HomeNcaafootballNCAA UMass hires Don Brown: Longtime defensive coordinator returns for second stint as Minutemen coach TV Chennel

NCAA UMass hires Don Brown: Longtime defensive coordinator returns for second stint as Minutemen coach TV Chennel

UMass hires Don Brown: Longtime defensive coordinator returns for second stint as Minutemen coach

NCAA UMass hires Don Brown: Longtime defensive coordinator returns for second stint as Minutemen coach TV Chennel

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USATSI

Massachusetts announced Monday that legendary defensive mastermind Don Brown, who made a name for himself leading Michigan’s defense from 2016-20, has been hired as head football coach of the Minutemen. Brown replaces Walt Bell, who went 2-23 in two-plus seasons before the school fired him earlier this month

Brown is a familiar face for the program. He went 43-19 in his first stint as coach of the Minutemen from 2004-08. That included FCS playoff appearance in 2006 and 2007. They fell to Appalachian State in the championship game in 2006 and lost in the quarterfinals to Southern Illinois the following year. 

“I am honored to return to Amherst and lead the football program at the University of Massachusetts again,” Brown said. “I promise to work tirelessly to make this program into something that our players, alumni and fans can be proud of. My focus will also be to develop our student-athletes so they can play at an elite level and achieve success, which requires building great relationships and having a tremendous work ethic. I can’t wait to get back to the Commonwealth and get to work.”

Brown’s defenses at Michigan were some of the best in the country. The Wolverines finished with the best unit in the nation in 2016 (261.8 yards per game), No. 3 in the country the following year (271 YPG), No. 2 in 2018 (275.2 YPG) and No. 11 in 2019 (307.2 YPG). He’s spent the 2021 season as the defensive coordinator at Arizona under first-year coach Jedd Fisch. 

“I am very pleased that we are able to bring Don and his family back to UMass. Coach Brown’s remarkable coaching expertise and familiarity with our program and the Northeast makes this a perfect fit,” said UMass athletic directory Ryan Bamford. “Don is a phenomenal recruiter, talent developer and connector. We will benefit from his football acumen, strong leadership qualities and his fierce intensity and desire to build our growing FBS program into a perennial winner.”

In his other stints as head coach, Brown led Plymouth State to a 25-6 record from 1993-95 and went 27-20 at Northeastern from 2000-03.


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