Rick Brunson, who has been the boys’ basketball coach at powerhouse Camden High since 2019, has resigned his position, according to the school district.
Brunson led the Panthers to a 73-4 record in his three seasons, and with standout guard DJ Wagner, they won the Group 3 state championship in March.
“Coach Brunson provided many of our students and scholar athletes with guidance, coaching, mentorship, and support throughout their high school journey,” superintendent Katrina McCombs said in a statement. “The lessons and experiences derived from Coach Brunson’s dedication and leadership will positively impact our students for years to come. Once again, thank you, Coach Brunson, and we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”
Those future endeavors would appear to be a return to the NBA for Brunson, who played nine seasons in the league for eight teams, including the New York Knicks. The Knicks are finalizing a contract with Brunson to become an assistant coach, according to an SNY report. The deal would reunite him with head coach Tom Thibodeau, who previously had Brunson as an assistant during stints with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls.
Brunson, 49, played college basketball at Temple, where he met his wife, Sandra. Their son Jalen became one of Villanova’s most celebrated players, winning two national championships with the Wildcats. Jalen, now a free agent, played the most recent NBA season with the Dallas Mavericks.
At Camden, Brunson’s coaching kept the Panthers in the top echelon of high school sports.
“He was everything we needed ... for a job like this,” Camden athletic director Mark Phillips said in a statement.
Phillips will help oversee the program while a search to find the next coach is initiated.