Introducing Kip Drown: New women’s basketball head coach

Robert George

Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein introduced 27-year coaching veteran Kip Drown as the seventh head coach in the women’s basketball program’s history Tuesday afternoon.

“After an extensive national search we felt Kip Drown has qualities we look for in a head coach, a proven record of success and a significant number of post season appearances. Once we got into the process, Drown’s name jumped to the top of the list,” Kleinlein said. “We welcome the Drown family to Eagle Nation.”

Drown coached at Southwest Baptist from 1988 to 1994 and at Georgia Southwestern from 1994 to 2001. Drown coached the Hurricanes to five NAIA Tournament appearances and five 20-win seasons in his seven years with GSW.

He also coached at Grand Canyon, where he helped turn around a program that had won just four games the season before his arrival. He led the ‘Lopes to a 16-12 record in his first year as head coach, which was enough to get him CCAA Coach of the Year for his work.

He then took the head coaching position at CSU-Pueblo, a Division II school in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Drown led them to a 19-12 record in his first season as head coach. He went on to lead the Thurderwolves to seven NCAA Division II tournaments in his ten seasons with the program. His team won four conference tournaments and received at large bids in the other three seasons. The Thunderwolves won three straight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships from 2008 to 2010. His final record with CSU-Pueblo is 195-100 (.661).

“Today is the start of a new era in women’s basketball here at Georgia Southern,” Drown said. “I spoke with the players this morning. We are gonna work hard, and put a great product on the floor and something that the entire University can be proud of.”

His ability to turn around struggling programs will be invaluable in his first season with the Eagles. The Eagles have struggled the past few years, and went 23-68 in the past three seasons. They are coming off an 8-25 season, including just a 2-18 mark in the Sun Belt which tied them with South Alabama in last place in the conference. The Eagles ranked in the bottom in multiple statistical categories, including last in scoring margin, tenth in scoring defense and ninth in scoring offense.

“The passion at the university in terms of athletics and academics is one of excellence. The record is not what we wanted it to be in the last couple of years,” Drown said.

The Eagles were a very young team last year, and graduated just one senior. The team will be returning four starters and will have a year of Sun Belt experience under their belt. That being said, Drown is still focused on recruiting.

“That’s our top priority right now,” Drown said. “Assessing what we have coming back and what we want to bring in. Any time there’s a coaching change you’re going to be behind a little bit. But we’re going to bring in the best players we possibly can to help us build this program.”

Drown is excited about bringing his family back to Georgia and is ready for the challenge of Division 1 competition as well.

“This is like coming home for us,” Drown said. “It’s not just a basketball thing, it’s like a family thing. I’ve always wanted to coach Division 1. I’ve always had that drive and desire to coach at this level.”

Most importantly, Drown is excited about the opportunity and is ready to begin working immediately. Behind schedule and with a struggling program, Drown will have his work cut out for him. But he is up to the task.

“When this press conference is over, we’re gonna get to work,” Drown said. “This is the last fun thing we get to do. It’s gonna get hard, but we’re gonna get to down to work.”