Ben Braun

Ben Braun (born November 25, 1953)

Teams coached: Eastern Michigan Eagles, California Golden Bears, Rice Owls
Current conference: Missouri Valley Conference (MVC)
Eastern Michigan record: 185-132 (.584)
California record: 219-154 (.587)
Rice record: 63-128 (.330)
Overall record^: 615-517 (.543)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  8  (1988, 1991, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  2  (1991, 1997)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:  0
  • NIT Championships:  1  (1999)
  • NIT Appearances:  4  (1995, 1999, 2000, 2008)
  • CIT Appearances:  1  (2012)
  • MAC Regular Season Champion:  3  (1988, 1991, 1996)
  • MAC Tournament Champion:  3  (1988, 1991, 1996)


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

2008-2014 Rice
1996-2008 California
1986-1996 Eastern Michigan
1985-1986 Eastern Michigan (assoc. HC)
1977-1985 Siena Heights

Ben Braun Facts

  • Benjamin Abraham Braun
  • Born November 25, 1953
  • Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
  • Alma Mater: University of Wisconsin (BA, 1975) / Siena Heights University (MA, 1980)
  • Raised in a Jewish family, attending New Trier HS in Winnetka, IL; father is Academy Award-nominee film producer Zev Braun
  • Played three seasons at Wisconsin under head coach John Powless; spent two years as a high school assistant in Racine, WI after graduation
  • Spent eight years as the head coach at NAIA Siena Heights University in Adrian, MI, going 148-103 overall during that time; Braun was inducted into the Siena Heights Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999
  • Became the associate head coach to Jim Boyce at Eastern Michigan in 1985, then took over as head coach a year later
  • Took over the Cal program in 1996, leading the Bears to the Sweet Sixteen in year one and winning the NIT title in 1999
    • Won 219 games, went to five NCAA Tournaments and three NITs in twelve seasons as the Cal head coach
    • Fired in 2008 after losing in the NIT second round; left with more postseason appearances and wins than any coach in program history
  • Coached the Rice Owls for six seasons from 2008 to 2014, improving the team to 17-15 in his fourth season but ultimately resigning in 2014 following two straight single-digit win seasons
  • Along with his wife, Jessica, has one son and one daughter

Ben Braun Coaching Tree

  • Gus Argenal (Cal State San Bernardino, Cal State East Bay)
  • Keith Dambrot (Duquesne, Akron, Central Michigan)
  • Dennis Gates (Missouri, Cleveland State)
  • Stan Heath (Eastern Michigan, Lakeland Magic, South Florida, Arkansas, Kent State)
  • Billy Kennedy (Texas A&M, Murray State, SE Louisiana, Centenary)
  • Shantay Legans (Portland, Eastern Washington)
  • George Nessman (San Jose State)
  • Joe Pasternack (UC Santa Barbara, New Orleans)
  • Alex Pribble (Idaho, Saint Martin’s WA)
  • Charles Ramsey (Eastern Michigan)
  • Al Sandifer (Siena Heights)
  • Damon Stoudamire (Pacific)
  • Carl Thomas (Cleary)
  • Gary Waters (Cleveland State, Rutgers, Kent State)


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at both the NCAA Division I and NAIA levels