Larry Brown, who led Kansas to the NCAA basketball championship Monday night, will return to UCLA as coach of the Bruins, CBS-TV reported today.
Brown, 47, coached at UCLA for two seasons before a salary dispute led him to move to the NBA's New Jersey Nets in March 1981. He took the Bruins to the NCAA title game in 1980, the school's last appearance in the Final Four.There had been speculation all season Brown would leave Kansas after his contract expired this season. He put all talk of leaving on hold as the Jayhawks made their surprising drive to the NCAA title, defeating Oklahoma 83-79 in the title game Monday.
On CBS' This Morning, it was reported Brown has accepted the UCLA job to replace Walt Hazzard, who was fired March 30.
Kansas, 27-11, became the first team with more than 10 losses to win the national championship.
Brown owns a 177-61 record as a college coach, including 135-44 in five seasons with the Jayhawks. He becomes the first coach to leave a national champion since Al McGuire of Marquette retired following the 1976-77 campaign.
Brown, acclaimed for his creative coaching and ability to teach and ridiculed for his frequent departures, takes over a team in dispair. The Bruins, after going 25-7 in 1986-87, slipped to 16-14 last season and hit new lows in season ticket sales and attendance.