Brownell resigns at UNCW to take Wright St. job

Updated: April 1, 2006, 5:30 PM ET
Associated Press

FAIRBORN, Ohio -- Brad Brownell resigned as UNC Wilmington's basketball coach Friday to take the job at Wright State.

Brownell spent four seasons as head coach at UNC Wilmington, leading the Seahawks to two NCAA Tournaments and an 83-40 overall record. He met with Wright State athletic director Michael Cusack on campus Thursday.

This year, the Seahawks (25-8) blew an 18-point second-half lead before losing to George Washington in overtime in the first round of the Atlanta Regional. Brownell's team shared the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season title with Final Four participant George Mason before winning the league tournament.

The 37-year-old Brownell also served as an assistant at UNC Wilmington from 1995-2002, becoming head coach when Jerry Wainwright left for Richmond.

"This has been a very difficult decision for me to make," Brownell said in a statement, "however, I feel it is in the best interest of my family, my career, and myself to pursue a new opportunity."

Wright State had been looking for a coach since March 13, when Paul Biancardi resigned after the NCAA barred him from recruiting until October 2007 for violations when he was an assistant at Ohio State. Biancardi denied any wrongdoing.

Biancardi was hired at Wright State in April 2003 and led the Raiders to a 14-14 record in his first season. Wright State finished this season 13-15 and lost in the first round of the Horizon League tournament to Illinois-Chicago.

Mike Capaccio, athletic director at UNC Wilmington, said Friday that the school would begin its search for Brownell's replacement immediately.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press