Larry “Next Town” Brown is one of the most successful coaches in basketball history, having won an NCAA title (Kansas Jayhawks), NBA title (Detroit Pistons), and taken eight different NBA teams to the playoffs. He’s also famous for stealthily exiting when things go bad, or when a better job arises. Surprisingly, the 70-year-old Brown was interested in the Penn State basketball coaching opening. According to David Jones of the Patriot-News:
“Larry told me himself, ‘It’s not about the money.’ He said all he needed was to know that the school was committed to the basketball program.”
Brown is financially secure after holding several lucrative NBA jobs and doesn’t need the money. He told me Friday that Curley immediately informed him at the outset of the conversation he would not be a candidate because the university wanted someone with a more recent college coaching background. So, no talk of salary was ever broached.
So Penn State has a legendary coach interested in a rebuilding job, and they’re passing? Because the guy doesn’t have “a recent college coaching background?” As if he couldn’t find a couple of assistants to fill that void. It’s difficult to recruit college basketball talent to a football school (in the middle of nowhere) … how much easier would that be with a Hall of Fame coach?
Fear not, Penn State fans. An assistant coach you may or may not have heard of is on the way:
Possible candidates such as Doug Wojcik of Tulsa, Pat Chambers of Boston, Pat Flannery formerly of Bucknell, Rob Jeter of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins or Arizona State assistant Scott Pera would all likely accept an annual salary of $1 million or less.
Enjoy the Big Ten basement for a few years.
Larry Brown didn’t want big $ from PSU, only commitment [Patriot-News]