minor league baseball.

Brown said his responsibility would only be coaching; he wouldn't also have to teach history or a physical education class. And from what he's seen in recruiting during the past four seasons with the Mustangs, Brown said coaches generally have gotten away from teaching and holding kids accountable.

"What I've found, on every level, they want to be taught," Brown said. "They want somebody that's more than just a workout coach. So many people are afraid to teach kids, and I think that's a big mistake."

Brown's hesitation in pursuing the job is he has already made many commitments and still had more offers to participate in clinics both in the states and overseas. Many from his coaching tree, including Kentucky's John Calipari, Maryland's Mark Turgeon and Colorado's Tad Boyle, have invited him to watch and evaluate their practices.

If outside obligations would take too much time away from coaching East Hampton, Brown said he could not do it.

Brown, who stepped down from SMU because he wanted a new contract, said he wants to "share what I was taught before I get where I can't do it."

Brown is the only coach to win an NCAA title (Kansas, 1988) and an NBA title (Detroit Pistons, 2004), and said he's built differently thanks to all the coaches he has played for or helped groom.

"When you've played for the people that I've played for and had people sit next to you like I have, it wouldn't seem right if I didn't share everything I was taught," Brown said. "I know I have this gift that I can teach. I just want to help the game that's giving me so many unbelievable opportunities that I want to give back."