Jonesboro (ASU) – Arkansas State head coach John Brady announced a few coaching staff changes at a Monday press conference at the ASU Convocation Center. Brady named Isaac Brown associate head coach and announced the hiring of Richard Williams as an assistant coach for the upcoming season.
Brown is in his first season at Arkansas State after spending three years at the University of Arkansas where he assisted with recruiting and on-the-floor coaching. During his time with the Razorbacks, Brown helped lead the squad to a 52-45 record, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2008 when the team advanced to the second round.
Prior to his stint at Arkansas, Brown served on the coaching staff at South Alabama for five seasons. During his time at USA, Brown helped direct the Jaguars to the best turnaround in the nation in 2006 when the team improved its record to 24-7 after three losing seasons, captured the SBC West Division title and tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998.
"Isaac has had a great coaching career and our recruiting since he has been here is probably the best shape it has been in of early involvement with players. I will be surprised if we don't sign two or three players in November that can help us keep improving and keep winning said ASU head coach John Brady "With this press conference here I am going to name Isaac Brown associate head coach at Arkansas State University, meaning he will do everything that the head coach does and I want him to do it better because that is what makes the program better."
"First and foremost, I have a lot of respect for coach Brady and coach Williams," said Brown. "I think me and coach Clapacs are the luckiest assistant coaches in the country to be working with two guys who have final four appearances on their resume. I grew up watching these coaches when they were at Mississippi State."
Williams is best known for his 12-year stint as head coach at Mississippi State where he is the second winningest coach in school history owning a 191-163 record. Williams directed the Bulldogs to a 1996 NCAA Final Four appearance, a 1995 NCAA Sweet 16 appearance as well as a first-round berth in the NCAA Tournament and a pair of NIT appearances.
Brady worked with Williams during his time as an assistant coach at Mississippi State and was the top recruiter under Williams during his last four years with the Bulldogs.
Williams was named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1995 and coached 18 players to All-SEC honors. Williams also won the SEC Tournament Championship in 1996, the SEC Regular Season Championship in 1991 and the SEC Western Division Championship in 1995 & 96.
In 2008, Williams took a post as director of basketball operations at Alabama-Birmingham before joining the staff at Louisiana Tech as the director of basketball administration and program coordinator. At Louisiana Tech, Williams was responsible for all internal operations for the basketball program and day-to-day administrative duties of the head coach.
Before heading to UAB Williams served as the head coach of the Memphis Houn'Dawgs of the ABA in 2001 and was the head coach of the Jackson Rage of the World Basketball Association in 2004.
Williams will fill the void left with the departure of assistant coach Elwyn McRoy. With the addition of Williams, the ASU coaching staff is thought to be the only program in the NCAA with two coaches that have directed programs to NCAA Final Four appearances on the bench.
"About a month or so ago, Richard and I talked about if I had anything for him to do he would like to come up here and hang out, watch practice a little and do anything he could for us. When this situation arose I went and talked to Dean Lee and said I got this idea. Why don't I hire Richard Williams for this year and see where it takes us," said Brady. "Dean thought it was a great idea. We are going to see how it works and I think it is going to work really well. He will enhance this program with his experience, our players will benefit from it, I will benefit from it, Jeff and Isaac will benefit from it and I think it's a win-win all the way around. So we are excited about having him."
"We are looking forward to being a part of the community and being a part of this basketball program. I am excited about this opportunity that John is giving me because this is a coaching position. I will be on the floor coaching, doing individual workouts, doing the things I love to do," said Williams. "I appreciate John and Dr. Lee giving me this opportunity and I know the expectations that John has of his players in the classroom, in the community, on the court."
"I know when John tells players here is what I expect of you and if those players don't meet those responsibilities I know they will be held accountable and I like that. Because I think in today's athletic world, not enough coaches hold players accountable for what they're supposed to do and John Brady is one of those coaches that will hold his players accountable and hold his staff accountable and I like that. So I am looking forward to being a part of it and being here and hopefully I can somehow contribute to helping the Arkansas State basketball team reach their goals of making the NCAA Tournament."