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Brown steps down as HCC men's coach

April 16, 2013|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — Barry Brown had lot of time to think.

His mind raced last month while riding a bus half way across country with the Hagerstown Community College men’s basketball team as they returned from the NJCAA national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.

He knew he and his staff did everything in their power to help get the Hawks to their first national appearance since 1994. Then he realized … it wasn’t enough.

And with that, it became more apparent. He really didn’t have much more he could give and so it was time to step down.

Brown has resigned as HCC’s head coach after a four-year stint that revitalized a sagging program. His resignation was announced Tuesday by HCC athletic director Bo Myers, citing a number of personal inventory items that convinced Brown he needed end this chapter in his coaching life.

“Nothing about this decision has been easy for me,” said Brown. “I played for my father (coach Jim Brown at HCC), coached with him for 17 years and always dreamed about coming back to coach the men’s basketball team and I did.

“It’s not that I don’t want to coach. It’s a matter of that I couldn’t be a part-time coach at HCC. The job deserves and needs far more time than I could offer.”

HCC went 29-5 before losing to Lee (Texas) College in the first round of the nationals last season. Brown leaves after compiling a record of 100-26, which includes the last three Region XX titles, the last two Maryland JuCo Conference tournament titles and a regular-season championship.

Other things tugged at Brown.

“I loved coaching basketball and I’m very proud of the success we have had over the last four years at HCC,” he said. “I had to make a decision that was best for me and my family.

“What it came down to is that I work full time off campus as a physical therapist and I try to be the best husband and father I can be as well as the best coach I could be. I had to do a lot of introspection. My coaching took me away from the other things.”

Brown said he has a young family with five children, with his youngest participating in athletics at Saint James School. Though he’ll now have more time to be a family man, another coaching job is not out of the question if he gets the right position.

“I think a lot of parents will understand what I was going through,” Brown said. “You work all day to make sure you provide for your family and try to clear time to work with a youth or traveling team. But the time comes and things happen to make it difficult to do it.”

For HCC, Brown’s resignation puts a crimp in the steady progress the Hawks’ program made over the last four seasons after a lull following the retirement of Jim Brown.

“Barry came back here four years ago and had over 100 wins and did an excellent job on the court,” Myers said. “I appreciate all of his work and I appreciate what he did to bring HCC back to national prominence. I’m proud to have had the opportunity to hire him and I thank him for his four years of service.”

Myers said he will make a request to HCC president Guy Altieri to post the job. The process of hiring a replacement will begin, but may not be completed until the summer. Myers is retiring as HCC’s athletic director, so the basketball job may be put on hold until after a new AD is

hired, allowing that person to make the hire for his staff.

“When we talked to the Lee College coaches, they couldn’t believe what we have done with all part-time and volunteer coaches. This was all possible only because of the dedicated coaches that I have had along the way, who made this all work,” Brown said. “Still, it took a toll on me and made me make this difficult decision.”

This year, Brown’s staff consisted of his father, Chad Brashears and Curtis Graff, but the four-year progression was also made possible of the work of former assistants Keith Fanjoy, Earl Redden and Kim FitzGerald.

“I’ll always appreciate the support I got from Dr. Altieri and the college, (Myers) and the athletic program and all the coaches who worked with me,” Brown said. “All the coaches were in the same situation that I was in. The staff we had this year with my father, Chad and Curtis worked so well together. It was a tremendous feeling to be on a team like that.”

With the changes ahead, it might be like starting over again, but Brown will stay committed to HCC, no matter where he ends up.

“I want the program to go on and remain successful,” Brown said. “I will always be there cheering for it. I enjoy being a parent and I enjoy my times with my family. You only get one shot at this in life and at this time, I want to be available to be the best I can.”

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