Story Courtesy of Wittenberg Senior Writer & Web Communications Specialist, Ryan Maurer
The Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame will induct its 13th class of inductees on May 5, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Columbus. For the ninth time, Wittenberg University is represented in an induction class with the selection of former Tiger head coach Bill Brown, class of 1973, who won 483 games and seven North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) regular season championships between 1993 and 2016.
Brown is the 10th Wittenberg player or coach – in addition to the men’s teams of 1961 and 1977 – to earn induction in the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame, which was formed in 2006 to recognize the achievements of both male and female basketball players, coaches, officials and teams in high school, college and professional basketball. The complete list of Tiger inductees includes:
- Bill Brown ‘73, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018
- Bob Hamilton ’63, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2017
- Bert Price ‘61, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2015
- Brian Agler ’80, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2014
- Pam Evans Smith ‘82, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2011
- Don Henderson ’54, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2010
- Frank Shannon ’40, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2010
- Eldon Miller ’62, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2009
- Al Thrasher ’64, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2008
- Ray Mears, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2008
- 1961 Wittenberg men’s basketball team, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2006
- 1977 Wittenberg men’s basketball team, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2006
Brown’s Wittenberg record was a sparkling 483-167, good for a winning percentage of .743. He ranks first in career coaching victories at Wittenberg, and along the way his teams won seven NCAC regular season titles and four NCAC Tournament championships and made a pair of NCAA Division III Tournament Final Four appearances, highlighted by a run to the national championship game in 2006.
The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament a total of 12 times under Brown’s direction, reaching the national quarterfinals (often known as the “Elite 8”) in 1994, 1997, 2006 and 2012. A two-time district coach of the year, Brown earned NCAC Coach of the Year six times in his career, including in 1986 as the head coach at Kenyon. Including five seasons at Kenyon and one year as the interim head man at Wooster, Brown’s career record stands at 543-266.
“This is a great honor for Coach and a very deserved one,” said Matt Croci ’94, who played for Brown for one season and coached under him for multiple seasons before taking the reins of the program in 2016. “He poured his life into the program for 23 years, and it shows in the success that his teams had for so many years.”
Prior to his first head coaching opportunity, Brown’s career took him to Ohio University, Miami (Ohio), Muskingum and Wooster as an assistant coach. A native of West Liberty, Ohio, Brown was recruited to Wittenberg by Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame coach Eldon Miller and played one season before serving as a student coach under Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame coach Bob Hamilton for two years.
Brown is joined in the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 by Jason Collier, Jim Holstein, John Powell, Jimmy Darrow, Gary Trent, Jessica Davenport, Jackie Motycka Mossing, Deb Elwer Lindeman, Charles “Red” Ash, Gene Ford, Sue Ramsey, Mary Jo Huisman, Walt Wesley, Terry Wymer, John Joseph and the University of Dayton men’s teams of 1965, 1966 and 1967, the Ashland women’s team of 2013 and the St. Henry High School teams of 1990 and 1991.