Will Brown writes open letter to Capital Region community

College Sports

ORLANDO, FL – MARCH 20: Head coach Will Brown of the Albany Great Danes calls out in the first half while taking on the Albany Great Danes during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Amway Center on March 20, 2014 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. — On Monday, former UAlbany men’s basketball head coach Will Brown and the university ‘mutually parted ways.’ In the press release, Brown expressed it was his decision to ‘seek a new challenge.’ On Tuesday, he released an open letter to the Capital Region community from a Twitter handle he changed to longer reference his connection to the school. His words are below:

As you know, after 20 years at the helm, my tenure as head coach of the University at
Albany men’s basketball program is over. While it did not end with another conference
championship or NCAA Tournament appearance, I am proud of the effort and
commitment my players and coaches displayed during this incredibly challenging and
unique season. Trust me, we will all learn and grow from this experience!

As I look back on my two decades leading the UAlbany Great Danes, I am grateful for
all the fantastic and truly talented players, coaches, trainers, and administrators I was
blessed to work with, and I am proud of all we accomplished both on the court and in
the community.

Our five America East Conference Championships is tied for most in league history.
Our 20 conference tournament wins ranks second in league history. We were invited to
seven postseason tournaments in the last 10 years. Plus, we have had 26 selections to
the America East Conference All-Academic Team, which is the most in league history
and proof that our players have dedicated themselves to being the best they can be on
the court, and in life.

I will be forever grateful to former UAlbany President Dr. Karen Hitchcock and former
Director of Athletics Dr. Lee McElroy for giving me the incredible opportunity to lead the
University’s basketball program back in 2002. They took a chance on a 29-year-old kid,
and I cannot thank them enough.

Since then, it has been my mission to help each of our players grow and develop so that
they would be prepared for life long after their basketball days drew to a close. Now, our
family of former players includes successful doctors, lawyers, educators, coaches,
businessmen, police officers, and many others that are proudly representing the
University and our program. To all my former players, it was an honor to coach you,
work with you, and learn from you every day. You made me a better coach, and a better
person. I appreciate your commitment to our program and will be here for you – always!

Our collective success would have been impossible without the teams of assistant
coaches and support staff who dedicated themselves to the Great Danes basketball
program. It has been a joy to work with every one of you. I appreciate your friendship
and commitment, and hope I helped you grow along the way. We were fortunate to work
with many talented student-athletes, and you brought out the best in them, and in me.

To my team at home – my wife Jamie and our two boys, Jackson and Landon – your
love and support over the years has made all the difference! Coaching my older son
Jackson this year is something that I will cherish forever. Jamie is the rock of our family,
which has allowed me to grow as a coach and a person. Plus, her unbelievable support
of our staff and the players is beyond compare. Jamie, Jackson, and Landon,
celebrating with you made our wins even sweeter, and your encouragement during the
tough times made them easier to bear. Thank you!

The UAlbany and Capital Region communities have been very important to our family
and our basketball program. For two decades, we have been dedicated to making an
impact on the University community and supporting local organizations across the
region. Jamie and I truly appreciate the strong, supportive relationships we have
developed with colleagues, local leaders, non-profit organizations, businesses, and
fans.  You all have been so good to our family, and we will cherish the times spent
getting to know you, and the incredible work you do to make this community thrive.

Jamie and I have been honored and humbled to support so many incredible causes and
initiatives through our philanthropy and volunteerism. Giving back has always been a
major priority for us, and we have tried to be generous with our time and money as we
support numerous local, regional, and national organizations. We are particularly proud
of our relationship with the American Cancer Society and the Coaches vs Cancer
initiative, through which we helped to raise more than $2 million over the past 15 years.

From our die-hard fans, including UAlbany alumni and season ticket holders, to our
corporate sponsors and community partners, I am thankful for your support of our
program and the relationships I was able to develop with you. I have always been
impressed with your affinity for the University and how much you bleed the purple and
gold! Your passion and support will stick with me forever. I always loved and
appreciated our Twitter communication too, so keep it coming!

From social media, to our local media – the reporters, editors, columnists, and
commentators who covered our team – I appreciate your persistence and patience over
the years. I have always understood that you have a job to do, and I tried to make it
easier whenever possible. You treated me and our players fairly and provided us with a
platform to promote our program, give voice to our concerns, and celebrate our

Finally, I wish President Havidan Rodriguez, Director of Athletics Mark Benson, and all
the talented professionals and student-athletes at UAlbany the best of luck moving

Thank you to everyone for the incredible outpouring of support since this news became
public. I appreciate all the messages, kind words, and well wishes.

All good things eventually come to an end. As I take time to weigh my options and
pursue new and exciting opportunities, I will continue to root hard for the men’s
basketball program and all the coaches and players who continue to build upon the
success we enjoyed over the past 20 years. Thank you UAlbany!

Will Brown

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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