LCC has yet another coach to hit a career-defining milestone.
Women’s basketball Coach Ervin Brunson registered his 300th career win after defeating the Muskegon CC Lady Jayhawks Feb. 4.
Brunson’s attention to detail, his attitude about academic priorities and an influx of basketball talent from Greater Lansing have played a significant factor in his success.
“With all the young ladies that have come through LCC, I would say that education is the main factor,” Brunson said. “A lot of these ladies have gone on to lead productive lives all because of the game of basketball.”
During Brunson’s illustrious tenure, he has led the Lady Stars to three MCCAA State Championships: in 1993, 1999 and 2006. During the 1993 season, Brunson received Region XII Coach of the Year honors.
In 1996, the Lady Stars won a Division II NJCAA National Championship under Brunson. That accolade was further punctuated with the National Coach of the Year award he claimed that season.
“I’ve never been associated with a coach that has a bigger heart than he does,” LCC Athletic Director Greg Mallek said. “He is just genuinely, in a quiet fashion, one of the most passionate people about his student-athletes that I’ve ever seen.”
Born into a big family in the borough of Brooklyn, NYC, Coach Brunson grew up in a strong household with even stronger values.
Upon graduating from high school, Brunson did a short stint at Staten Island Community College before he received a letter from Uncle Sam declaring his draft notice in 1969.
Stationed in Fort Dix, N.J., he was a standout point guard on his company’s basketball team at the two guard position. He was even selected to the All-Star team a few times.
After a coaching stop at a small school in Manhattan, Brunson enrolled at Virginia Union University in Richmond to finish his degree. That would be preceded by a job offer from a small junior college located in Southwest Michigan: Lansing Community College.
“He cares about their academic success and their life success more than he does about their basketball success,” Mallek said.
There isn’t a time limit on how much longer Brunson will be around to mold young minds on and off the floor.
“I’m working with young people, young minds that want to blossom with knowledge,” Brunson said. “I’m just one of the individuals through the years that have given them that chance.”
The Lady Stars are currently second in the MCCAA with a conference record of 11-3 and an impressive 21-5 overall record with eight wins out of their last 11 games.
With the way the Lady Stars have been playing as of late, there might be room for a banner to be hung in 2013.
“He’s all about hard work, and he teaches you how to win at the college level,” said former LCC guard and current Lawrence Tech starter Jena Repichowski. “He changed my whole mindset on the game.”
Brunson said his proudest moments while coaching are when a former player returns to share life updates about children, careers or just overcoming adversity off the floor in the game of life.
“You have coaches that tell you what to do, but for him he knows what you’re capable of,” freshman guard Dyann Wiley said. “He gives you the chance to actually show it.”