Brannen tabbed associate head coach; DeNeen named new strength and conditioning coach
John Brannen just completed his fourth season on the Alabama coaching staff in 2013. Following the season, head coach Anthony Grant promoted Brannen toassociate head coach after serving the previous four seasonsas the program's assistant coach and recruiting coordinator - the same role he served with Grant in three seasons at VCU.
Brannen has been a big part on assisting the Crimson Tide to three consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since the 1990, 1991 and 1992 campaigns - a span of just over 20 years. This past year, he helped lead UA to a 23-13 overall record (12-6 SEC) as the squad reached the quarterfinals of the NIT and finished in second place in the SEC. It marked the third consecutive season the Tide has reached the postseason.
In 2012, Brannen assisted in directing the Crimson Tide to the NCAA Tournament, which had not been done since the 2006 season. Additionally, Alabama finished with a 21-12 mark and an SEC West Division title.
In Brannen's second season at Alabama (2011), he helped guide the Tide to a 25-12 record and an appearance in the NIT championship game and an SEC Western Division crown. Along the way, the Tide's defense became one of the best in the nation while making Coleman Coliseum one of the most hostile home courts in the country with UA posting a 19-0 record at home.
His efforts in recruiting have also drawn national acclaim as he helped the Tide land the nation's No. 5 recruiting class in 2011. Furthermore, he recruited and signed Alabama's 10th McDonald's All-American in 2012 (Devonta Pollard).
Since 2006, Brannen has been a member of the prestigious Villa 7 consortium, which brings together the country's elite assistant basketball coaches in an effort to prepare the next generation of college basketball leaders
In addition to his recruiting duties, Brannen focuses on player development, scouting and game preparation. He works particularly close with the Crimson Tide perimeter players.
During his time at VCU (2007-09), he helped coach the Rams to three straight conference titles and postseason appearances including two NCAA Tournaments.
At VCU he continued to develop his reputation as one of the nation's premier recruiters in landing a recruiting class that was ranked in the top 20 nationally in 2007. He followed that up with a 2008 class that was ranked third among mid-major programs by rivals.com and a 2009 class that was ranked fifth. In fact, his 2008 class made up the starting five of VCU's memorable Final Four run in 2011.
In addition to recruiting the Rams' championship teams, he helped coach the program to a 76-25 record in his three seasons with 12 players earning All-Colonial Athletic Association honors including two-time CAA Player of the Year Eric Maynor.
Brannen joined Grant at VCU after spending three seasons in the same capacity at St. Bonaventure, where he was the architect of the program's world-wide recruiting plan to help rebuild the Bonnies' program. In his first recruiting season, Brannen helped add six new student-athletes to the rapidly growing St. Bonaventure program.
Before his stint at St. Bonaventure, he was the top assistant at Eastern Kentucky for three seasons. While there, he recruited back-to-back classes that were ranked in the top 100 nationally, including the school's all-time leading scorer. He was also responsible for academic mentoring, scheduling, the program's summer camps, along with strength and conditioning.
He also spent a season at the University of Charleston, helping coach the squad to a 28-4 record and an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament.
A 1996 graduate of Marshall University with a degree in business management, Brannen played under Anthony Grant who was an assistant at Marshall at the time. A standout on both the court and in the classroom, he was a Rhodes Scholar finalist that received postgraduate scholarships from both the NCAA and Southern Conference.
Athletically, he led the SoCon in scoring his senior season (1996-97) by averaging 20.9 points per game and was named the league tournament MVP. He began his collegiate career at Morehead State before transferring to Marshall where he scored 1,008 points in just two seasons.
Following graduation from Marshall, he played two seasons professionally in Belgium's First Division, earning all-star honors and serving as a player-coach. Originally hailing from Covington, Ky., Brannen is married to the former Lisa Elswick. The couple is parents of twin daughters Jaylee and Katelyn.