Larry Brown, the Hall of Fame coach with a glittering NBA and college job resume, will not be the head basketball coach at East Hampton High School after all.
“I had been saying all along that I could never make a commitment unless I could give 100 percent,” Brown told Newsday on Thursday night. “I’ve got a lot of friends who are coaches and a lot of kids who played for me and I’ve been invited everywhere. These are people I have to be available for. I can’t be all-in.”
Recognizing that was going to be the case, East Hampton athletic director Joe Vasile-Cozzo reiterated Thursday, “My head coach is Dan White. While Mr. Brown contemplates his future, East Hampton is moving on with our current coaching staff.”
That includes White, who was the coach at Pierson for the past seven years, and assistants Howard Wood and Marcus Edwards. Both played for the late Ed Petrie, who captured 588 of his state public school-record 754 victories at East Hampton.
Brown, 76, who last coached at SMU, has maintained a summer home in East Hampton for years and plans to spend more time there. He didn’t rule out having some role with East Hampton this winter. “When I’m around, I’ll be glad to help out,” he said. “I’m willing to do whatever I can.”
Brown visited with players, coaches and administrators at East Hampton High School on Sept. 20 before leaving on a trip that included visiting his college-age children at SMU and spending time with coaching friends in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.
Vasile-Cozzo said the timetable would not have worked for Brown to accept a full-time position. Brown would be required to take several courses to become certified as a high school coach in New York, and Vasile-Cozzo said Brown would not have completed those courses until at least three weeks into the Bonackers’ 2016-17 season.
“We are very happy to have Dan White here. He has our program up and running,” Vasile-Cozzo said.
But he added, “We would be of course glad to listen to Mr. Brown about anything he might want to offer us in the future.”