Stephen Brennan arrived at Babson College as an assistant men’s basketball coach in 1989, the same year that exactly zero of his current players were even alive. He would become head coach after six seasons under Serge DeBari and has since racked up the most wins in school history. Despite a successful 19-year run with the Beavers, the former Bates College player remained in pursuit of the first Final Four in program history, one that eluded them during a Sweet 16 run in 2002 and three other NCAA Tournament appearances (1996, 2004, 2014)
That elusive Final Four finally came this year, in his 20th season, with Babson set to face Augustana on Friday evening. Brennan has already won three more games this season than any of his previous 19 years as head coach and is currently riding a 17-game winning streak, having not lost since a mid-January defeat at home to WPI.
Before the highly respected coach leads his “united” team into Salem Civic Center this week, we caught up with him for a brief Q&A.
Who is the most dangerous player remaining in the tournament (not including anyone on your team)?
Hunter Hill, Augustana
What is the most important non-basketball message you will preach to your team in the days leading up to the Final Four?
Energy and Focus – It is easy to get caught up in the euphoria of earning the right to compete in the Final 4. That being said one cannot just “be happy to be in Salem” and lose sight of the fact that we, as a team, must embrace the moment and play better basketball this weekend as each of these teams has advanced because they are playing well now.
One word to describe your team?
One word to describe your Final Four opponent, Augustana?
What is something that fans would be surprised to know about this season?
Early on in NEWMAC Conference play we were on a winning streak and Boston Celtics Head Coach, Brad Stevens, reached out to me via email and has been checking in ever since to acknowledge the teams efforts. Despite having DePauw as an alma meter he has become a “Beaver Believer!”
Trade places with one of the other Final Four coaches for 1 day. Who and why?
Bob Semling (UW-Stevens Point) to learn about their tradition of excellence. The success of the Pointers is well known and whenever possible I study and try to learn why coaches, programs and people are successful both in and out of the sports world.