Hagerstown Community College officials announced Wednesday that the school’s basketball court and first floor arena space will be named after former athletic director and men’s basketball coach Jim Brown, a leading advocate for the facility.
Although the court will be known as the “Coach Jim Brown Court and Basketball Arena,” the building that houses the basketball court will still be known as the Athletic, Recreation and Community Center, Elizabeth K. Stull, HCC’s director of public information, said Wednesday.
Stull said details are still being worked out regarding appropriate signage reflecting the new name for the basketball court and once that and other work is completed, the school will decide on a dedication date for the naming of the court.
Stull said she expects Brown to be at the dedication, where school officials are planning for testimonials to be made in his honor.
“I tell you what, naturally I’m honored,” Brown said when contacted later Wednesday.
Brown reflected on the work that went into the development of the ARCC and how it was a controversial project at the time. Brown said some critics of the facility said it was not needed and he said it was nearly as controversial as today’s debate about a baseball stadium in downtown Hagerstown.
HCC did not have a lot of money when ARCC was being planned and $4.5 million for facility came from the county and $1 million came from the state, said Brown, adding that there were elected officials who put their careers on the line for the facility.
“It was not a one-man project, I can tell you that,” Brown said.
“Coach Jim Brown made many significant contributions to HCC over the years and the board feels that naming the court in his honor is an appropriate way to recognize him,” HCC Board Chair Greg Snook said in Wednesday’s release.
During his 23-year career at HCC, Brown had a record of 517 wins as the men’s head basketball coach and he originated the Hawk Booster Club, which has been instrumental in raising funds in support of HCC athletics. In 2002, Brown retired and was given the title of emeritus director of athletics and the ARCC.
School officials also said Wednesday that a display case showcasing documents and other items that acknowledge Brown’s contributions to HCC will be placed in the ARCC.