When John Brady first put a team on the floor of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, his Tiger squad was undermanned, undersized and underdogs.
Teams hated to play the Tigers then because John Brady coached his team hard and they responded with several strong performances against the leagues top teams, but not many wins. The strong performances continued as the years went on, but now LSU was winning.
As he prepares for his 11th year as head coach at LSU, John Brady has coached the LSU team as only he knows how — with heart and passion, and knowledge of the game that makes him one of the best at in-game decisions.
The LSU Tigers, in 2006, won the SEC regular season title with a 14-2 record and won the Western Division for the second straight year. LSU has won 31 SEC games the last three years, one of the best totals in the league over the last three years, and during that time period, LSU had a streak of 19 straight conference home wins that spanned portions of four seasons from 2004-07.
The SEC Championship in 2006 was Brady’s second and the school’s first outright championship in 21 years.
LSU advanced in 2006 to the NCAA Tournament, defeating Iona and Texas A&M in the first two rounds in Jacksonville and then knocked off the tournament’s top seed, No. 1-ranked Duke, in the regional semifinals, and nationally-ranked Texas in overtime to advance to the first NCAA Final Four at LSU in 20 years.
LSU has had six consecutive winning seasons under John Brady and only three times in the program history have there been longer consecutive years of winning. In the last eight seasons, LSU has won 158 games, an average of 19.7 a year.
Three times, John Brady has coached the SEC Player of the Year and he has coached the SEC Freshman of the Year four times, including a three year stretch from 2004-06.
Brady’s 184 wins in 10 seasons are the third most wins by an LSU basketball coach and only two LSU basketball coaches have served longer tenures.
John Brady has built a program at LSU with a record of success that is hard to argue with. He has given the LSU program the direction to grow and the chance to shine again.
When Brady arrived on campus in March 1997 and was given the job of rebuilding the program, make no mistake; he knew his program would be riddled with shortcomings because of NCAA-imposed sanctions. He knew he would have the chance to build a foundation based on responsibility and accountability.
Brady’s knowledge of the game and his belief in discipline and responsibility for actions on and off the floor have made the LSU program strong again, one that LSU fans are proud of because they feel a part of the program.
Brady’s plan isn’t just taking place on a hardwood floor in the Maravich Center. He has worked hard to show the public that athletic and academic pursuits of the players should be challenged to the fullest.
That’s part of the reason that LSU basketball is not only a success on the court, but in the classroom as well. Hours are passed and posted toward graduation on a regular basis by scholarship players. The team GPA was over 3.0 this past spring and this despite the team having spent close to four consecutive weeks on the road with the SEC and NCAA Tournaments.
Brady came to LSU after six highly successful seasons at Samford University in
Birmingham, Ala. In his six-year tenure (1992-97), he turned the team into a consistent winner, posting a record of 89-77. In Brady’s six years at Samford, the team had three first-team and five second team all-league selections.
Now at LSU, the numbers are beginning to work for Brady both on and off the floor. He has had 33 players earn Academic Honor Roll status at LSU, plus 14 players who have received their degrees from LSU.
The 52-year-old Brady is the father of two daughters (Brittany-16, Brooke-12) and is married to the former Misty Champagne.
In his first 10 seasons, Brady has taken the Tigers a long way, including to college basketball’s pinnacle, the NCAA Final Four. The results are a program that is solid both athletically and academically. The top athletes in the country are seriously putting LSU at the top of their lists and Brady is earning the respect of his peers in the league.
He has re-established LSU back as a national factor in college basketball and the work is being done to keep LSU there for years to come.
The Brady Numbers
1 — NCAA Final Four Appearance (2006)
2 — SEC Championships; SEC Coach of the Year honors; Sweet 16 Appearances (2000, 2006)
3 — SEC Player of the Year Selections (Stromile Swift – 2000, Brandon Bass – 2005,
Glen Davis – 2006); SEC Western Division Championships (2000, 2005, 2006)
4 — SEC Freshman of the Year Selections (Torris Bright – 2000, Brandon Bass – 2004, Glen Davis – 2005, Tyrus Thomas – 2006)
6 — Postseason tournament appearances in the past seven years
14 — Number of LSU players who have graduated; Number of SEC wins in 2006
33 — Academic All-SEC honorees
Athletic Playing Background
McComb High School, McComb, Miss.
Belhaven College (Jackson, Miss.) — Three-year starter, scored over 1,000 career points during his career … Coach Charlie Rugg … Two-time All-Southern States Conference … Inducted Fall 1997 into school athletic hall of fame.
Basketball Coaching Experience
1976-77 — Graduate Assistant Coach, Mississippi State University
1977-82 — Head Coach, Crowley High School, Crowley, La. 129-49 (.725) record in five seasons … 1981 Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class AAA “Coach of the Year.”
1982-90 — Assistant Coach, Mississippi State University. First four years under coach Bob Boyd — Last four years as a chief recruiter for coach Richard Williams.
1991-97 — Head Coach, Samford University, 89-77 record in six years … Left Samford as winningest coach in Samford history … Team won TAAC West Division in 1996 and 1997.
March 25, 1997 — Named the 18th head basketball coach at LSU.
1999-2000 — LSU wins SEC West; SEC overall championship … NCAA Sweet 16 … Consensus SEC Coach of the Year; LSWA Coach of the Year … NABC/USBWA District Coach of the Year … Runner-up, National Coach of the Year.
2001-02 — Team wins nine of the last 11 games, advances to the second round of the NIT.
2002-03 — LSU wins nine of the last 13, including seven straight to earn a second NCAA Tournament appearance under John Brady … Named LSWA Coach of the Year; Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year.
2003-04 — LSU advances to the National Invitation Tournament.
2004-05 — LSU posts a 12-4 record in winning the SEC Western Division … Tigers go 8-0 in league play at home, the first undefeated conference home record since 1981 … Team advanced to the NCAA Tournament, the fourth straight post season berth and fifth in the last six years.
2005-06 — LSU posts a 14-2 record in winning the SEC title, the school’s first title since 200 and the first outright title in 21 years … Tigers go 8-0 in league play at home for the second straight year … Team advances to the NCAA Tournament and defeats Iona, Texas A&M, No. 1 Duke and Texas to advance to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in 20 years … Names SEC Coach of the Year, LSWA Coach of the Year and finalist for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award.
The Brady File
Year at LSU: Entering 11th Season (184-126 record)
Birth Date: Sept. 17, 1954
Hometown: McComb, Miss.
Children: Brittany (16), Brooke (12)
High School: McComb High School, McComb, Miss.
College: BS, Belhaven College, 1976; M. Ed., Mississippi State University, 1977
Brady’s Head Coaching Record
1st-West; 1st-SEC; NCAA Sweet16
4th-West; 2nd round NIT
1st-SEC, NCAA Final Four