FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Isaac Brown, who has 10 years of collegiate coaching experience at the NCAA Division I and junior college levels, has joined the staff at Arkansas as an assistant to head coach John Pelphrey.
Pelphrey’s staff includes Brown, Rob Evans and Tom Ostrom as assistant coaches, and Matt Figger as the director of basketball operations.
Brown, Ostrom and Figger were with Pelphrey at South Alabama with Brown a part of Pelphrey’s staff all five years where he assisted in recruiting and on-floor coaching.
“I’m very excited and ready to get started,” Brown says. “This is like the dream of a lifetime for me. I’ve always wanted to be a coach in the SEC. I played against Arkansas back when the Razorbacks were in the Southwest Conference (at Texas A&M). I’ve been familiar with and a fan of Arkansas for a long time.”
As a player, Brown had one of his best games against the Razorbacks, but not while playing at Texas A&M. After transferring to Northeast Louisiana (now Louisiana-Monroe) for his senior season, his team upset No. 9 Arkansas, 87-79, in Little Rock on Dec. 30, 1992. Brown was five-of-eight shooting, including three-of-four on threes, finishing with 14 points.
“I’m very excited about the addition of Isaac,” Pelphrey says. “He has recruited, coached and been involved with the young men we had (at USA) away from the court, both in terms of helping them graduate and in helping them be the best they can be.
“Isaac has lived, coached and played along the Gulf Coast for a number of years,” Pelphrey says. “Several of those states touch Arkansas, and those are important areas for us in recruiting. From the standpoint of talent, understanding our style of play, work ethic and loyalty, Isaac has all those attributes and will be very beneficial to us.”
He helped the Jaguars record the best turnaround in the nation in 2006. South Alabama went 14-14 in 2003, 12-16 in 2004 and 10-18 in 2005, but went 24-7 in 2006. USA won the Sun Belt Conference West Division title and the tournament championship to send the Jaguars to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998.
The 2006 team, which lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to eventual national champion Florida, led the league in scoring margin (+8.1) and three-point defense (.300), and was second in steals (8.52) and scoring defense (65.6). USA hit 267-of-728 threes, an average of 8.6 per game.
In making the biggest turnaround in the nation, USA improved from 62.3 points in 2005 to 73.6 in 2006, from a .416 field-goal percentage to .453, a .646 free-throw percentage to .703, a .351 defensive three-point percentage to .300, 16.0 turnovers to 13.4, 11.0 assists to 14.1, 13.9 turnovers forced to 16.8, 7.6 steals to 8.5 and 207 made three-pointers to 267.
Despite losing the top three scorers off that 2006 squad, Brown and the Jaguars posted a 20-12 record in 2007, won the Sun Belt regular season title and lost a 79-73 decision at Syracuse in the first round of the NIT. The 2007 team led the Sun Belt in turnover margin (+2.53), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.12) and three-point defense (.325), and was second in steals (7.22) and scoring defense (67.3). The Jaguars also made 272-of-749 three-pointers, an average of 8.5 per game.
Brown began his coaching career at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, Miss., in 1997. After two years, we went to his hometown school as an assistant at Pascagoula (Miss.) High School. Following one season, he moved back into the junior college ranks at Okaloosa-Walton Community College in Niceville, Fla. At OWCC, he recruited and coached Kedric Brown, who in 2001 became the first junior college player selected as an NBA lottery pick. Fifteen OWCC players signed Division I scholarships while Brown was on the staff.
Brown earned his bachelor’s in health and physical education from Louisiana-Monroe in 1995. He played two years at Mississippi Gulf Coast CC (1989-90), spent one season at Texas A&M (1991), transferred to ULM and sat out the 1992 season before helping his team win the 1993 Southland Conference title at 17-1, finish 27-4 overall and earn an NCAA Tournament bid.
ISAAC BROWN QUICK FACTS
Named Assistant Coach at Arkansas: May 2, 2007
Years of Collegiate Coaching Experience: 10
2008 – Arkansas, assistant coach
2003-07 – South Alabama, assistant coach
2000-02 – Okaloosa-Walton (Niceville, Fla.) Community College, assistant coach
1999 – Pascagoula (Miss.) High School, assistant coach
1997-98 – Pearl River (Poplarville, Miss.) Community College, assistant coach
Season Records and Post-Season Experience as a Collegiate Coach:
South Alabama (Assistant Coach)
2007 (20-12, Sun Belt regular season champion) – NIT first round
2006 (24-7, Sun Belt West Division & tournament champion) – NCAA Tournament first round
Okaloosa-Walton CC (Assistant Coach)
2002 (25-4, Panhandle Conference champion)
2001 (29-6, FCCAA State/Region VIII champion) – NJCCA National Tournament
2000 (26-5, Panhandle Conference champion)
Pearl River CC (Assistant Coach)
1998 (27-5, MACJC South Division champion, state champion)
1997 (21-10, MACJC South Division champion, state runner-up)
1993 – Northeast Louisiana University (now Louisiana-Monroe)
1991 – Texas A&M
1989-90 – Gulf Coast (Gulfport, Miss.) CC
1995 – Northeast Louisiana University (now Louisiana-Monroe)
1990 – Gulf Coast (Gulfport, Miss.) CC
1988 – Pascagoula (Miss.) HS