STEPHEN HAWKINS,AP Basketball Writer
DALLAS (AP) — SMU and Larry Brown have an agreement in place for the Hall of Fame coach to return to college for the first time in nearly a quarter century.
Brown has agreed to take the job after several days of negotiations, according to a person who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because no official announcement had been made. The agreement was first reported by the Dallas Morning News, citing an unidentified source.
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.
The 71-year-old Brown, the only coach to win 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 the current season.
His four-decade coaching career began at Davidson in 1972, though he didn’t coach a game there before going to the ABA and then the NBA. He coached at UCLA (1979-81) and Kansas (1983-88) and was the coach of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team that had a disappointing bronze-medal finish.
SMU last went to the NCAA tournament in 1993, five years after beating Notre Dame in a first-round game.
Doherty was fired March 13 with one year left on the deal for the former North Carolina coach and player after he went 80-109 in six seasons. 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.
Brown has a reputation for impressive turnarounds and often messy departures from teams. When Michael Jordon hired him in Charlotte, Brown had been out of coaching for two years after going only 23-59 in his only season in New York and being let go by the Knicks.
Brown has held a record nine NBA jobs, He record with Denver, New Jersey, San Antonio, the Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana, Philadelphia, Detroit, the Knicks and Charlotte is 1,098-904 (.548 winning percentage), and he took all of those teams but 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.
Brown led Detroit to an NBA championship in 2004, and the Pistons got back to the finals in 2005 before losing to San Antonio in seven games.
Even during that second Eastern Conference championship season in Detroit, reports linked Brown to jobs in New York, Los Angeles and Denver. The Cleveland Cavaliers had talked with Brown about becoming their president of basketball operations after getting permission from the Pistons.
Within weeks after that season ended, Brown and the Pistons reached a settlement on the final three years of his contract that left him free to coach another team. He then went to the Knicks.
His longest tenure with any team was six seasons with Philadelphia. He had left the 76ers with two years left on his contract to go to Detroit.
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