Not long after Mike Woodson’s hire as Indiana’s head coach, it was reported that Woodson was in constant talks with Larry Brown, one of his mentors and the coach with whom he won an NBA title with the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons. It was reported that there was a strong possibility Brown would join Woodson’s staff in an off-court advisory or administrative role.
However, Woodson told Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports on Rothstein’s College Hoops Today podcast Monday that half of that reporting was true. He constantly talks with Brown but will not be bringing him to Indiana.
“Larry and I, we talk every day,” Woodson said. “Right now, we’re just going to continue to talk and share ideas. Larry has been a big help since I’ve taken over this team. He will always be there for me, but at this point, no, he will not be coming with me to Indiana University.”
Woodson said he could not say who his third assistant coach will be but suggested that he is close to making a hire. According to sources, one of the candidates is Yasir Rosemond, who last coached at the Division I level at Alabama in 2019 and also coached at Oregon and Georgia among other stops.
“We’re working on another assistant,” Woodson said. “I can’t reveal his name yet until we get everything in place.”
Woodson largely reiterated other points he’s made in previous interviews so far. He reiterated that he needs more shooting on the roster and said that he is looking to fill the two scholarships he will have available. He also said he hopes that his hire finally heals the rifts among the Indiana family that developed when his former coach Bob Knight was fired in 2000.
“The one thing that I am going to do, early on after I left Indiana University, Coach Knight made it a point to bring everybody back,” Woodson said. “I’m going to bridge that gap where we’ve lost a lot of the guys who made this program what it really is today. I’m going to bridge that gap between those guys and the young guys and put it all back in place. I think it’s important moving forward with our program because they were such a big part of it just like I was. That’s one of the first things that I will do. All I can say is thank you to the guys who supported me, and there was a lot support from outside people, people that have been a part of the program for many, many years and a lot of the ex-players. I’m very grateful in that regard and I truly say thank you. I’m going to make it right with those guys and putting us back together like we were a family before.”
Woodson also spoke at length about Knight and said he had “never had a hiccup” in his relationship with Knight, saying it was similar to what he had with his recently departed friend and former teammate Wayne Radford.
“It’s important when you create friendships and create relationships with people,” Woodson said. “It becomes family. Coach has always made me feel like I was family and I tried to do the same thing in return. When he had the opportunity to come back and we were able to get him back, it was, I think, one of the biggest things to ever hit Indiana University, getting him back at Assembly Hall that day. For me, it was gratifying because it was well overdue. Make no mistake about it. Indiana basketball will always be Bob Knight.”
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