Northern Arizona basketball coach resigns

Mike Adras resigned Friday as Northern Arizona’s basketball

coach.

Athletic Director Jim Fallis said 70-year-old Dave Brown will

serve as interim head coach while a search for a permanent

replacement is conducted.

Brown is a member of the NAU Athletics Hall of Fame and former

head coach of the school’s women’s basketball team and the Yavapai

College men’s team. He served as a color commentator for NAU’s

basketball broadcasts for the past three seasons.

”It’s tough that it’s this time of the year,” Fallis said. ”I

think we are fortunate with a young staff to have somebody with the

experience and the knowledge and the capability of Dave Brown to

step in on an interim basis.”

Players were informed of Adras’ departure before practice Friday

afternoon.

”I’m shocked,” point guard Stallon Saldivar said. ”We weren’t

expecting that at all. We were just going through our daily

routine, came in and (they) broke the news. We were just

speechless; nobody knew what to do. I had no idea what was going

on.”

Brown met with players immediately before running his first

practice and will direct the Lumberjacks (2-7) Saturday night

against Cal State Bakersfield. He started Yavapai College’s men’s

basketball program in 1970 and was 85-100 in seven seasons as the

NAU women’s basketball coach from to 1983-90.

”I’m no savior,” said Brown, who also served as NAU’s interim

athletic director in 2004. ”I’m no big guy who is going to turn

everything around. We’re just going to try to reinforce the

positives and teach.”

Adras compiled a 193-170 record in 13 years as head coach at

NAU. He led the Lumberjacks to their second NCAA tournament

appearance in his first season and ranks third on the Big Sky

Conference wins list with 99 conference victories.

He served as an assistant for seven years at the school and

assumed the head coaching position in 1999 when current UCLA coach

Ben Howland left for Pittsburgh.

Adras did not address the team Friday, according to players and

administrators.

”I am proud of what my team has built at NAU and of our student

athletes,” Adras said.

Fallis said the university will begin searching for a permanent

coach immediately.

”In order to keep some continuity in the program and also

remain competitive, obviously we’re going to want a coach in place

as quickly as possible,” Fallis said.