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Sept. 14 is Larry Brown’s birthday, SMU coach celebrates 72nd

Sep 14, 2012, 12:34 PM EDT

Larry Brown AP

This fall, Larry Brown will coach his first game as a college basketball head coach since Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States.

That year, he won a national championship with Kansas before moving to the professional ranks.

Now Brown, who turns 72 years old today, takes the reins of a Southern Methodist program that is entering its final season in the C-USA before moving to the Big East for the 2012-13 season.

Since taking over the program in April, he has landed a number of high-level transfers to build the Mustangs up from a team that finished 13-19 last season, including 4-12 in the C-USA.

Among those who have transferred in are Josiah Turner of Arizona (though he left to turn pro), Crandall Head from Illinois, Markus Kennedy from Villanova, and Nic Moore from Illinois State.

Sources with knowledge of the program have said that Brown’s presence has helped to change the culture at SMU, despite only being at the helm for five months.

Brown brings in two seven-footers in a solid first recruiting class, Jordan Dickerson and Blaise Mbargorba, with the class as a whole a mix of players who remain with the team after committing under former coach Matt Doherty and some secured under Brown.

The Mustangs begin their season on Nov. 11 against Loyola Marymount.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_