Chris Brown won his first basketball coaching state championship in March with Williamsburg Christian Academy’s boys.
If he is going to win another title in the upcoming season, he will do so at a different school and with a different gender.
Brown was hired recently as the girls basketball head coach at Surry County High. He replaces Jarrod Pierce, who left Surry after three seasons to take a teaching position at Potomac High in northern Virginia.
“I know the program’s being left in good hands,” said Pierce, who guided the Cougars to three consecutive state tournaments. “The girls were 16-1 (last season) before (6-foot-5) Brianna Jones came back and almost all of those girls were freshmen and sophomores.
“They should get back to the state tournament and they have a chance to win.”
Following Jones’ return from injury, the Cougars won 12 consecutive games including a 65-56 win over Eastside in the Group 1A state quarterfinals. The Cougars (28-2) lost 51-48 to Parry McCluer in the semifinals but graduated only Jones (18.0 ppg, 11.5 rpg), who signed with and briefly attended Division I Coastal Carolina, and Mya Parson (8.9 ppg) from the group of top scorers.
Among the players Brown will inherit are point guard Jasmyn Pierce (15.3 ppg, 4.5 steals per game), Brecha Byrd (13.4 ppg) and Alexus Nelson (8.9 ppg). Also back are five sophomores, two of them starters, who made up the defensive core of the state semifinalists.
“I look at this as a great opportunity,” said Brown, who guided Lafayette’s girls to a Conference 25 title during a two-season stint there prior to his move to WCA. “Surry has had solid boys and girls basketball over the years (the boys won a state title in 2005 and the girls in 2010) and they get great support from the administration and community. I’m walking into a group of girls whose goal is a state championship. Looking at the whole opportunity over the next couple of years, my goal is to have a very strong program and compete for a state championship.
“I worked with some of the Surry girls at the Boo Williams Elite 64 (in June) so I know the level of talent in the program.”
Brown served as the athletic director and boys basketball coach at WCA the past two years. He resigned as athletic director effective the end of the ’16-17 school year, moving into a job as a pharmaceutical territorial sales manager, and decided not to return as basketball coach during the summer.
Brown did coach WCA’s boys to an undefeated record at the Old Dominion University summer camp. One of his former players, WCA senior Cle’Von Greene committed on Sunday to play basketball next year at Radford University.
WCA has not announced its boys basketball coach for the 2017-18 season.
“Coach Brown will be missed a lot,” Greene said. “He helped us mature as players and as men.”
O’Brien can be reached by phone at 757-247-4963 and follow on Twitter @MartyOBrienDP