COVINGTON -- Making hard decisions is not anything new for Alcovy basketball coach Eugene Brown. But leaving a program he started for Southwest DeKalb was one of the most difficult decisions Brown had to make.
"It happened just out of the blue. After the season you're always looking to see what's out there as far as opportunities that pique your interest. This one definitely piqued my interest," he said.
Initially, Brown just inquired about the position and went through the motions of the interview process. The powers that be must have liked what they heard because an offer was made right away.
"I thought about it for about a week to decide if I wanted to go back to DeKalb County and leave the situation I have here, which is very good," Brown said. "They've been very good to me and I've enjoyed it. I have some pretty good kids coming back."
A major aspect that helped Brown come to a decision was because of the region the school is in. Seven of the past nine state champions came from the same region as Southwest DeKalb. Brown also came from that region before becoming Alcovy's first and only head coach seven years ago.
Of course that doesn't mean Alcovy's current region or its situation lacks tough competition.
"There's competition out here too. The team coming back for Alcovy is very young but the guys got a lot of experience last year so that's a positive," he said.
"But it's another challenge and I love challenging situations. That is much more of a challenge than the challenge facing Alcovy because the level of great teams in that region and what that region has done is much more challenging. Like trying to unseat Miller Grove or Tucker. It's that challenge that pushed me over the edge because I'm always looking for something that will get me going. That was a big factor."
Several players have come up to what is soon to be their former coach as word started spreading. But he has met with the players as a unit. While he is sure that some players will be disappointed in his decision, he also knows that others understand.
"Sometimes change is good for the kids," Brown said. "I wish them the very best because I know with all the playing time they got last year they'll be ready to go. Somebody is going to walk into a very good situation."
As Alcovy's only basketball coach so far, Brown has done a lot over the past seven years. He started a program with nothing but a plan and a dream. He led those that were brave enough to follow him to a region championship, a region runner-up and a trip to the Elite Eight. The only thing that escaped Brown was a trip to the final four and a state championship.
"When I first came out there I was told a certain thing by some people in the community about the type of kids we'd be getting. But all those kids did everything we asked them to do. They worked extremely hard and dispelled all the rumors that were out there about them and their toughness, their competitiveness and their commitment," Brown said. "They rose to the occasion and forced me to take my game to another level as well. We had a blueprint as to what we wanted to do and how we wanted to get it done. We stuck with it and followed it.
"I'm really proud of what we've done out there. We could've had a better record or won a state championship but the things we did over the past seven years can't be erased. I'm really proud of their accomplishments."