The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they have named Brett Brown as head coach. Brown joins the Sixers after spending the past seven seasons as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich.
“We are proud to announce that Brett Brown will be the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers,” said Sixers President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Sam Hinkie. “We went through an exhaustive search to find the right head coach for our organization—one who had a passion for developing talent, a strong work-ethic to help create the kind of culture we hope for, and a desire to continually improve. Brett has all of that. He also has a wealth of experience as a head coach and a championship pedigree, to boot. We are delighted to welcome him as our coach, and I am invigorated for the two of us to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
Brown originally joined the Spurs as a member of their basketball operations department in 1998-99 but left after the season to become the head coach of the Sydney Kings of the Australian National Basketball League (NBL). He re-joined the Spurs in July of 2002 as the team’s assistant coach/director of player development and was moved to the bench as an assistant coach prior to the 2006-07 season. Brown was with the Spurs for all four of their championships (1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007).
“The San Antonio Spurs have been very fortunate to have the services of Brett Brown for over a decade,” said Popovich. “His creativity, teaching ability and work ethic are unmatched. I’m quite confident that the Sixers will benefit greatly from his presence.”
A native of Maine, Brown played at South Portland High School for his father Bob Brown, who is a New England Basketball Hall of Famer. The younger Brown went on to attend Boston University where he played under Rick Pitino. Brown was named team MVP his sophomore year and served as team captain his final two seasons, helping the Terriers reach the NCAA Tournament as a senior in 1983. For his career, Brown posted an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.19 and left ranked fourth in school history in assists (404).
In addition to his time with the Spurs, Brown has a wealth of coaching experience in Australia, where he met and married his wife, Anna. He started as an assistant coach with the Melbourne Tigers under Lindsay Gaze, a member of both the Australian and FIBA Hall of Fame.
Brown was named head coach of the North Melbourne Giants in 1993 and earned NBL Coach of the Year honors in 1994 after leading the Giants to the National Championship. Including his return to the NBL for three seasons with the Sidney Kings in 1999, Brown amassed 149 career coaching victories, sixth-most in league history.
In March of 2009, Brown was named head coach of the Australian National Team. He had previously served as an assistant for eight years, including both the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games as well as the 1998 World Championships. Brown led Australia to the FIBA Oceania Championship over rival New Zealand in 2011 to secure a bid to the 2012 Olympics.
At the London games in 2012, Brown guided Australia to what many consider one of its best Olympic runs, culminating with a win over eventual bronze medalist Russia before being eliminated by Team USA in the quarterfinals. Overall, Australia compiled a 3-3 mark without the services of injured star Andrew Bogut.
Brown and his wife have two daughters, Julia and Laura, and a son, Sam.