This archived article was written by: DJ
Former Utah State Eastern assistant coach Justin Brown found incredible success outside of Price, Utah. The former Eagle coach is an assistant coach at South Plains Community College in Levelland, Texas. Brown’s team has spent the last 10 weeks as the nation’s top junior college D1 program on the NJCAA site.
South Plains is ranked No. 1 in the nation with a perfect 20-0 record.
Brown was known as the player’s coach while working Eastern. He seemed to have a different type of bond with the players than other coaches and that’s why his departure was a big one for the Eagles this season and it shows in their preseason record.
It has been two completely different seasons for Brown and Utah State Eastern. The Eagles have a 6-16 record to begin the season struggling to find an identity as a team and a way to finish close games they lost.
Meanwhile at South Plains for Brown, it has been the complete opposite with his team’s perfect record and having all 20 wins in double-digit figures with the biggest margin 98 points.
Although his impact didn’t seem big, the record shows how much Brown meant to Utah State Eastern and its program as the team tries to find confidence and an identity this season. It could be looked at as a rebuilding season where the Eagles can evaluate the type of players they have and the type of personnel they want to wear the uniform.
Discussing his South Plains program, Coach Brown said. “Being able to be a part of the #1 ranked team in the country is a huge accomplishment and a testament to the work that was put in from every coach on staff during recruiting, summer workouts and just the day-to-day work.
“Having the chance to go out and prepare everyday knowing that you will get every team you play the best effort night in and night out and our guys rising up to the challenge is what it’s all about.
“Seeing a team have a perfect season before and with us chasing perfection again has made me appreciate the journey so much more. This new job has not only made me a better coach, but a better person. Being able to leave a place you put so much time and effort into and coming to a place where the leader is strong willed and firm with the way things are done, made me realize what has to be done when I am able to become a head coach one day.”
He thought the facilities are better at SP than at USU Eastern, but can be somewhat comparable with updates. “We allow our guys access to the gym anytime, same as we tried to do when I was at USU Eastern.
“Practices here are somewhat similar to the ones we had my time at USU Eastern, but here we work on many things that we see from film that we might not be as good at and we do many drills that are game related. I think a great team starts with having good players.
“Some of the people that are considered great coaches all coached good players. Having a strong leadership and having a person that the players respect and believe in is the next step to becoming a good team. Having a good atmosphere that the players enjoy and they can see that the staff truly cares about them. Winning basketball games will become the easy part.”