After eight seasons, Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick Brown said farewell and resigned as UNC Asheville women’s head basketball coach. Taking her place will be former Associate Head Coach Honey Brown.
“Honey’s work ethic and integrity are unmatched in this profession. Honey is a strong yet compassionate leader and her players will benefit not only from her expertise but from who she is as a person,” Kirkpatrick said.
Kirkpatrick made history during her time at UNCA. In the 2015-16 season, the team brought home a Big South conference title with a 26-7 record. That season Kirkpatrick was named Big South Conference Coach of the Year. The following season, 2016-17, the team won the conference title again. Both seasons the Bulldogs earned a spot in the NCAA tournament.
Kirkpatrick graduated from Tuscola High School with a 4.2 grade-point average. She went on to play basketball at Wake Forest University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s of arts degree in history and sociology and also received a master’s of arts and education. Before coaching at Asheville, she was an assistant at Georgia Tech, UNC Charlotte and The University of Florida.
“I know that she will not only build on what we’ve done in the past, that winning tradition but take us on new roads and new heights,” said Athletic Director Janet Cone.
Brown worked with Kirkpatrick for all eight years. During her first six seasons at Asheville, Brown was the assistant coach. In 2018, Brown was named the associate head coach. Now, Brown is the 11th head coach for the basketball program.
“My goal for our players and our staff is to create a great work ethic, tremendous energy and an aggressive mindset every day in life, but especially every time we step out on the court,” Brown said.
While being the associate head coach for the past two seasons, Brown was able to recruit all of the current players. During a press conference, Brown spoke on how excited she is about this new opportunity and how she will continue to build the program. Brown mentioned she and Kirkpatrick became great friends and she is appreciative of all of the opportunities Kirkpatrick has given her.
Brown played Division III at Maryville College. During her junior year, she was ranked third in the nation for her 3-point percentage. After graduating in 1994, Brown worked for Saint Louis, Ohio University and Central Florida as an assistant prior to joining the Bulldog family.
“Honey was always a coach on the floor when she played for me at Maryville College. Fundamental, high basketball IQ, hard-working, unselfish and a winner! All these qualities will serve her well as head coach,” said NC State women’s Head Coach Wes Moore.
In December of 2018, Kirkpatrick married Jeremy Brown, a professor at UNCA. Now that Kirkpatrick will be putting coaching aside, Jeremy will be at Virginia Tech working toward his doctorate.
With a final farewell, Kirkpatrick left the program with two conference titles, two NCAA appearances, 117 wins, 2015-16 Coach of the Year and HERO Sports Coach of the Year.
“This has truly been the most rewarding and fulfilling time of my life,” Kirkpatrick said. “To the players both current and past and UNC Asheville alumni, you are my biggest reason. It was a privilege to be your leader and friend and I thank you for the blessing you were in my life.”