Brown succeeds Betts as men's basketball coach

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

ORANGEBURG, SC – South Carolina State, today (Wednesday), announced its new head men’s basketball coach during a noon news conference at the Garnet and Blue Room of the Kirkland W. Green Student Center on the campus.

Jamal Brown, a former Bulldog player and assistant coach, was introduced as the successor to Ben Betts, who resigned recently after three seasons at SCSU to accept a position as an assistant at Oklahoma. Brown was presented by Bulldog athletics director, Charlene Johnson.

It will be the first head coaching position for Brown, a nine-year coaching veteran who most recently was an assistant at Tennessee State under former Bulldog head coach Cy Alexander. Brown is the second consecutive Alexander protégé to head the SCSU basketball program, one of the most successful in historical Black colleges and universities, and among the winningest in the Palmetto State over the past decade and a half.

Brown had a role in some of that success as both a player (1993-96) and a Bulldog assistant (1997-2003). He was the starting center on SCSU’s 1995-96 team, which compiled a 22-8 record and earned the school its second berth to the NCAA championship.

During his six-year tenure as a Bulldog assistant, he helped guide SCSU to three more NCAA berths – 1998, 2000 and 2003. He was also instrumental in signing some of the Bulldogs’ top recruits during the period, including four who were the Palmetto State’s “Mr. Basketball.”

When Alexander took the head coaching job at Tennessee State after the 2003 season, Brown followed him to Nashville and has been instrumental in reviving a Tiger program that had was only 2-21 overall and 0-16 in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2002-03.

Tennessee State improved to 7-21, 6-10 in the OVC in 2003-04 and was 14-17, 9-7 the following season. The Tigers were 13-15, 11-9 this past season and led the OVC in attendance.

In presenting Brown, Johnson said, “South Carolina State is happy today to introduce Jamal Brown as our new men’s basketball coach. Selecting a coach for one of your major programs is not an easy task, but I know we have a very capable person in Jamal.

“He was very productive as a player here,” she continued, “and as an assistant coach, contributed to some of our most successful seasons. And, he has been a part of a staff that revived the basketball program at Tennessee State.

“We know these accomplishments are significant and feel confident that he will build on the fine tradition we have enjoyed here at South Carolina State. The university welcomes Jamal and his family back to the area and pledge to provide the support needed to make him and our basketball program successful."

Brown, a Charleston, SC native, earned a bachelor’s in marketing at S.C. State in 1997 and is presently pursuing a master’s in sports administration at Tennessee State. He is an active member of the Black Coaches Association (BCA), the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He and his wife Lola, a Columbia, SC native, are the parents of a son – Gilbert.