Cedric Brown will begin his sixth season as the leader of the Laker men's basketball program. The 2011-2012 season was Brown's most successful. For the Lakers' efforts, Brown earned Coach of the Year honors in the Great Rivers Athletic Confernce. In addition to Brown's award, the Lakers won the regular season conference championship. They compiled a 22-10 overall record and were 12-4 conference play.
The success in the classroom was equally outstanding. The team finished with an overall GPA of 2.96 and graduated six sophomores. The class of 2012 was the most successful recruiting class that Brown has had under his tenure. In two seasons, they won 42 games, earned the highest seed (#2) for the Region XXIV Tournament in the school's history, won the regular season conference championship for the first time in men's basketball history, and earned 4 Division I and 2 Division II NCAA scholarships.
Jomari Bradshaw - Florida A&M University Darrian Gray - Southeast Missouri State University
Dylan Mosack - University of Illinois - Springfield Orlando Rutledge - Southern Indiana University
Anthony White, Jr. - Mercer University Jamal Williams, II - Texas Tech University
Orlando Rutledge was named a Region 24 All-American and was selected as a First team All-GRAC selection. Anthony White, Jr. was selected as an All-GRAC and All-Region 24 recipient. Jomari Bradshaw and Jamal Williams, II were selcted as All-GRAC members.
During the 2010-2011 campaign, the Lakers finished with a 20-13 record. They recorded their second best GRAC finish and were runner-ups in the Region XXIV tournament. A huge part of the Laker's success was due in part to All-Region and All-GRAC selection James Anacreon (Wichita State), who averaged 14 ppg and 7 rpg and helped lead the Lakers to their best tournament showing in Brown's regime.
In 2009-2010, Coach Brown coached two All-GRAC players; Freshman of the Year Center Moussa Gueye (Alabama) and Forward Paris Carter (UIC). Other former Lakers to move on to four-year institutions were Guard Ben Giertz (Strasburg, IL) to Greenville College, Wing Stefon Perry (Paducah, KY) to Urbana University (OH), and Forward Daniel Armah to Lincoln University (MO).
The 2008-2009 season saw the Lakers record a programs’ best home stand of 12-2. Also during this season, the Lakers defeated the #2 ranked Southeastern Illinois College Falcons in a hard fought home court battle at the Laker Field House. Under Coach Brown’s leadership, the Lakers recorded a season record of 16-14, which bested his first season for the program’s first winning season in more than five years.
The development of Coach Brown’s 2007-2008 recruiting class of Huzie Hambrite, III, Stevie Hedrick, Alan Douglas, Spencer Perrin, Jr., William McClure, and Boris Bobic paid tremendous dividends for the Lakers both on the court and in the classroom. Hambrite, who averaged 14 points and 5 assists, was selected as an All-Great Rivers Athletic Conference (GRAC) selection. Perrin, who averaged 17 points and 7 rebounds per game, was named to the All-Region 24 and All-GRAC teams and finsihed his college career at Eastern Kentucky University. Boris Bobic and Alan Douglas both took their academic and playing careers to William Penn University (IA). Stevie Hedrick chose Moorehead State and William McClure, who averaged 9 points and 10 rebounds per contest, finished his college career at Central Michigan University for a coaching buddy of Coach Brown’s, former head coach Ernie Ziegler. The contribution these young men gave to the program is what Coach Brown will look to continue to build on with future recruiting classes.
In his inaugural season, the Lakers posted a record of 14-18 overall and 7-9 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. Brown led the Lakers to a Region 24 semi-finals appearance with a 77-70 victory over #3 seed Kaskaskia College and a 81-71 loss to #2 seed and Region 24 Champions Southeastern Illinois College.
The 2007-2008 successes on the court, took a back seat to the success the Lakers had in the classroom. The Lakers had an overall team GPA of 2.81 and saw all of its sophomores move on to four-year schools to further their education.
Before he took over the sidelines in Mattoon, Brown was an assistant coach for the 2006-2007 season at Trinity Valley Community College (Athens, TX) for former GRAC head coach Pat Smith. In his one season at TVCC, Brown helped the Cardinals to a 19-11 overall record, a 3rd place finish in the East Texas Athletic Conference, and a Region 14 #3 seed. Known for his ability to develop players, Brown coached several Cardinal players like Cavel Witter (Creighton), Jonathan Clark (Louisiana Tech), Jay Smith (Eastern IL), and Marlon Cloudy (Tarleton State) who moved on to DI and DII programs to further their education and playing careers.
Prior to the 2006-2007 season in Texas, Brown spent 3 seasons at Chicago State University. In three seasons with the Cougars, Brown was instrumental in helping recruit the talent that led the Cougars to a Mid-Continent conference championship appearance during the 2005-2006 season.
At Chicago State he coached former NBA center Deji Akindele (Charlotte Bobcats), Euro League guard Tony Weeden (Slask – Poland), and IBL guard and 2007 NCAA Slam-Dunk participant Royce Parran (Gary Steelheads).
Before Brown brought his coaching and recruiting skills to Chicago State University in 2004, he worked for Champaign Centennial’s Scott Nagy as a graduate assistant at South Dakota State University, where he received his Master’s degree in Sports Pedagogy. The Jackrabbits flourished to a school record 27 wins with only 7 losses and enjoyed being nationally ranked in the top five for over half of the 2003-2004 season. Brown was helpful with the transition of the program from the Division II to Division I level with his evaluating and recruiting skills, which assisted Coach Nagy in compiling one of his most talented recruiting classes.
At the beginning of the 2001-2002 school year, Brown joined the Parkland Community College staff as the Recruiting Coordinator and Assistant Coach. During his second of two seasons at Parkland, Brown helped Head Coach Chris Warren lead the Cobras to a 24-10 record and a Region XXIV championship appearance with his initial recruiting class. Brown’s knack for recruiting local talent paid dividends for the Cobras when he helped land Monticello’s Aaron Thais who helped lead that team to its record victories.
An original native of The Bronx in New York City, he graduated from Herbert H. Lehman College in the top one-third of his Recreation Education program with a bachelor’s of science degree. During the 1999-2000 season at the age of 31 years old under Darryl Jacobs (Virginia State University Head Coach), Brown helped lead his Lehman Lightning to the Hudson Valley Athletic Conference Championship. Brown was also voted the Most-Outstanding student-athlete that season. While at Lehman, he enjoyed successful junior and senior seasons with the Lightning Men’s Basketball program as a two year starter and team captain. In two seasons, he averaged 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists with two Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) appearances.
Coach Brown has enjoyed success at every level of college basketball. He is known to his colleagues as person with a passion for education, a tireless worker, a dedicated teacher of the game, and a relentless recruiter with excellent recruiting skills.
Aside from his coaching duties, Brown teaches as a full-time faculty member in the Social Sciences and Education Division.
Coach Brown resides in Mattoon, IL and is the father of five children. Angelo, Asia, Quentin, Isaac, and Chyanne.