Report: Mike Woodson could hire Larry Brown on Indiana staff


New Indiana head coach Mike Woodson has reached out to Hall of Famer Larry Brown about possibly being on his staff, according to a report from ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski. According to the report, Brown, 80, would have a job an on-campus that would not involve recruiting.

Brown has not been a coach at the college level since 2016, when he turned in his resignation as SMU’s head coach after four seasons in the position. Brown began his coaching career as an assistant with North Carolina in 1965 and then got his first head coaching job at the college level at UCLA in 1979. Brown has made college coaching stops at North Carolina, UCLA, Kansas and SMU, as well as multiple stops around the NBA.

The hire would make quite a splash and likely spark some mixed emotions around the college basketball world. The hire of Woodson himself was highly criticized by the meda because of Woodson’s lack of experience coaching in college. But Woodson said at his introductory press conference that he is not concerned about that.

“To me basketball is basketball. Sure, I’ve never coached in college, but I'd like to think that I've coached at the highest level and I’ve coached some of the greatest players that’s ever graced the basketball world,” Woodson said. “…At the end of the day, I’ve got to put a product on the floor that Hoosier fans will love from a defensive standpoint and from an offensive standpoint in terms of winning basketball games. I’ve got to teach and develop players. That’s the only way it’s going to get done in terms of building a program to win.”

In addition to hiring Woodson, it was reported that Indiana made the decision to hire former Ohio State coach Thad Matta as an associate athletic director for men’s basketball administration. Matta is expected to assist the Indiana coaching staff that will be led by new coach Mike Woodson.

The 53-year-old Matta last coached Ohio State during the 2016-17 season. Matta was head coach at Ohio State for 13 seasons from 2004-05 to 2016-17 and compiled a 337-123 record. His tenure with the Buckeyes also included two Final Four appearances, five Big Ten regular-season titles and four Big Ten Tournament titles.

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The Indiana job will become the first one that Woodson has held in his coaching career. After an NBA playing career that lasted from 1980-1991, Woodson began his coaching career as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1996. He’s coached for seven different NBA organizations in his days, including stints as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks (2004-2010) and the New York Knicks (2012-2014).

247Sports’ Matt Howe contributed to this report