Former Houston head coach Alvin Brooks enters his eighth season as assistant coach with the University of Houston Men’s Basketball program in 2017-18. It also will be his 20th season associated with the Cougars.
In 35 years on the sidelines, Brooks has competed in 19 postseason tournaments as a coach or player. He has guided 16 players who competed in the NBA with a dozen more players playing professionally overseas.
Brooks assists Head Coach Kelvin Sampson in all aspects of the program, including recruiting, practices and opponents’ scouting. This will be his third season to serve on Sampson’s staff.
During his tenure, the Cougars have enjoyed success in the classroom as well. Eleven student-athletes have been named to the conference All-Academic Team for posting a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
Houston also has been active in the local community. Since arriving at Houston, Brooks and the Cougars have served Thanksgiving lunches to Star of Hope Mission residents, assisted in the unloading of more than 22 tons of pumpkins for a local church’s fundraiser, moved furniture and equipment for local residents’ Extreme Home Makeover and conducted a Texas Special Olympics event inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
RETURN TO HOUSTON
In 2016-17, the Cougars enjoyed their second straight 20-win season and competed in the NIT for the second straight year, a first for the program since 2005 and 2006.
Brooks helped lead the Cougars to a 22-10 record in 2015-16 – only the 15th 22-win season in program history – and a berth in the NIT for the first time in a decade.
In 2014-15, Houston overcame injuries throughout the season to win their final three regular-season games and upset Tulane in the First Round of the American Athletic Conference Championship. The Cougars also enjoyed a win against defending national champion UConn inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
During the 2013-14 season, the Cougars knocked off eventual national champion UConn in a New Year's Showdown inside Hofheinz Pavilion in the inaugural American Athletic Conference game for both programs.
The Cougars went on to record three wins against nationally ranked opponents, the program's highest single-season total since 1983-84.
In 2012-13, Brooks helped lead the Cougars to a 20-13 record -- the program's first 20-win season since 2009 -- and a berth in the College Basketball Invitational quarterfinals following a thrilling 73-72 win against Texas inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
In 2011-12, Brooks helped guide the Cougars to wins against Arkansas and NCAA Tournament participant Southern Miss.
Through his work with the Cougar backcourt, guard Jonathon Simmons was named to the RAMADA College Classic All-Tournament Team and was named the Conference USA Player of the Week in late February 2012.
Off the court, four Cougars earned places on the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll with cumulative GPAs of 3.0 or higher.
On the recruiting side, Brooks played a key role in the Cougars' award-winning signing class which ranked among the nation's top 25 by several national media organizations.
Returning to Houston in 2010-11, Brooks helped lead the Cougars to 12 wins, including a 76-71 upset of No. 19/18 UCF at Hofheinz Pavilion early in the Conference USA season.
Guard Zamal Nixon was named to the league's All-Defensive Team and ranked third nationally with a 92.2 free throw percentage.
DISTINGUISHED COACHING CAREER
However, the 2010-11 season was the not first time that Brooks worked with the Cougars. He served as the head coach at Houston from 1993 to 1998, becoming the first African-American head coach in program history and one of the nation's youngest head coaches at that time.
During his head coaching tenure, he led the Cougars to a 17-10 overall record and second-place finish in the Southwest Conference in 1995-96. The Cougars also enjoyed a pair of wins against nationally ranked teams that season against No. 3 Memphis and No. 19 Tulsa in double overtime.
Following his head coaching stint at Houston, Brooks served as an assistant coach at Texas Tech (1999-01) -- where he worked on Dickey's staff -- North Texas (2001-03), UTEP (2003-04) and Texas A&M (2004-07).
Before rejoining the Cougars, Brooks worked as the director of operations at Kentucky from 2007 to 2009.
In 1986, he first began his career at the University of Houston as an assistant coach. In seven seasons, he helped lead the Cougars to a 142-73 overall record with three NCAA Tournament appearances and three NIT berths. The Cougars also swept the 1992 Southwest Conference regular season and SWC Postseason Classic championships.
Brooks began his coaching career as an assistant at Lamar in 1982. In five seasons on the sidelines with the Cardinals, he helped guide the program to a combined 115-44 record, two Southland Conference championships and five postseason tournament appearances.
Before joining the coaching ranks, Brooks was an award-winning player in college and high school. As a senior at Houston's Wheatley High School, he averaged 25.9 points and 9.0 assists per game on the way to earning All-City honors.
He began his collegiate career in record-setting fashion at Sam Houston State, where he set the Bearkats' single-season record with 165 assists and was named the Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year. He also received All-Lone Star Conference Honorable Mention after averaging 14.2 points and 5.2 assists per game.
Following his freshman season, he left SHSU and competed at Henderson County Junior College, leading the team to a 20-8 record as a sophomore.
Transferring to Lamar, Brooks was the starting point guard for two NCAA Tournament teams that posted a combined 47-6 record. As a junior, he led the 10th-seeded Cardinals into the Sweet 16 with a win against No. 5 Oregon State.
As a senior, he was an All-Southland Conference Second-Team selection after setting school records for single-game assists, season and career.
Brooks is a 1982 graduate of Lamar with a bachelor's degree in life and earth science with a minor in physical education.
Following his collegiate playing days, he was selected in the 10th round of the 1981 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs.
He and his wife Richelle have five children: daughter Andree and sons Casey, Julian, Vincent and Alvin III. The family lives in Houston.
His son Alvin III is an assistant coach at Baylor.