By the time the 2012-13 basketball season begins, Larry Brown will be 72 years old.
Dean Smith, the person most responsible for Brown becoming a coach, is 81.
At Southern Methodist, Brown will be coaching his 13th college and/or pro team.
But technically, SMU will be Brown’s 14th head coaching job.
A former UNC standout guard on Smith’s early teams, Brown’s first head coaching job was at Davidson College way back in 1969, when the saga of job-jumping Larry got off a predictably bizarre start.
In April of 1969, Brown was hired by Davidson to take over for Maryland-bound Lefty Driesell.
By early July, Brown and school officials were at odds over rights to the school’s summer basketball camp. Brown abruptly resigned, opening the door for former Wildcat star Terry Holland to take the job.
All’s well that ends well in this case.
Before taking the Virginia job in 1974, Holland coached Davidson to a 92-43 record (43-7 Southern Conference) and two post-season tournament bids in four seasons.
Holland, 70, is now the athletic director at ECU and Brown is about to go recruiting for the first time since coaching Kansas to the 1988 NCAA title.
Odds are, Brown will have surprising success at a program that’s been down for years. He’ll bring in a top-tier staff, use his name as a recruiting lure and create enough of a stir to make the Mustangs at least a news item in an area dominated by the Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers and Longhorns.