Before SMU hired Larry Brown last week, the Hall of Famer spoke with Mustangs head football coach, June Jones.
Just two guys who know a thing or two about resuscitating programs, having a conversation.
The coaches did not know each other beforehand, but mutually reached out to one another—Brown to pick Jones' brain on what it's like to coach at SMU, and Jones to advertise the benefits of coming to the Hilltop.
"I told him that I think it's a very positive situation for him," Jones said. "I think Matt [Doherty] went through some of the tough times of some of the things we've been faced with as coaches and I think it's only getting better and I just told [Brown] I think whoever steps into that position, I think it's a win for that person and a win for our school."
It's no secret—especially after this whole coaching search reached national levels of discussion last week—that SMU is a struggling basketball program in major need of some firepower before heading to the Big East in a little over a year (July 1, 2013 to be exact).
Jones, who described the hire as a "wow factor," believes Brown is the perfect guy for the job, which could arguably seen as one of the toughest coaching gigs in the country right now.
"He's won at every level," Jones said. "He's a great character guy and I just think he is gonna teach us how to get to that level and that's what we gotta do."
Brown has indeed won at every level—ABA, NBA, NCAA, the Olympic Games—so can he win with a work-in-progress group of players in the nation's best college basketball conference?
"You know he better be ready to step it up because the Big East is a little bit different than Conference USA in basketball," Jones said. "That's going to be really kind of fun to see and I think everyone is excited. Our kids are excited about the name and I think that's going to trigger a lot of interest recruiting-wise and in the national media. I think we'll go from no national TV games next year to probably six or eight just because of Larry Brown."
SMU will hold a celebration/press conference today at noon in front of Moody Coliseum honoring the addition of Brown to the Mustang family. Jones, unfortunately, said he will not be there due to a prior engagement, but he does hope to meet his new basketball counterpart as soon as possible.
You can watch today's festivities live here.
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