Back to school: JU hires former hoops star Dee Brown

Former Dolphins player and NBA Slam Dunk champ will work in athletic department

Dee Brown, a former basketball star at Jacksonville University and later in the NBA, is joining the JU athletic department the school announced on Thursday. (Associated Press, Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One of Jacksonville University’s most recognizable basketball names is making a return to campus.

The school is hiring Dee Brown to serve as the program’s executive director of university and athletic relations. Brown, a star at Bolles before going to JU, is expected to have a multifaceted role with the Dolphins that includes things like expanding financial support and recruiting.

“I am very honored to be coming back home to Jacksonville University,” Brown said. “It is such a privilege, and I would like to thank President Tim Cost and Athletic Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert for giving me this opportunity to be part of my alma mater. I look forward to working with the great faculty and staff already in place at JU, to be part of growing the athletic department and the University, and to continue the hard work that has already begun.”

The school said that Brown will serve as an “ambassador in the community, attending events, engaging with passionate supporters of JU programs in an effort to expand financial support, as well as assisting in the recruitment and retention of students at Jacksonville University.”

Brown will start his position on July 1.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dee back to Jacksonville University,” said JU athletic director Alex Ricker-Gilbert. “I have had the great fortune of getting to know Dee over the last several years and we are getting an absolute superstar in the industry. His arrival furthers our mission of putting our students at the forefront of everything we do.

“Dee will work with all of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff to assist with their growth and development. He’s the exact fit that we needed for a role like this. He will be a leader on campus and beyond as we enhance our profile as a preeminent institution in the southeast. Welcome home, Dee!”

It’s one of the first steps in what new coach Jordan Mincy spoke about after being hired.

Mincy said that one major goal that he had was working to bring back JU alumni and blend them in to the program near and far. He mentioned both Brown and NBA hall of famer Artis Gilmore as men who he hoped to lean on during his tenure.

Brown is a name that even younger players remember.

He won the NBA’s Slam Dunk competition as a second-year player in 1991, leaning over to pump up his Reebok basketball shoes before dunks. Brown’s no-look dunk in the final remains one of the most iconic in that event’s history.

Brown most recently served as a general manager of the LA Clippers G League affiliate team, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario. Brown is one of six players to have his basketball jersey number retired at JU.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.