CHICAGO – For many years, he made a name for himself in Chicagoland and on the national stage with his exploits playing the game of basketball.
But more recently, Dee Brown is carving out a new chapter of his career coaching basketball in the State of Illinois. Now the Maywood native is taking another step in this latest journey.
On Monday, Brown was named the head men’s basketball coach at Roosevelt University, a program that plays in NAIA and in the Chicago Collegiate Athletic Conference. He takes over for Joe Griffin, who resigned this past year after 12 seasons with the Lakers.
“I’m blessed to be in this position to be a head coach in my city,” said Brown in a statement released by the school. “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.”
Brown comes to the school after spending the last five seasons as an assistant coach at UIC under head coaches Steve McClain and Luke Yaklich. This came after he served as an AAU coach for the Chicago Meanstreets and Bloomington Flex in 2017.
Before that, Brown was Director of Player Development and Alumni Relations under then head coach John Groce at Illinois, where he starred as player in the prevous decade. An Illinois Mr. Basketball at Proviso East HIgh School, the guard was one of the most celebrated players in Illini history, aiding two Big Ten regular season championship runs in 2004 & 2005 with a conference tournament title in the latter year.
The Big Ten’s Player of the Year in 2005, Brown helped Illinois to their first Final Four in 16 years along with their only National Championship game appearance to this point. In his senior season in 2006, Brown won the Cousy Award for the nation’s best point guard and became the winningest player in program history with 114 wins.
A second round pick of the 2006 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz, the guard played two seasons in the league, also taking the floor for the Wizards and Suns in the 2008-2009 season. Brown would then head overseas where he would continue his career with a number of teams through 2015.