The craziest coaching candidate idea of all

COUGFANS ARE HOPING for a Mike Leach-type hire in hoops. For reasons spelled out in previous articles, such a splash would seem unlikely. But unlikely doesn't mean impossible. And if Bill Moos were to go that route…

Why not take a run at SMU's Larry Brown?

Sure, it's an idea akin to a snowball's chance in hell. But consider a few things.

  • Brown has had 14 head coaching jobs and has left 11 of them, and sometimes immediately after insisting he was staying put. No other coach compares when it comes to wanderlust.

  • Unlike so many other coaches, Brown loves a challenge, a reclamation project – his career shows he lives for that situation. Only one of his coaching stops, Detroit, had a winning record the year before Brown arrived. That's 13 other places that had a losing record. That's indicative of someone who dearly loves the challenge of building from the ground up.

    Brown is 73-years-old but seems to have the energy of someone 15 years younger. And that leads into a discussion a little more realistic.

    What if Brown were to pull a Dick Bennett?

    MOOS COULD TELL Brown he can coach as long as he wants, but needs at least three years from him and that Brown would need to have his successor on the staff with him.

    And if the union of Brown and WSU isn't in the cards, maybe Moos courts one of Brown's assistants at SMU, Tim Jankovich, the one-time head coach at Illinois State.

    Jankovich, the head coach-in-waiting at SMU, played for WSU from 1977-78 before transferring to Kansas State. He's been coaching since 1983 and would figure to have a good idea of what it would take to win in Pullman on a consistent basis.

    MEANWHILE, IF IT were most any other 73-year old coach other than Brown, this wouldn't merit much of a discussion. SMU is on the way up and Brown has only been there a couple years. But Brown has never, ever been able to stay at one place long.

    He only stayed two years at UCLA, and he's already brought SMU back to prominence in two short years. A bigger challenge would await at WSU. A challenge that could make for a brilliant capstone to a remarkable career.

    And that seems to be something right up Larry Brown's alley.

    Larry Brown's coaching tree has produced such notables as Bill Self, John Calipari, Bill Bayno, John Robic, Mark Freidinger, Greg Popovich and others. Three who played under Brown -- Danny Manning, Tad Boyle and Mark Turgeon -- also became head coaches. And one former player, Kiki Vandeweghe, is a former GM of the Denver Nuggets.

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