Brown fired as coach of BayRunners

Assistant Truax takes reins of struggling team

February 16, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

In the wake of a 15-point loss Sunday in Richmond, the BayRunners fired coach Herb Brown yesterday, citing a need to turn things around.

Assistant coach Terry Truax will serve as head coach for the remainder of the season. Sam Worthen will remain as an assistant coach.

The BayRunners (10-20) hold the last playoff spot in the Eastern Division of the International Basketball League by two games over the Rhythm. But the team is 1-4 in its last five games, including a home loss to St. Louis last Friday in which it trailed by as many as 30.

"I just don't know if the proper flow was found," BayRunners president Greg Smith said. "It's just as much everyone's fault. The flow in the organization wasn't found. The flow on the court wasn't found.

"As it is in sports, it's easier to make one change and see where that goes than to make 12 changes."

A subdued Truax talked yesterday about the joy of becoming a professional head coach and the sadness of how it came about.

Truax, who became the coach at what is now Towson University in 1983 and compiled a 202-203 record over 14 seasons, said he will always be appreciative to Brown for the chance to serve on his staff.

Truax found out the news yesterday morning, then went on to lead one of the more spirited practices of the year.

"This is a very different experience for me," Truax said. "I've been a head coach. Everybody wants to be a head coach. But you don't want to be a head coach under these circumstances at the expense of a friend."

Now, Truax has the task of turning around a franchise that has not played well in stretches this season.

The BayRunners have a losing record at home (8-10) and have turned over more than half of their roster since training camp.

Brown constantly tried to find the right mix of players, trading away Lloyd Daniels for LaMarr Greer and shuffling players at a high rate.

"For some reason, our players seemed as though they were afraid to make mistakes," Truax said. "I won't say they were intimidated. But we're going to make mistakes. It's how you overcome the adversity and play well."

Truax's first test will come tomorrow and Saturday with home games against New Mexico.

BayRunners forward and leading scorer Rodney Elliott said he expects to see a more energized group than the team that has played recently under Brown.

The players, all of whom found out about the firing at practice yesterday, had mixed reactions to the news.

"Some guys were shocked, others just took the news," Elliott said. "I think it's a good thing that we don't have to start all over again now that coach Truax is in charge. I expect this will rejuvenate us. Coach Truax will make things a lot simpler."

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