FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas head men’s basketball coach John Pelphrey has re-assigned one of his assistant coaches to an administrative role and will hire a new assistant coach for the Razorbacks’ staff for the 2010-11 season it was announced on Monday.
Isaac Brown will be retained on staff and re-assigned to an administrative role with Razorback Basketball. Brown will begin transitioning to his new position, but will maintain his recruiting duties until a new assistant coach is hired. Assistant coaches Rob Evans and Tom Ostrom will remain on the Razorback coaching staff.
"As part of our ongoing commitment to improving our program, I believe these changes will result in the development of both a stronger coaching and support staff," Pelphrey says. "After making my recommendation, Jeff Long assisted me in creating this opportunity. I appreciate the support of our administration and their continued assistance in providing our basketball program the resources and the opportunity to succeed. I appreciate what Isaac Brown has brought to our program and look forward to working with him in his new administrative role."
Pelphrey’s announcement comes following his annual program review meeting with vice chancellor and director of athletics Jeff Long. In the meeting, held on Sunday, Long and Pelphrey discussed all aspects of the Razorback men’s basketball program including the review of the staff recommendation made by Coach Pelphrey for the upcoming season. Pelphrey says the search for a new assistant coach will begin immediately.
"As the head coach of the Razorback men’s basketball program, I remain committed to taking steps to foster improvement in all aspects of this program both on and off the court," Pelphrey says. "As a program, we have worked proactively and decisively to make fundamental changes in the expectations of our student-athletes. Many of those lessons have been difficult as the repercussions of decisions made by individuals have adversely affected the entire team. A member of the Razorback men’s basketball program will maintain a commitment to academic and athletic success while representing the University of Arkansas in an appropriate manner.
"On the court, while we have had some success, our coaches and student-athletes understand the expectations of the Razorback program is to compete for championships and win consistently in the Southeastern Conference and nationally. We will continue to work every day in all facets of our program to meet those expectations."
Pelphrey recently completed his third season at Arkansas and has an overall record of 51-46 (.526) with the Razorbacks including an NCAA Tournament appearance, a Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship runner-up finish and nine wins over nationally ranked teams including at least one in each of his three seasons. By comparison, Arkansas’ previous head coach Stan Heath posted a winning percentage of .453 in the first three years of his five-year tenure. Former Razorback head coach Nolan Richardson compiled a winning percentage of .571 in his first three seasons at Arkansas.
Pelphrey set a school record for the most wins by a first-year Razorback head coach (23) in 2008 and led the Hogs to their first NCAA Tournament win (Indiana) in nine seasons. In 2010, Arkansas won five-straight conference games including consecutive wins in back-to-back SEC road games for the first time since 1998.
"After meeting and discussing in detail all areas of our men’s basketball program, I continue to believe Coach Pelphrey understands what it takes to build our program to the level of our high expectations and is working extremely hard to do so." Long said. "We have asked John and his staff to do more than win basketball games, we have asked them to build a program on and off the court of which our University and supporters can be proud. This process will take additional time. In his tenure, John has taken steps to bolster discipline and foster a recommitment to academics and character in our program. He understands that the strength of a program is based on developing those traits in student-athletes on the basketball court, in the classroom and in life. Coach Pelphrey also understands the University of Arkansas’ commitment to athletic success specifically the importance of winning basketball games.He has embraced the history and tradition of Razorback Basketball since his arrival and feels a tremendous personal responsibility to return our program to the levels that we all desire on the court. We will continue to assist Coach Pelphrey and his staff as they work towards success in accomplishing all of these goals."