Brac Brady's one year as the Tennessee Temple University men's basketball coach not only got the Crusaders back to the Christian college national tournament for the first time in a decade but made it easier to replace him.
When Brady resigned recently, athletic director Kenrick Liburd "put some feelers out" instead of making a public announcement and quickly got "about 15 resumes and some great candidates."
The one Temple hired was Jeff Haarlow, who in late January ended 11 years as the head coach at Berry College near Rome, Ga. Although his overall record at what is now an NCAA Division III school was 137-181 when he resigned with a 4-15 season record, he had three years of 20-plus wins when Berry was an NAIA Division I program.
"He was the longest-tenured men's basketball coach in the program's history and was second in total wins," Liburd said Thursday. "But the two things he really brings to the table are character and loyalty. He had great references from his peers in his former league, among many others."
Brady resigned for "personal reasons," Liburd said.
"It obviously was tough to lose Brac. What he did in one year was immeasurable," the AD said, "with what he poured into our kids and the successes they had socially and in the classroom as well as on the court."
Building from a 15-16 record in 2011-12 under Randy Lee after a series of woeful seasons, Brady's Crusaders went 23-13 with 14 wins in their last 16 games.
"And they had success against some very good basketball teams," Haarlow said from Greensboro, N.C., where he is in his fifth consecutive week of working camps across the United States. "The majority of the players are coming back, so there's a great chance to build on the momentum."
Haarlow grew up in Pinehurst, N.C., and was an NAIA All-American golfer as well as a basketball player at Berry. He became a graduate assistant and then worked at Alabama-Huntsville for a year before returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach. He knows Temple's strong basketball tradition firsthand.
"I knew Coach [Kevin] Templeton well, and his son Josh, and they had awfully, awfully good teams," Haarlow said. "They have great tradition for sure."
He said that in talking to Liburd, president Dr. Steve Echols and other staff members, he saw "vision" and "energy" and "passion" about regenerating that tradition.
"I knew I still wanted to coach, and the thing I was seeking foremost was a place for my family," Haarlow said, referring to his wife, Casey, and young children Molly and Will.
"I was looking for a good community, and I think we've found it at Temple and the city of Chattanooga."
Contact Ron Bush at email@example.com or 423-757-6291.
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