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HCC turns to Brown for stability

March 19, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

A notion Bo Myers kept in the back of his head came to the forefront on Thursday.

A few years back, Myers became impressed with the coaching philosophies of Barry Brown. He committed that to memory.

"In the back of my mind, I told myself that I would bring in Barry to coach for me no matter where I was," Myers said.

Myers is now the athletic director at Hagerstown Community College and kept his personal promise by hiring Brown to become the Hawks' new head men's basketball coach. He becomes HCC's fifth head basketball coach in the last three years.

"I hired Barry to take over the girls basketball job when I was the principal at North Hagerstown," Myers said. "When we sat down, he told me he would do what I wanted him to. We had the same beliefs when it came to success and academics. I watched him rebuild that program and he did a great job."

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Brown is replacing Earl Redden, who elected to step down as head coach after one season because of scheduling problems with his other job. Redden, who led HCC to a 21-9 record this season, will stay on as one of Brown's assistants and as a recruiting coordinator.

Brown will be the second generation of his family to coach the Hawks. His father, Jim Brown, coached at HCC for 23 years and led the Hawks to the national spotlight before retiring in 2002. Barry Brown played for his father in 1981-82 and then coached with him for 17 years, starting in 1985.

"I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to return to HCC," Brown said. "I spent 17 great years coaching with my father and I look forward to coming back and doing this."

After leaving HCC, Brown was hired by Myers at North Hagerstown. In six seasons, Brown was 96-48 with the Hubs, including a 23-3 record and a trip to the Maryland Class 2A state semifinals this year.

"I have been a very fortunate coach," Brown said. "I have coached some wonderful kids, some girls who worked very hard. I've been blessed and have grown as a coach. Sometimes, opportunities just come up when they do and I'll be able to hit the ground running."

Brown was one of the candidates Myers looked to after the 2007-08 season, in an effort to give the program some stability after coach Terry Truax left in midseason and interim coach Ryan Devlin left for a high school job. But Brown was still committed to North.

Redden, who had been an assistant and recruiting coordinator for Jim Brown and Truax, volunteered to take over as head coach at least for a year to help the Hawks.

"I came in and filled the gap until they got the person they wanted," Redden said. "It was a year to remember. Not many people can say they were a head college coach. I guess it was really a way to see what that seat feels like and the responsibility that goes with it. It was rewarding to keep the program going in the right direction."

Redden and Brown spoke about coaching philosophies and HCC adopted some of North's style this season. Under Redden, the Hawks were the second highest scoring junior college team in the country. Three of the Hawks' losses came to Allegany, which won the Region XX title.

"I think we did a lot right, but we didn't finish right," Redden said.

But Redden hands the keys over to Brown with the engine running.

"Earl did a great job. He is the glue of the program," Brown said. "I have a lot of respect for what Earl did. We have a nice nucleus of freshmen. I'm anxious to get started."

Brown will begin immediately as he will start his recruiting on Sunday at the McDonald's Roundball Classic at HCC. The immediate goal will be to get talent and stability to the program.

"I've been here for three years and HCC has been named the best program in the (Maryland JuCo) conference," Myers said. "I want to have the best program possible. Barry is young and enthusiastic and is capable of keeping it there."

And like he did at North Hagerstown, Brown has the same sense of direction as Myers.

"I don't plan on going anywhere else," Brown said. "I'll try to bring stability to the program and try to keep Hagerstown on the national map with student-athletes who are students first. To be a coach at the junior college level in my hometown is a dream."

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