Isaac Brown Becomes First Black Head Coach In Wichita State History


Wichita State University interim head basketball coach Isaac Brown becomes the first Black head coach in the program’s history.

Brown, 51, was elevated to interim status after the program parted ways with its all-time winningest head coach, Gregg Marshall, who resigned due to an internal investigation into allegations of physical and verbal abuse towards players.

The school and Marshall agreed to a contract settlement of $7.75 million to be paid over the next six years.

Brown was Marshall’s longest-tenured assistant coach who has been with the program since 2014.

Former players spoke highly of Brown.

“IB is a player’s coach, plain and simple,” said former Shocker Rashard Kelly, who played at WSU from 2014-18. “Guys are comfortable playing for him and listening to him. He’s going to tell you the truth and tell you what you need to be successful. He played the game and he understands how players are and what it takes. Players respect him. Players want to run through a brick wall for him and that’s a good thing if that’s how players feel about you. I think that’s going to work in his favor.”

Brown has been leading workouts and practices for WSU since last Monday in Marshall’s absence from the team.

“Some of the younger guys have reached out to me and they’re saying they’re enjoying playing for IB,” Kelly said. “They’re enjoying it and they’re feeling good. It’s not like they didn’t feel like they could be themselves before, but IB gives them a little more ability to express themselves on the court.”

Brown is in his 19th season overall at the Division I level, having also served as an assistant at Louisiana Tech (2011-14), Arkansas State (2010-11), Arkansas (2007-10) and South Alabama (2002-07).

Since Brown's arrival in the summer of 2014, the Shockers have won over three-quarters of their games (157-50, .758). Eight of those wins have come in postseason play, spanning four NCAA tournament appearances and one NIT. WSU won Missouri Valley Conference regular season titles in each of Brown's first three seasons on staff (2015, 2016, 2017).

Combined, Brown has helped lead those five programs to 11 20-win seasons, eight conference regular season titles, two conference tournament championships and 10 postseason appearances. Along the way, he's coached 58 all-conference selections and six NBA players.

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