Mike Brennan named men's basketball head coach

Mike Brennan named men's basketball head coach
AU unveiled Mike Brennan as the new head coach of the men\'s basketball coach at a press conference in Bender Arena April 30.

Former Georgetown University assistant coach Mike Brennan will replace Jeff Jones as the 17th head coach of the AU men's basketball team.

Prior to Georgetown, Brennan was an assistant for two years under Jones, the same two years that saw the Eagles win back-to-back Patriot League Championships and subsequently berths in the NCAA Tournament.

"I want American University to be synonymous with 'those guys go to the tournament every year,'" Brennan said about his goals at AU at a press conference April 30 in Bender Arena. "That's our goal, and that's going to be our goal every single year."

Jones departed AU after 12 seasons to become the Head Coach at Old Dominion University earlier in April.

The search committee that selected Brennan consisted of many of the same individuals who helped in the hiring of new athletic director Billy Walker.

Brennan was selected from a group of finalists that included University of Virginia assistant Jason Williford and former Lehigh and Ball State Head Coach Billy Taylor, according to Ben Standig of CSN Washington.

"We had some unbelievably fantastic candidates, but Mike quickly rose to the top," Walker said at the press conference.

Walker added that he wanted the next head coach to have integrity, excellent basketball IQ and the ability to relate to the AU community and recruit.

"Mike hit all four out of the park," Walker said.

The hiring is the first major decision for Walker, who has been on the job for just 11 days.

Brennan will take over an AU squad that finished with its worst record under Jones since the 2000-2001.

"I'm looking forward to coaching these guys, and I think we can be competitive and good right away," Brennan said.

AU will return next winter with some talent, most notably with center Tony Wroblicky and guard John Schoof, who led the nation in three-point scoring.

"It's been a tough process, we've been really restless just waiting to get a new coach," Schoof said following the press conference. "We are all really just ready to get back to work. It's going to be an adjustment, but we will work to get to know coach Brennan."

One of the first tasks facing Brennan is assembling his coaching staff. Brennan said that he had not selected anyone yet and that current AU associate head coach Kieran Donohue was being considered. Donohue has been at AU for 13 seasons.

Additionally, Brennan said he will begin both recruiting for the Class of 2014 and ensuring that players with current letters of intent decide to join the Eagles in the fall.

Brennan served under John Thompson III at Georgetown for the last four seasons.

A graduate of Princeton University, Brennan played on the team that captured two Ivy League titles. Brennan was named Second Team All-Ivy League in 1994.

He would return to Princeton to serve as an assistant coach and leading the Tigers to three more Ivy League Championships.

esaltzman@theeagleonline.com

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