Will Brown stays with Patroons after flirting with return to college

Albany Patroons coach and general manager Will Brown said he considered leaving the team to return to the college basketball ranks in the middle of last season.

Brown, the former University of Albany coach, stayed with the Patroons and headed them to the Basketball League finals in July. They lost a pre-championship win in an overtime defeat to the Shrevport Mavericks at Washington Avenue Amory.

“It kills me,” Brown said Thursday. “Every single day. I’ve had players calling me and telling me how much it still hurts. When I have players calling me and telling me how much it still bothers them, it shows me how much they really care and how much fun they have had. play for us and with us “.

They will still have that chance next season under Brown, who will stay with the Patroons on a one-year contract under new ownership and a significant pay raise for his second season in professional basketball. The Patroons announced the move on Wednesday.

“Absolutely, not even close,” Brown said, asking if he’ll make more money than last season. He refused to go into specifics.

He will work under an ownership group that includes Sam and Rebecca Clifford, Joe Carl and Stephanie Golinski under the name of Phoenix Sports Management. Clifford and Carl are also co-owners of 518 Donuts, a sponsor of Patroons. They have bought the rights to run the franchise “for the next few seasons,” according to the Patroons press release, and will continue to play at Armory.

“Obviously, I will help them with everything related to the organization,” Brown said. “My main goal and my main responsibility is to put together the best possible team to represent the Patroons, manage the salary caps and contracts and, of course, promote the Patroons as much as possible and help them in the community with some marketing and being like a sounding board to bounce ideas and help them make decisions “.

Brown said the new owners want to “take this to another level” by adding front-office staff and stocking the armory every night.

He said he has head coaching offers from non-Division I colleges that he didn’t identify in the middle of last season. If he left, he could be replaced by his assistant Brian Beaury, the former coach of the College of Saint Rose. But after receiving a counter offer from Patroons president Michael Corts, Brown discussed it with his wife, Jamie, and decided to stay with the Patroons.

Brown said he had a handshake deal to stay with the Patroons next season. Then he found out that owner Ben Fernandez, who also owns the Armory, wanted to sell the team. Brown said he was asked if he was interested in the property and, after saying no, the Phoenix Sports group closed the deal. They kept Brown after the exchange of proposals, including a four-hour meeting on Tuesday, Brown said.

He said he plans to bring back assistants Beaury, Don Bassett and Julie McBride.

Brown said an important factor in renewing with the Patroons is being close to his sons Jackson, a second-year guard / forward at Sage, and Landon. At Patroons games, Jackson worked at the scorer’s table and Landon was on the bench. His wife got a job last year that she really likes.

“Ultimately, what it boiled down to, yes, I enjoyed training the talent and a different set of rules and I really liked the coaching staff,” said Brown. “What has really come down for me … is that I have had the opportunity for the first time ever to see my eldest son play every college game he has played at home or away, and I have not lost. a game in my 12-years old played unless I was away at my eldest son’s game. I didn’t realize the impact this had on my two boys. “

That said, Brown said he hasn’t closed the door on returning to college coach, whether it’s a head coaching opportunity at any level or a “truly unique and special” Division I assistant position. He said he turned down Big East’s assistant offer right after UAlbany didn’t bring him back after 20 seasons and five NCAA tournaments.

“I think professional coaching has helped me become a better coach because it’s a completely different game and one of my biggest weaknesses has always been my lack of patience. It has helped me become a more patient coach.” Brown said. “I say I’m a college kid at heart, but for me it must be a really good college situation for me and my family.”

Leave a Comment