Tommy Brown Era Ends at Lee University

The Tommy Brown era of Lee University basketball came to an end Saturday, after 11 years, when school officials announced a search committee is being formed to seek his successor.

Brown took the helm at Lee in 2005 and led his team to numerous winning seasons in the NAIA, before faltering in three years of competition in NCAA Division II and the Gulf South Conference (GSC).

“I have great appreciation for Coach Brown’s terrific work ethic and desire to win,” said Lee president Dr. Paul Conn in making the announcement.  “He has led us to many wonderful successes during his years as head coach, and we are grateful for his contributions to our program.  But after three years of NCAA competition, we believe the challenges of this level require a fresh start with new leadership.”

Since joining the GSC, Brown and the Flames are 23-41 and failed to make the conference tournament (top eight teams qualify) in its first official year as members of the 12-team league. Brown leaves Lee with an overall record of 244-108.

“Coach Brown came on the scene and made an immediate impact on our basketball program,” said Lee athletic director Larry Carpenter. “He consistently took our teams to Kansas City for the NAIA National Tournament (eight consecutive trips), twice finishing in the Elite 8. He won 20-plus games in each of the years we were in the NAIA including two 30 plus seasons. He was a tireless worker and student of the game. I appreciate all that he did for our program and wish him nothing but the best.”

Brown, who watched his Flames fall to Shorter University earlier in the week and end hopes of his club qualifying for the GSC tournament, issued the this statement:

“I want to thank so many great people that I’ve gotten to know through the coaching job at Lee over the past 11 years. There are way too many people to thank individually, but I especially want to thank my former players and assistant coaches that have made so much success possible and I will forever cherish the relationships we’ve made.

Thanks to the community; this city has been a great place for my children to grow up and I have been privileged to call Cleveland home for myself and my family. At this point I’m not sure what is next for me or if I will continue coaching, but I can’t overstate how thankful I am to all the great people I’ve been able to get to know over the past 11 years as the head men’s basketball coach at Lee University.”

The search for the eighth head coach in the rich history of Lee University men’s basketball will get underway immediately.

Photo Courtesy Lee University Athletics

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