LU hires former Cardinal Alvin Brooks as new head basketball coach
by STAFF - KFDM6
Thursday, April 1st 2021
BEAUMONT — From Lamar University – Former Houston head coach and 2019 Cardinal Hall of Honor inductee, Alvin Brooks, has been named Lamar University head basketball coach announced Director of Athletics Marco Born Thursday morning. The announcement makes Brooks the 12th head coach in program history, and comes just days after Brooks helped guide Houston to the 2021 NCAA Final Four.
"Today is a very special day for the LU men's basketball program," said Born. "The name Alvin Brooks is synonymous with success on the basketball court both as a coach and player. He has left a paper trail of success throughout his career. It is rare that you have the opportunity to hire a coach with as much experience – as both a head coach and an assistant – as Coach Brooks, one who has recruiting ties to the state of Texas and the Western Athletic Conference, and one who is already a member of your Hall of Honor. We were able to get all of that with the hiring of Alvin Brooks. He is the right man to guide this program into the WAC."
A college coaching veteran with 37 years' experience on the sidelines, Brooks has participated in 23 postseason tournaments as a coach or student-athlete – including most recently serving as an assistant on a Houston squad that advanced to the 2021 Final Four in Indianapolis. During his career, Brooks has helped coach teams to seven conference championships, including two with LU (1982-83 and 1983-84).
Brooks' players have also reaped the benefits of his guidance as he coached 17 players who competed in the NBA with numerous others playing professionally overseas.
A former All-Southland Conference guard for the Cardinals in the early 1980s, Brooks returns to the Golden Triangle after spending the previous 11 seasons with the Cougars. During his time in Houston, Brooks has helped build the program back to national prominence.
The Cougars have finished either first or second in the American Athletic Conference standings in each of the past four seasons, and have won at least 20 games in each of the previous six – including a 33-win campaign in 2018-19. The consecutive seasons of at least 20 wins is the most successful six-year stretch in program history. The 2020-21 season also marked the fourth consecutive year the Cougars have finished ranked among the top 25, which is also a program first.
The list of program firsts doesn't stop there. In 2018-19, Houston posted a school-record 33 wins and recorded the program's first outright AAC regular-season championship. That season, the Cougars advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the first time since 1984.
Before joining Kelvin Sampson's staff, Brooks spent five seasons as the Cougars head coach from 1993 to 1998, becoming one of the nation's youngest head coaches at the time.
Brooks' coaching career has consisted of stops at Houston, Kentucky, Texas A&M, UTEP, North Texas, Texas Tech and LU.
Brooks' coaching career began at his alma mater in 1981 where he would serve as an assistant to Cardinal Hall of Honor head coach Pat Foster for the next five seasons. During that five-year timespan, the Cardinals won 109 games, posted a .712 winning percentage (109-44), made four postseason NIT appearances, won two Southland Conference regular-season titles and qualified for the 1983 NCAA Championships where they advance to the second round.
Fans of the Red and White will always remember Brooks for his time as the Cardinals' point guard from 1979 to 1981. A two-year letter winner who played for legendary coaches Billy Tubbs and Foster, Brooks guided the Cardinals to 47 wins – including three NCAA tournament wins, consecutive SLC titles and an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.
"I am excited to be coming home to my alma mater, Lamar University!" said Brooks. "The Beaumont and Golden Triangle communities have always held a special place in my heart, and I'm looking forward to reconnecting. The timing could not have been better. Director of Athletics Marco is leading Lamar basketball into a new and exciting era. By joining the WAC, we have an opportunity to elevate our program to new levels.
"I look forward to working with him to return the Cardinals to its tradition-rich days of chasing championships. I cannot thank Marco Born enough for the opportunity to give back to my school, what it has given to me, and to be a part of this new era," added Brooks.
A 1981 All-Southland selection, Brooks was a 10th-round selection of the San Antonio Spurs in the 1981 NBA draft. Selected by the Beaumont Enterprise as one of the five greatest players in LU history, Brooks was named to the Cardinals Hall of Honor in 2019.
In just two short seasons with the Cardinals, Brooks became the school's all-time leader in assists with 432 – a mark which still ranks second in program history. Brooks averaged better than 10 points per game during his senior season and set the school single-season record with 249 assists.