Jan. 3, 2004
South Carolina head coach Susan Walvius announced Saturday that Al Brown has joined the USC women’s basketball coaching staff taking the place of assistant coach Chris Brower, who resigned last month for personal reasons.
Brown joins the South Carolina program after spending the first half of the 2003-04 season as an assistant on Kate Peterson’s staff at Cleveland State. Before Cleveland State, Brown spent the 2002-03 season as a member of Peterson’s staff at Wisconsin.
Considered to be one of the best “x’s and o’s coaches” in the game, Brown is a familiar face in the Southeastern Conference as he spent seven years at Tennessee under Pat Summitt. While in Knoxville, he helped direct the Lady Vols to five Final Four appearances, including consecutive national championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
“I am excited about the opportunity to work for a program the caliber of South Carolina,” said Al Brown. “I have great respect for Susan Walvius and the job she has done at USC. I am excited about working with her coaching staff as I have known Ed and Michelle for quite awhile. “
The native of Connersville, Indiana, also holds the distinction of being the only person to coach in the national championship game in both men’s (Purdue vs. UCLA, 1969) and women’s basketball (with Tennessee in 1996-98 and 2000).
A 1962 graduate of Purdue, Brown started out as an assistant on the Boilermaker men’s basketball staff. He then went to Ball State as a men’s assistant before being named as the head coach of the men’s team. His 1986 Cardinal team had a record-setting year, posting 21 wins en route to the Mid-American Conference tournament championship and the school’s second berth in the NCAA Tournament.
After stops at Western Michigan and Minnesota as an assistant, he joined the Tennessee men’s staff before moving over to the Lady Vols’ staff in 1995.
In 26 years as a college coach, Brown has coached eight players who are playing in the WNBA and 10 players who have NBA experience.