Dale Brown, one of the greatest players ever in the history of Mississippi junior college basketball, is slated to become Meridian Community College's next men's basketball coach, according to MCC President Dr. Scott Elliott.
Brown replaces Coach Jeff Walker at MCC after a three-year stint as head coach at Dillard University in New Orleans. He has also served as head coach at Moss Point High School in Mississippi as well as coaching in the National Basketball Association's (NBA) developmental league.
A 2006 inductee in the Mississippi Junior College Sports Hall of Fame, Brown has a wealth of Magnolia State connections. He played for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in 1990-91, leading the Bulldogs to the NJCAA Region 23 title and earning first-team All-American honors. Brown was selected as the NJCAA Basketball Player of the Year in 1991.
From Gulf Coast, Brown went on to start two years for the University of Kentucky, playing for Coach Rick Pitino. Brown played in the 1993 NCAA Final Four against the Fab Five from Michigan. Brown also played in the 1992 NCAA East Regional Final against Duke, a game that many say is the greatest college game ever. Brown was named Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior and National Defensive Player of the Year in 1992-93.
"We are very excited to have Dale Brown joining the MCC athletic family," Elliott said. "We were looking for a coach with strong Mississippi ties - somebody who would stay and build a program here. We feel we have found that coach in Dale Brown. His credentials are simply outstanding."
Brown had a brief stint in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings before playing professional basketball in Europe. He took over the head coaching reins at Moss Point in 2007-08, leading his troops to a 32-6 record and a state semi-final berth.
He also coached the Mississippi Gulf Coast Bandits in the NBA developmental league, taking third place with a 20-11 mark. Brown coached 15 players who ultimately made it to the NBA.
"I look forward to the challenge at MCC," Brown said. "My goal is for our players to be winners in the classroom and on the court. I am obviously very familiar with Mississippi junior college basketball, having played and coached in the MACJC Conference. I am confident that we can recruit well in the state as well as landing some outstanding talent around the country."
If big time coaching contacts make a difference, Brown will be very well-positioned, listing Pitino, Florida's Billy Donovan and former Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith among his references.
Brown will be officially recommended to the MCC Board of Trustees by Elliott on June 14. Thereafter, he will hit the recruiting trail as soon as possible to round out the Eagle roster for the 2011-12 season.
"I'm told by Hilary Allen (MCC athletic director) that we have a solid nucleus of returning sophomores coming back," Brown said. "My first goal will be to keep that bunch committed, while also signing some quality freshmen recruits. I want to start that process ASAP."