A former Illinois basketball star continues his coaching career close to home.
On Monday afternoon, it was announced that Brown would be named the new head coach of the Roosevelt University Lakers (NAIA) after having previously served as an assistant coach at the University of Illinois Chicago since 2017.
Athletic director, John Jaramillo, spoke on the hiring of Brown, who was Mr. Basketball in the state of Illinois during his years at Proviso East High School.
"“Dee Brown is synonymous with winning basketball,” Jaramillo said in a statement. “Dee brings a bold vision for the men’s basketball program at Roosevelt. He will provide a fresh perspective, cultivated by his successful experience as a player and a coach, and a competitive fire that will elevate the team’s success on and off the court. “Dee’s relentless energy, extensive knowledge of the sport, strong connections within basketball, insatiable work ethic, and passion for fostering the holistic student-athlete experience will elevate the program and our championship expectations in every facet.”"
Brown also shared what it meant to remain in the City of Chicago and foster the growth and leadership that comes with becoming a head coach and mentoring young men.
"“I’m excited and ready to get to work,” Brown said. “What I love most about Roosevelt University are the academics, the administration, the facilities, and the location in downtown Chicago. After meeting with Roosevelt’s athletics leadership team, I feel very good about the vision of the program and where it’s going. “I’m blessed to be in this position to be a head coach in my city,” Brown continued. “Chicago taught me toughness and grit. I’m focused on culture, people, and excellence. Every day I will come to work at Roosevelt with great energy. I’m outgoing and ambitious, and I show up every day with the expectation of excellence and unbelievable drive towards competing for championships.”"
Dee Brown’s number was hoisted up in the Illinois basketball rafters.
Brown racked up several accolades as a member of the Illini men’s basketball team, which included back-to-back Big Ten titles, a Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Award, and a Sporting News National Player of the Year Award. All of these accolades led Brown to earn a special jersey retirement ceremony during the 2008-2009 season.
Brown’s new head coaching job begins this week, as the Lakers finished with a 19-12 record and a 13-9 conference mark during the 2021-2022 season.