For the past two seasons, Kevin Broadus was content and comfortable in his role as an assistant to Maryland men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon. But a couple of mornings before the NCAA tournament’s Final Four in April, he had an epiphany about his readiness to become a head coach.
“One morning, I woke up, and I went to work, and I said, ‘You know what? It’s time,’ ” he recalled Monday morning as he was introduced as the new coach at Morgan State. “That’s when I knew that it was time, this was the place, and if I was going to do it, this is one of the best places to be and springboard again to being a head coach.”
Broadus, 55, officially became the 16th coach in school history Monday, succeeding Todd Bozeman when his contract was allowed to expire April 25. This marks the second time in Broadus’ career that he will helm a program, which he did from 2007 to 2009 at Binghamton.
Since that time, Broadus served as an assistant at Georgetown and Maryland, biding his time and refining his abilities.
“I decided to take my time,” he said. “I had to get inside my mind and my body to make sure that I was ready for it again. I didn’t want to jump into it right away. I took my time over the last 10 years to figure out what I wanted in this profession. … I was in no rush. I’ve worked at some great institutions since then. It’s been a journey. It’s been a fun journey, and I just wanted to keep it going over the next many years to take this place to where it’s been before.”
Broadus’ first shot at head coaching perhaps ended prematurely. From 2007 to 2009, he guided Binghamton to a 37-24 record and enjoyed his best season in 2008-09, when that squad went 23-8, captured the America East Conference championship and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament before falling to No. 2 seed Duke in the first round.
In September 2009, the university suspended six players from the team, and the athletic director who had hired Broadus resigned. The following month, Broadus was placed on administrative leave after reports surfaced that he had contacted a high school player during a non-contact stretch for recruiting. An investigation revealed secondary infractions by an assistant coach, but no major violations.
In October 2010, Broadus pledged to file a federal discrimination lawsuit against Binghamton and the State University of New York system that handled the investigation. Hours later, Broadus dropped the lawsuit and agreed to a $1.2 million buyout.
Broadus said he is grateful for another opportunity.
“In life, being an African-American, sometimes you don’t get second chances,” he said. “And not even just that, but [there are] a lot of men who don’t even get a first chance. So the second chance is even more rewarding because it shows that you’ve done something right in your life, and I just want to keep doing things the right way. Hopefully, I springboard this and make it work.”
Morgan State athletic director Edward Scott, who worked with Broadus when the former was a Bearcats senior associate athletic director, said he and his new colleague discussed his preparation to being the program’s “CEO,” as Scott called the position.
“I think he’s ready for another opportunity,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything for him to prove with Binghamton. I think a lot of people who weren’t intimately involved with that situation don’t really understand all of it. And I think it’s changed him as a man, to be honest. It’s changed me as a man having gone through it with him and staying at Binghamton after that. I think we’re both in different places, and I said this to Kevin. I don’t know if the 45-year-old Kevin worked with the 29-year-old AD Ed, but Kevin at 55 and me at 39, we’re both 10 years better at men. We’ve just grown in so many different ways and now to get back together where we are, I think we’re both just better for it.”
Former Georgetown coaches John Thompson Jr. and John Thompson III and former Detroit Pistons forward and McDonogh graduate DaJuan Summers attended Monday’s conference. The elder Thompson said he cherishes his role as a sounding board for Broadus.
“Kevin is one of my sons,” said Thompson, who has three biological children. “We talk all the time. In fact, most of the time, when I call him at 11 or 12 o’clock at night, he says, ‘Coach’ right away because he knows that it’s me, and I basically work at night more than anything else. We stay in touch. It’s not once a year. I always say it’s once every month or twice every month or sometimes three. It depends on if I’m happy or mad at him for something. But he’s very good.”
Bears supporters might not quibble with Broadus’ history if he can restore the luster the basketball program has lost over the past several years.
In Bozeman’s first eight years, Morgan State amassed a 143-116 overall record and an 86-40 mark in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, enjoying five winning seasons. The program claimed league tournament championships in 2008-09 and 2009-10 en route to berths in the NCAA postseason and played in four other conference tournament finals.
But since 2014-15, the school limped to records of 52-102 overall and 33-47 in the MEAC, sliding to sub-.500 records each winter. The Bears have not made a trip to the league tournament title game in that span, with their best finish coming in the semifinals in 2017-18.
“We don’t want to be the All-Airport team,” Broadus said of the moniker attached to players who look impressive walking through airports wearing their school-issued gear but don’t produce on the court. “We want to have those guys that play 94 feet. We’re going to play tough, and we’re going to be physical. We’re going to be very precise on offense.”
To that end, Broadus, who has built a solid reputation in recruiting circles, had already scheduled a practice for the Bears for Monday afternoon.
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“I just want to know who’s all-in,” he said. “We don’t want to have guys with one foot in and one foot out. We want guys that are going to have two feet in, and I just want to have a feel for what these guys want and who wants to be here and who wants to be part of a champion.”