Clark Atlanta names Dale Brown as men's basketball coach

In March, Clark Atlanta captured its first SIAC men’s basketball championship title in 46 years. Still, school officials saw untapped potential in the program.

“Today isn’t about what has happened in the past, it’s about building a team to ensure that we play even harder, work even smarter and aim even higher in the future,” associate athletic director D’Wayne Robinson said Wednesday upon the introduction of Dale Brown as the next head coach of the CAU men’s basketball program.

“I must say, we will win, and we will win right away,” Brown said. “My philosophy is real simple: Play hard, play smart and play together.”

Brown’s basketball résumé is extensive. During his junior college days at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Brown was named NJCAA men’s basketball player of the year in 1991.

After two years at MGCC, Brown caught the eye of Kentucky coach Rick Pitino. Brown finished his playing eligibility at Kentucky, helping the Wildcats to an Elite Eight appearance in 1992 and a Final Four appearance in 1993.

Known for his scrappy defensive play, Brown received SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors in both of his seasons in Lexington. In 1992, he shared the honor with LSU star Shaquille O’Neal.

After a brief stint with the Sacramento Kings, Brown played overseas for a number of years. When his playing days ended, Brown began his coaching career in the NBA’s developmental league before taking positions at Pikeville and then MGCC. For the past three years, Brown held the head coaching job at Dillard.

“He comes ready to take on greater responsibility and the greater challenge of continuing our championship run in the SIAC, and more importantly, the academic and personal success of our student athletes,” CAU president Carlton E. Brown said.

Dale Brown hopes that relationships he cultivated during his playing days will help him recruit talent that will complement his existing squad.

“It seems like I have a lot of athletes that love to get out and run in transition, and that’s really the way I love to play,” Brown said. “These guys are athletic, and I plan on bringing a few more athletic guys in here to blend in with those guys that are already here.”

Brown will bring not only a coach’s perspective, but also a player’s perspective to combining basketball and academics.

“At this level, the chances are very slim of making it to the NBA,” Brown said. “You really have to let your guys know that they have to focus in the classroom.”

And for Panthers fans, he will add a fast-paced, up-tempo style to the team’s play.

“I believe in playing in-your-face defense the whole night — defending baseline to baseline,” Brown said. “It’s going to be the most exciting style of play you’ve ever seen at Clark Atlanta University.”