By Evans Clinchy
April 19, 2012

It's official -- Hall of Fame basketball coach Larry Brown is coming out of retirement at age 71 to become the next head coach at Southern Methodist University, according to ESPN.

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to coach at SMU," Brown said in a statement. "I've built so many relationships in the basketball world and my success has been due to the coaches I've played for and the players I've coached. ... I always thought of myself as a college coach, and this gives me a wonderful chance to get back where I started."

It's Brown's first venture into the college game in 24 years -- he walked away from the Kansas Jayhawks after winning a national championship in 1988, and he's been in the NBA ever since. He last coached at the pro level with the Charlotte Bobcats, who fired him on Dec. 22, 2010 after getting off to an ugly 9–19 start.

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