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Brown and his SCCC Roots

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Article from the Sullivan County area paper..interesting mentions about the contracts talks. Glad to see that 4 to 5 years is "not far off."


March 16, 2006



Former SCCC coach has ticket to Dance

Albany rides into tourney under Brown


By Justin Rodriguez

Times Herald-Record



Will Brown broke off contract talks with SUNY Albany officials in January because he didn't want the process to distract his players.


Instead, Brown's consideration for his team has morphed into a brilliant negotiating tactic. Brown has led Albany to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. Now that's leverage.


The Great Danes (21-10) earned an automatic bid to the field of 64 with an 80-67 win over three-time defending champ Vermont in the America East Conference championship Saturday. Albany, which became a Division I program just seven years ago, is the first SUNY school to qualify for the tournament.


"I really helped myself," said Brown, who coached at Sullivan County Community College from 1998-2001. "I'm thankful. This has worked out well. Negotiations are ongoing, but I was really thinking about what was in the best interest of my kids."


Brown's contract expires after the season. He would not comment on the specifics of a new deal, but when asked if he was looking for something in the four- to five-year range, Brown said, "You are not far off."


For now, Brown is focusing on Albany's hellacious first-round draw. The 16th-seeded Great Danes play top-seeded Connecticut (27-3) tomorrow in Philadelphia in the Washington, D.C., Regional. No 16th seed has beaten a No. 1 since the tournament expanded to 16 seeds in 1985.


"They are physically imposing and probably the most athletic and deepest team in the nation," Brown said. "They have pros at every position and are dangerous now that they are coming off a loss in the Big East tournament."


Brown, who went 90-10 at SCCC, has led Albany from the depths of college basketball. This is the Great Danes' first winning season since moving to Division I in 1999-2000. Albany went 5-23 two years ago, sporting a five-man rotation, and 13-15 last season.


Albany will go 10-deep against UConn. Thanks in part to Brown's feverish recruiting and go-getter mentality - two of his trademarks at SCCC - Albany was picked to win the America East during the preseason and figures to be a league player in the future.


"I think they will be one of the top two teams coming into next season," Vermont coach Mike Lonergan said. "Will Brown deserves a lot of credit. He's proven he can recruit and you can tell his players really believe in what he's doing."


Albany senior forward Levi Levine said: "If you don't have respect for coach Brown you are crazy. You have to give him credit. It wasn't easy going through all the turmoil he has. I can honestly tell you that coach has really matured.


"He was one of the youngest coaches in the nation when he took this job. I think he was in a position like it was him against the world. But he's gotten smarter and done a great job."


Brown was promoted from assistant coach to interim head coach in December 2001 when Scott Beeten was fired after a 1-7 start.


Brown, 53-82 in 4½ seasons, received a one-year extension from Albany vice president and athletic director Lee McElroy last August. He was under pressure to win this season and did. So now Brown wants the big contract and maybe Albany will start to feel some pressure.


"I would be lying if I told you I didn't have aspirations to coach at the highest level someday," Brown, 34, said. "But I'm not going to move just to move. Too many people move for more money and a high-profile job and it doesn't work out."

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