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Greg Brown comes home to Albuquerque High as coach

Greg Brown previously coached at the high school level at Bosque School (shown in 2012 with Laura Trost). He has been hired at his alma mater, Albuquerque High. (Pat Vasquez-Cunningham/Albuquerque Journal File)

With these two words from principal Ryan Homistek, Greg Brown was announced Wednesday as the new head boys basketball coach at Albuquerque High School:

“Welcome home.”

One of Bulldog City’s most famous and accomplished alums, who is also a former great at the University of New Mexico and a member of the Albuquerque/New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame, is indeed reconnecting with his prep roots as AHS finally was able to announce Brown’s selection.

“I’m humbled by it, I’m excited by it, I’m optimistic,” Brown, 47, said.

The school told the Journal in early August that it had chosen a coach, but the ongoing hiring freeze within Albuquerque Public Schools led to a lengthy delay in making it official.

To that end, Brown will not be on staff at AHS, Homistek said.

“I’m very excited to bring coach Brown back,” Homistek said. “It’s always huge for any school to have an alumnus come back and coach. The community will be very pleased.”

Brown can start working with his team in person on Oct. 5, which is when out-of-season workouts can resume in basketball for APS.

“My dad is going to take Albuquerque High to the next level!! He’s the best to ever come out of Albuquerque High and is the best for this job!!” Amaya Brown, Greg’s daughter and a Cibola High graduate now playing basketball at Florida State, tweeted.

Brown has extensive experience (roughly 15 years) coaching both boys and girls club basketball, and he is a former head girls basketball coach at Bosque School in the early 2010s. As a player, Brown led AHS to a state title in 1990. Later, he was a Western Athletic Conference player of the year for the Lobos in 1994. His first two playing seasons in college were spent at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs.

Greg Brown was a star player at New Mexico and, at 5-foot-7, won a national award for the best player under 6 feet tall. (Journal file)

“It’s still fresh in my mind, the way that I was coached and the tradition that we had,” Brown said. “Those teams and players were good and they were competitive and they always believed they could win a championship. I played on a Bulldog team that when you walked into the JV game, it was already full.”

Brown, who played for coach Jim Hulsman at AHS and who was inducted into the aforementioned Hall of Fame in 2008, is also a previous assistant coach to Shonn Schroer at West Mesa, and to another former Lobo, Kelvin Scarborough, at Menaul.

“I pretty much borrowed from all of the great coaches,” Brown said. “But I developed my own philosophy of coaching, just like I developed my own style of playing. I’m a student of the game, and I’m able to teach kids the basic fundamentals of basketball. And then take that, and push them to their goals.”

The 5-foot-7 Brown won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award as the nation’s best college player under six feet tall in 1994.

As for Brown’s son Amari, who already has enrolled at Cibola, Greg Brown said he didn’t know whether or not he would join him at AHS. Amari Brown may be the most highly touted freshman in the city since Cullen Neal of Eldorado and Bryce Alford of La Cueva burst onto the scene a decade ago.

Homistek said he wants to see the AHS community get behind this new hire. The new season will begin in January. The 2021 schedule has not yet been released.

“We’re just looking at filling the stands at Bulldog City once again,” Homistek said.

Brown was asked if he had any Kelly green items in his closet.

“I’ve got some Kelly green, but I’m gonna go have to stock up,” he said.

Maybe, he said laughing, he’ll come out for the first home game in a green blazer.

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