Longtime Washington boys basketball coach Kevin Brown is taking a medical leave of absence, according to an announcement on the school's social media.

Brown, 50, was back on the sidelines for his 15th season at the Mid-Illini Conference school after doctors gave him the OK to return to teaching in late October — almost two months after having surgery to remove a brain tumor.

“I didn’t know if I would be back coaching this season,” Brown told the Journal Star in November. “I use these kids as motivation, because I knew what I was up against."

Longtime assistant Eric Schermerhorn will act as interim coach, according to the school. The Panthers (6-17, 2-7) are coming off a 49-48 upset victory over league leader Morton. Washington is scheduled to meet Pekin on Saturday.

"While the outpouring of concern and positive messages has been such an encouragement to Kevin and his wife Jodi, they do ask for privacy at this time," the announcement read.

The school directed cards and well-wishes to be sent to the school, care of Brown at 115 Bondurant St., Washington.