By Mark F. Gray
There are teams and schools in college sports that make the game better when they are good. Baseball is not the same when the New York Yankees stink and football is not the same when the Dallas Cowboys are bad. When the San Antonio Spurs were dominating the NBA’s western conference fans were still clamoring for the Los Angeles Lakers to make a comeback.
In the world of HBCU sports things are better when Howard University is contending in football and basketball. Since there is no job opening on the gridiron sidelines there is no need to counsel there. However, with the Bison men’s basketball program in shambles and searching for a new head coach hopefully that athletic administration will hire one of two outstanding young coaches from this area who could turn things around quickly.
Former Binghamton head and Georgetown assistant coach Kevin Broadus is a native of the District and would be a great fit on Georgia Ave. because of his grass roots connections in the DMV. Bowie State coach Darrell Brooks restored discipline and credibility to the Bulldogs program in his first season at the helm and is well connected locally after spending time on the bench at under Karl Hobbs at George Washington. Either would be the perfect fit to make the Bison a contender in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Howard has been able to attract the best and brightest students, professors, and administrators from around the country to establish its reputation as one of the premiere academic institutions in the country. However, what the athletic administrators have to realize is that for this critical hire there is no need to waste time spanning the globe for a new coach when the best candidates are in their backyard.
Broadus put Binghamton on the map as something other than Tony Kornheiser’s alma mater when he led them to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in his first year at the helm. It would reflect a certain degree of administrative savvy to hire someone that played a pivotal role in helping to construct Georgetown’s last Final Four team with ties to the most fertile recruiting base in the country.
Brooks has established Bowie State as a more than just a halfway house for Division I and junior college vagabonds whose emphasis was strictly basketball. This year’s roster included true freshmen players from Montrose Christian, Riverdale Baptist, Progressive Christian, and Good Counsel. He has laid a foundation for his program to remain consistent in the CIAA.
Four years ago Howard dropped the ball on hiring Todd Bozeman – another of the DMV’s finest – and all he has done at Morgan State is taken the Bears to the last three MEAC championship games and made back to back appearances in the NCAA Tournament. While Bozeman’s reputation and visibility has helped them land difference making transfers from major programs, he has been vigilant in finding talent from both sides of the parkway which is what Howard needs to do in order to become relevant in basketball again.
Just because there is interest from coaches around the country doesn’t mean that they understand the culture of “The Mecca”. The men’s basketball coaching hire at Howard has to be able to sell recruits from around the country while pounding the pavement of the DMV. Broadus and Brooks are the prefect candidates to do just that and if the athletic administration wants to bring Bison mania back to Burr Gymnasium, one of them should get the call.