Cornell hires Princeton assistant Brian Earl to be Big Red’s next head coach

Brian Earl takes over as the 22nd head coach in Cornell men’s basketball history. (

Cornell Athletics announced Monday that it has hired Princeton assistant coach Brian Earl to be its next head coach, replacing Bill Courtney, who was fired last month, in the position.

Earl became associate head coach in 2015 and had been an assistant under two head coaches for the past nine seasons at Princeton, which he graduated from in 1999. According to Princeton Athletics, Earl’s Ivy League peers voted him as the league’s top assistant coach in a November 2010 poll, and Earl served another five years as assistant under Mitch Henderson, who was promoted to head coach following Princeton’s 2010-11 Ivy League Championship under then-head coach Sydney Johnson.

Earl was Ivy Player of the Year for the 1998-99 season and won Ivy championships as a player in his freshman, sophomore and junior campaigns. Earl played in more winning games (95) than any player in Princeton history.

“Brian Earl was chosen from a large pool of very qualified candidates to lead the Cornell basketball program to sustained success on the court and in the classroom,” Cornell Athletic Director Andy Noel said in a statement. “Brian’s experience as a coach and record-setting player in the Ivy League has provided him with the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve success at Cornell. He is a strong X’s and O’s tactician who also excels at recruiting and skill development. He also fully understands the challenges student-athletes face at an elite academic institution. I could not be more excited for our players and fans regarding the future of Cornell basketball.”

Cornell went 60-113 since 2010 under Courtney, who was an assistant at Virginia Tech at the time of his Big Red hire, following the program’s string of three Ivy titles from 2007-08 through 2009-10 under current Penn head coach Steve Donahue.

3 thoughts on “Cornell hires Princeton assistant Brian Earl to be Big Red’s next head coach”

  1. Rats. I was hoping he’d be in the pool for Dartmouth. Have you guys heard anything about how that search is progressing? HoopDirt listed several assistant and associate head coaches last week, two of them (Shaun Morris, currently at BU, and Dane Fischer, currently at George Mason) with Williams ties from Dartmouth AD Harry Sheehy’s era there.

  2. Brian Earl is as tough and as smart a basketball mind as they come. Truly one of the all-time Tiger greats. Losing him to Cornell hurts but he has earned a HC job.


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