Wayne Brent was named as the seventh head coach of the Jackson State Tigers on Monday, March 25 during a press conference at the Jackson State University Sports Hall of Fame.
After welcoming Brent to JSU, Director of Athletics Dr. Vivian L. Fuller presented him with a jacket and shirt bearing the university’s logo. Brent thanked God, his family and the university administration before laying out his plans for JSU.
“There are certain goals that I have set for this program. I want to give guys a chance to dream,” Brent said during Monday’s news conference, adding that he’d like the team to reach the NCAA Tournament in the next few years.
Brent, who is one of the most successful basketball coaches in the history of the Jackson Public School system, brings over 15 years of coaching experience at the high school and collegiate levels to JSU. He comes to Jackson State after leading Callaway High School to the 2013 state championship.
Brent possesses the rare combination of integrity, dedication and ability. He has achieved success in every area of his professional and personal life, gaining and retaining the respect of his players, colleagues and family.
Brent comes to Jackson State after a highly successful tenure at the helm of the Callaway Chargers program. From 2007-08 through 2012-13, his teams have won five division championships and four state championships. In his first year at Callaway, the Chargers went 26-11. The following year, the Chargers recorded a 33-6 record and won their first state title under Brent. In 2009, the team went 22-11 and won a second straight state championship. After a 13-11 record in 2010, the Chargers bounced back and finished with a 24-6 record and a third state crown in 2011. Prior to taking the Callaway job, Brent was the head coach at Piney Woods High School.
In three years at Piney Woods, Brent led the Tornadoes to a 72-16 record. In 2004, his first year at the school, the Tornadoes finished with a 31-6 record and earned a divisional title. Over the next two years, his teams went 20-6 (2005) and 21-4 (2006) with two additional divisional titles.
From 1998-1999 through 2000-2001, he served as an assistant men’s basketball coach at the University of Mississippi. While at Ole Miss, the Rebels made three NCAA tournament appearances and a post-season NIT appearance. Ole Miss finished with a 27-8 record, won the Southeastern Conference Western Division title, won the SEC Tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. Prior to serving as an assistant at Ole Miss, he was the head coach at Provine High School.
In his six seasons at Provine, Brent compiled a record of 116-65. The Rams had only one losing season under Brent’s direction, which also was his first losing season. In the final two seasons at Provine, the Rams won the state of Mississippi Class 5A title (1998) and finished ranked No. 25 in the final USA Today Boys High School Top 25 poll.
“He has won at every level of basketball he has touched,” Fuller said. “We are excited today.”
Provine was ranked No. 1 in the state and was No. 25 in the final USA Today Boys’ High School Top 25 poll. For his efforts, Brent was named the Clarion-Ledger’s Metro Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. During the 1996-1997 season, Brent led Provine to a 21-8 record and the Mississippi 5A state title game. He was selected the Clarion-Ledger’s Metro Coach of the Year, and his squad finished the 1996-1997 campaign ranked No. 2 in the state. Brent’s 1995-1996 team posted a 15-10 record and won the district championship.
Prior to his time at Provine, Brent served as an assistant coach at Tallulah High School in Tallulah, La., for one year (1991-1992). Tallulah finished the season with a 13-15 record, but won the district championship and advanced to the state playoffs.
“To my former players, guys who played with me along the way… I thank you because without you I wouldn’t have this opportunity. I’m grateful God crossed our paths and gave me the ability to lead you in the right direction.”
“I believe in staying up late and I believe in getting up early in the morning,” Brent said, describing his work ethic and what he expects from his team.
Brent is a 1989 graduate of Northeast Louisiana University, where he played two seasons for the Indian basketball program in 1987-1988 and 1988-1989. Northeast finished the 1987-1988 season with a 21-9 mark, placed second in the Southland Conference and received a National Invitational Tournament (NIT) bid. The 1988-1989 team had a 17-12 record and also finished second in the Southland Conference.
Following graduation, Brent served as a graduate assistant coach at Northeast Louisiana for two years (1989-1990 and 1990-1991). During his two seasons as a graduate assistant, the Indians posted back-to-back 20-win campaigns (23-8 in 1989-1990; 25-8 in 1990-1991), won consecutive Southland Conference titles and advanced to two straight NCAA Tournaments.
Brent holds three degrees from Northeast Louisiana University, including a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (1989), a Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance (1992) and a Master’s of Education in Health and Human Performance (1992).
Brent graduated from Provine High School in 1985 and also played three years of basketball for the Rams from 1982-1985. During his three playing years, Provine compiled a 66-28 record and won two city championships. He is married to the former Dedra Martin and is the father of Kristian Nycole (daughter) and Cameron Wayne (son).
“He’s got his priorities right. The first thing you do is thank God and family. He’s just told you how he has learned from the experiences that he’s had. It really is a privilege to welcome him to our family,” Meyers said. “It takes a strong man to say it took a lot of people to get him here today.”
Meyers also thanked Anderson for his work during his tenure. She said she could see the imprint he’d left on the student-athletes when she talked to them.
“What impresses me is that what we have here are good athletes, good scholars and good gentlemen,” she said.
Courtesy: Jackson State Sports Information