Isaac Brown promoted to full-time head coach


Khánh Nguyễn/ The Sunflower

Interim Head Coach Isaac Brown talks to a ref during the game against Tulane at Charles Koch Arena on Feb. 3.

Interim coach no more. 

Isaac Brown will be dropping his interim title and will be taking over as full-time head men’s basketball coach, the program announced in a release on Friday.

Brown— who will become the program’s 26th full-time head coach— has agreed to a five-year deal.The deal is worth $6 million, according to ESPN’s Rece Davis. 

Brown will become the first African American head coach in program history and the first to ever lead a Division-I program in Kansas. 

Brown took over in the interim role on Nov. 18 following Gregg Marshall’s resignation and has led the Shockers 13-4 start. WSU currently sits in first place in the American Athletic Conference. 

“I’m just so proud of these guys,” Isaac Brown said following the win over No. 6 Houston. “You know, when everything when I first got this job, we told these kids, just trust us and we’re going to give them 110% every day, and all those guys trust the process. And they just basically stepped up and just doing tremendous on the court, off the court, and in the classroom.”

Director of Athletics Darron Boatright said earlier this month that given the team’s early season success under Brown on an interim basis, he would have the opportunity to earn the full-time position.

“He’s doing a fantastic job and will get every consideration for the opportunity to lead this program on a permanent basis,” he said.

Throughout the season, players have been open about their support for Brown, even saying that he’s brought new swagger and confidence to the program. On Thursday, Brown led the Shockers to the first home victory over a top-six team in the country since 1967 with a 68-63 victory over No. 6 Houston.

“We also had energetic moments in the locker room too but this team is a lot more of a family,” sophomore guard Tyson Etienne said. “I think all of us are truly there for each other, want to see each other win on and off the court. It doesn’t just come down to if you’re scoring or not. I think everybody’s there for each other in all aspects of life.”

Even after Marshall’s resignation, no players transferred out of the program. Throughout the process, the team has backed Brown which has been key to the team’s success. 

“I never doubted it, I said that from day one,” Etienne said. “When everyone was transferring and it seemed like the world was falling, I stayed solid in my decision and it’s for reasons like this. I knew what we had even though we lost Coach Marshall, I knew what we still could do. Just because Coach Marshall left doesn’t mean the talent left with him.”

Throughout 15 games, Brown was tied for the second best start by a Shocker head coach in his first season since 1945. Even with the adversity the program has faced this season, Brown has WSU poised to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2018. 

Brown will be formally announced as the team’s next head coach on Monday.