Basketball wouldn’t quite be the same without Coach Larry Brown. You may know him now as the current head coach for the SMU Mustangs men’s basketball team, but his resume reads like a perennial best list: He’s the only coach to win championship titles in the NCAA and NBA, he’s been Coach of the Year in both leagues, and he holds the spot as the seventh-winningest coach in NBA history.
During his second year at SMU, the ‘Stangs went 27-10, making it the first time in thirty years SMU had been ranked. Back for his third season, Coach Brown is excited and optimistic for what’s ahead (so is the rest of Dallas). We caught up with coach to see how the off-season treated him, how he keeps up with his team, and his habits – both good and bad.
You’re used to telling your team to run suicides and drills, but what does your daily fitness routine look like?
I don’t tell them to run suicides. I promised when I became a head coach that we wouldn’t run wind sprints, we would do basketball-specific stuff. We do enough running in those drills to get us prepared.
Personally, I used to be a serious runner. I’ve had three hip surgeries, so that’s kind of taken my running away. I used to run before practice with my staff. When I run with my staff, they generally tell me things — they wouldn’t normally — that I need to hear. Now I do light weights, but I try to walk every day. I walk the lake, the Katy Trail and around campus. It’s fun because the lake has bikers, rollerbladers, and runners so that keeps my mind off what I’m doing; Katy Trail is full of people; and walking around campus is great because you see a lot of students.
What do you do if you only have 20 minutes to exercise?
I separated my shoulder and that’s kind of bothering me a little bit. I would probably do light weights if I could. But I like to eat junk food and 20 minutes wouldn’t help me in that regard.
What does your usual breakfast look like?
I love Dunkin’ Donuts, but it’s not as close here. I go to the Starbucks at SMU Plaza, and I generally get yogurt with a little granola and some berries. Or, I get a banana or something like that.
You talked about junk food a little, what’s your favorite cheat meal?
Oh man, do I love potato chips. When I was coaching at UCLA, I used to get these Hawaiian potato chips, and you’d take one bite and the oil would come out of your forehead. If I really want to sit down and say, “All right,” I’m going to have well-done french fries with a big fat hamburger.
So do you listen to any songs when you walk by yourself?
Oh, no. But when I was growing up, I went to every Broadway show ever. That was my mom’s way of treating my brother and me. I love show music and now I’ve gotten into Country and Western. I coached in San Antonio for six years and George Strait used to come to all our games there. I like listening to stories they tell.
Lastly, how would you define being healthy and fit?
I think first your mind has to be healthy. We have so much to be thankful for, but if you get caught up in all the bad things that happen, I don’t think you’ll be healthy mentally or physically.