When basketball fans and the media rank successful coaches, as they often do, they usually either count up the number of championships the coach has accumulated over their career or the number of years the coach has tenured with a team. However, there is another less seldom used litmus test. It’s the one that acknowledges when a coach has been successful with multiple teams. When this criteria is used, Larry Brown is ranked at the top of the list.
Brown’s resume is not remarkable, it’s actually a little bit better than that. He has worked his magic everywhere – out West, back East, up North, and down South. At the end of their seasons, his teams have finished at or near the top of the heap many times in both the professional and college ranks. Coach Brown has cultivated success in places so majestic that the spotlight is never off you and in places so modest that the spotlight can’t find you. He created winning teams at the beginning of his career and has done the same thing this year with his current team, the Southern Methodist University Mustangs…at 74 years old. And to top it all off, Larry Brown has been doing this for quite a while. How long, you ask? When he had is first winning season as a coach, gasoline cost about 36 cents a gallon and Elvis was alive and slender. Indeed, Larry Brown has been creating success on basketball courts for a very long time.
This year Brown’s Southern Methodist University team, having one of it’s most successful campaigns over the last several seasons, earned a well deserved number one seed in the 2014 National Invitation Tournament, commonly referred to as the NIT. Even though most men’s basketball fans will be watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament, which is played over the same period of time as the NIT, something tells me that a few more fans will be watching to catch a glimpse of a good SMU team and a coach with a very unique and successful career.