College - Niagara '55
The Memphis Grizzlies took a positive leap back to the future when Hubert (Hubie) Jude Brown, one of the premier basketball minds in the business, returned from retirement as an NBA head coach to become the Grizzlies’ sixth head coach on November 12, 2002. Brown, 70, returns to coaching after leading the New York Knicks to two playoff appearances during five seasons (1982-87) and the Atlanta Hawks to three playoff appearances in five seasons (’76-81) and spending the last 15 years teaching coaching clinics and serving as an NBA broadcast analyst for three television networks.
Over a 30-year successful basketball career - 12 spent with the NBA - Brown has coached teams to five NBA playoff appearances and a championship in the ABA (American Basketball Association). He began his coaching career on the high school level at St. Mary’s School in Little Falls, NY (nine years) and then served as an assistant coach for one year at William & Mary (1968) and four years at Duke University (‘69-72). He first moved to the NBA in ’72 as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks. After two NBA seasons, Brown accepted an opportunity to serve as head coach of the ABA’s Kentucky Colonels, winning the Colonels only ABA championship in franchise history in ’75 and reaching the ABA playoffs semifinals in ’76.
After the ABA and NBA merged in 1976 and the Colonels franchise folded, Brown returned to the NBA as head coach of the Hawks. He finished his first year in Atlanta in sixth place with a 31-51 record. The following season, Brown orchestrated a dramatic improvement in his second season as the Hawks became recognized as a Cinderella team with the youngest cast of players and lowest payroll in the NBA to earn a spot in the playoffs for the first time in five years. He was named NBA Coach of Year in ’77 and CBS Coach of the Year in ’78. The Hawks captured the Central Division Title with a 50-32 record for the ’79-80 season. He compiled a 199-208 (.489) all-time record with the Hawks, ranking fourth among coaches in franchise history.
Brown continued his coaching career with the Knicks and led the team to consecutive playoff appearances (1982-83 and ’83-84), guiding New York to a memorable first-round playoff victory over the Detroit Pistons in ’84. He compiled an 8-10 playoff record in two years, ranking fifth among top coaches in Knicks playoff history. He also ranks among the top five in Knicks coaches history with a 142-202 (.413) overall record. Brown’s all-time record as an NBA coach is 341-410 (.454).
Since 1982, Brown has served as a sports analyst for both college and pro basketball broadcasts. After leaving the Knicks in ’86-87, Brown became the lead analyst at CBS in 1988 where he served for two years. He also worked for the Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons’ local broadcasts during the ’87-88 season in addition to serving as lead analyst with the TNT network for 12 years. He was nominated for a Sports Grammy in ’94 and ‘99.