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Former Pistons Coach Larry Brown Has Serious Interest In SMU Job

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(Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

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STEPHEN HAWKINS,AP Basketball Writer

DALLAS (AP) — Larry Brown is serious about getting back to coaching and the vacancy at SMU.

Brown said Wednesday that he hasn’t yet been offered the job, but had spoken again with SMU athletic director Steve Orsini since they first met on Monday. The 71-year-old Hall of Fame coach said he expected his long-time agent, Joe Glass, to have further conversations with Orsini.

“They haven’t offered me the job, I haven’t accepted the job, and I would never do it without Joe’s blessing,” Brown told The Associated Press. “I think before anything happens, Steve would probably have to have his blessing from his president. That’s where we are.”

SMU, which is moving from Conference USA to the much tougher Big East in 2013, fired Matt Doherty last month after six seasons. The Mustangs haven’t won an NCAA tournament game since 1988, the year Brown led Kansas to the national championship in his last season as a college coach.

“I’m serious. I wouldn’t have gone to visit to SMU if I wasn’t interested,” Brown said. “Matt Doherty is a good friend, and he told me a lot about it. The fact that they brought me in, I was thrilled. It was better than expected and I was thankful that they gave me a chance to visit with them. But really it’s in their court.”

Glass didn’t return messages to the AP. SMU officials, as they have throughout the process, said again Wednesday that they are not commenting on the coaching search that is entering its sixth week.

Brown, without elaborating, indicated that “nothing is going to get done right away.”

When asked if the process included the selection of assistant coaches and SMU also possibly choosing a coach-in-waiting, Brown said he didn’t want to speak on behalf of others.

“My desire is to get back in coaching, and I have a lot of respect for this school,” Brown said.

Brown, the only coach to win both an NBA championship and NCAA title, hasn’t coached since leaving the Charlotte Bobcats in December 2010 after the team’s 9-19 start. His contract there was to run through the end of this season.

He has held nine NBA jobs, previously coached collegiately at UCLA (1979-81) and Kansas (1983-88), and was coach of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team that had a disappointing bronze-medal finish. His four-decade coaching career began at Davidson in 1972, though he left there without coaching a game to go to the ABA.

Brown’s NBA record with Denver, New Jersey, San Antonio, the Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana, Philadelphia, Detroit, the New York Knicks and Charlotte is 1,098-904 (.548 winning percentage), and he took all of those teams except New York to the playoffs. Add in his four seasons coaching in the ABA, and his 1,327 victories put him nine shy from passing Don Nelson for the most all-time wins.

Doherty, who went 80-109 at SMU, was fired March 13 with one year left on the deal for the former North Carolina coach and player. The Mustangs lost 11 of their last 14 games, including a 47-28 home loss to UAB on Feb. 15.

SMU has plans for a $40 million renovation of Moody Coliseum and built a new practice facility during Doherty’s stint.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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