Nothing that new Lipscomb women’s basketball coach Greg Brown said spoke louder than the presence of one person.
Thursday afternoon as Brown addressed a large throng of fans, friends and relatives in the Hall of Fame room at Allen Arena he noticed a surprise visitor – Joi Williams, his former boss at UCF who made the trip from Orlando.
Williams admitted it was bittersweet to lose Brown who had been a member of her staff for the past five years, rebuilding the UCF program.
“Greg meant a lot to the program,” Williams said. “We started with a program that was in the very bottom of the league. We really built something special there and won championships together. We did it side-by-side.
“It is a joy to see somebody like him get this opportunity. He has worked hard for it. This is the one special place for him and his wife, Theresa. They both went to school here. They have family here. I couldn’t be happier.”
Williams thinks that Brown has what it takes to make the Lipscomb program a force to be reckoned with in the Atlantic Sun.
“It is a process,” Williams said. “You talk about winning championships and that is the big picture. But when you start to break it down into how you are going to do that there is a process that has to be put into place to get that done.
“At the end of the day everybody wants to win. But is everybody willing to do what it takes? That is what the process is about. There is no better person than Greg to get that point across to the Lipscomb team.”
With most of the players on break from school this month Brown is contacting many of them by telephone. He will probably echo what he told them the day he visited campus to meet with athletic director Philip Hutcheson about the job – do they want to play and compete at the highest level?
“The answer should always be `yes’ and if that is the case it is my responsibility to hold them to that level,” Brown said. “Trust and buy-in are the keys to building a program _ that they believe in my vision and that they share that vision.
“We want to be vital to the community. We will start with Green Hills, work our way through Middle Tennessee and expand from there. We want to have a loyal following. We want to keep the local talent. We want to put ourselves in a position to win championships. And we want to graduate our student-athletes.”
The question that Brown cannot answer at this time is how quickly he will be able to turn the Lady Bisons program around.
“We have four core values,” Brown said. “Spiritual development is at the center of everything we do. That is what makes this campus and this university different from any other school in the country. The other values are academic development, athletic development and career development.
“The process is day-to-day. We want to win today. It may be in the classroom, the practice court or a game, but we are going to win today. We want to be a team, but we want individual responsibility. We want to be accountable for our own actions. If we hit the mark that we are supposed to do then things will go well.
“We want to figure out what we can control and what we can’t. The quicker you figure out the elements you can control the better off you will be. We have to focus on the things we can control.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.