Baylor broadcaster says Cats fans will love Alvin Brooks III

Published 4:45 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2024

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Kentucky native John Morris has been the signature voice of Baylor athletics for almost 30 years and while he’s broadcast 11 different sports at Baylor, he’s now the full-time play-by-play announcer for Baylor football and men’s basketball.

Obviously Morris was intrigued when Kentucky made an offer to Baylor men’s basketball coach Scott Drew after John Calipari left UK for Arkansas. Drew turned the job down.

However, Kentucky does have a Baylor coach on the basketball coaching staff now after Mark Pope hired Baylor assistant Alvin Brooks III as UK’s associate coach, a move that somewhat surprised Morris.

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“We thought we would lose him to a head coaching job at some point but I didn’t think we would lose him this way,” said Morris, Baylor’s assistant athletics director for broadcasting. “But who would not be interested in the Kentucky job.”

Morris is a Louisville native who graduated with honors from Danville High School in 1977. He graduated from Baylor in 1980, his wife graduated from Baylor in 1985 and he’s had three children graduate from Baylor.

Morris calls Brooks a “really good recruiter” for Baylor during his eight years as Drew’s top assistant that included the 2021 national championship season.

“I cannot say specifically which players he was responsible for getting to Baylor but he was really good on the recruiting trail and I am sure he will be the same way at Kentucky,” Morris said.

“He is not a real outgoing person but he is very genuine and I think that obviously comes across very well with recruits. Coach Drew is so over the top and outgoing that others just fall in line behind him but AB3 has a really good personality and is just so honest and genuine.”

Morris noted that Drew has been successful developing head coaches. Jerome Tang went on to become head coach at Kansas State and beat UK in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Matthew Driscoll is now the head coach at North Florida, while Paul Mills is the head coach at Wichita State.

“AB3 has been here eight years and I had no doubt he would become a head coach. He was the associate coach here. He’s ready to be a head coach,” Morris said. “I know he wants to be a head coach, so putting Kentucky on your resume helps check a lot of boxes when somebody is looking for a head coach.

“I don’t think he was antsy about being here for eight years and not being a head coach yet. He could have stayed here a long time and been very happy but he just could not pass up the chance to go to Kentucky for various reasons. He’s a really good man that I think Kentucky fans will really enjoy.”

One off-court factor that helped solidify Brooks’ decision to come to UK was his visit to Lexington when he checked on potential schools for his two autistic sons.

“He wanted to see if there was a school and personnel that could provide a good place for his boys. That was very important to him,” Morris said.

His father, Alvin Brooks II, spent two years in Lexington on UK coach Billy Gillispie’s staff. He’s been gone from Lexington for 15 years but told his son he was sure “people there could provide a good support system and really help develop his boys” a lot.

“Even if it is a good basketball job and move, if it is not a good move for your family you don’t leave,” Brooks II, the head coach at Lamar, said. “That’s what I believe and he and his wife feel the same. At the end of the day your family is what you have to take care of first and he certainly knew that when he made his decision.”