STORRS, Conn. (WWLP) - A former UMass football coach is going to Connecticut after all. UConn hired Don Brown to be its defensive coordinator on Friday. Brown left the same post at the University of Maryland.
There is some irony here. Former Connecticut coach Randy Edsall, who is now the coach at Maryland, originally planned to keep Brown on his staff.
Also, UConn nearly hired former UMass coach Mark Whipple to be its head coach, but after contract negotiations fell through, the Huskies settled for Paul Pasqualoni.
Below is the official release from the University of Connecticut:
Don Brown, who has served as the head coach at three different schools in New England and has been the defensive coordinator at Maryland for the past two seasons, has been named the defensive coordinator at the University of Connecticut.
Brown, a Spencer, Mass. native, was the head coach at Massachusetts (2004-08), Northeastern (2000-03) and Plymouth State (1993-95). He led UMass to the 2006 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision finals and has a career record of 95-45 as a collegiate head coach.
"I am happy to have the opportunity to be coaching back in New England at the highest level at the University of Connecticut," says Brown. "My family is in New England and I am looking forward to being there. I am excited in working with Coach Pasqualoni and his tremendous defensive experience will only help me learn and grow as a coach.
"We will have a defensive that is aggressive, fast and physical. I believe in big pressure and penetration and that is what I am going to give the UConn defense. I am excited to get to the campus and work hard to get better every day."
In his two seasons at Maryland, the defense improved significantly in nearly every statistical category. The Terps ended 2010 ranked No. 38 nationally in scoring defense (22.2 points per game), No. 39 in total defense (352.3 yards per game), No. 21 in rushing defense (124.5 yards per game), ninth in pass efficiency defense (107.6 rating) and tied for 18th in turnovers gained (29). The Terps also broke up 58 passes which doubled their total from 2009.
The 2009 squad posted the Terps highest sack total in five years (2.25 per game) and picked off six passes over the final four games.
"I am tremendously excited for the University of Connecticut and our football program to bring Don Brown to the UConn family," says head coach Paul Pasqualoni. "Don is a man of great character and has an exceptional football background, including 12 years as a head coach.
"He is a teacher, a coach and has been involved in the highest levels and academics and athletics. Don is a great addition to our staff in terms of the approach we will take with our student-athletes in the University of Connecticut football program."
During his tenure at UMass, the Minutemen maintained one of the top defensive units in the nation. They finished among the top 20 in total defense in three of his five seasons and UMass was also first nationally in scoring defense in 2005.
Brown led UMass to its best five-year span in program history as the Minutemen finished with 43 wins in his tenure, the third-highest total in school history. His winning percentage (.694/43-19) is tops in UMass history.
In 2006 and 2007, he led UMass to a 23-5 overall record as the Minutemen earned NCAA FCS postseason berths both years, while winning consecutive conference titles. Brown led UMass to the 2006 national championship game after capturing the Atlantic 10 title with a perfect 8-0 record. UMass tied the school record for wins in a season with a 13-2 record and set a school-mark for wins in a row with 12.
Brown was recognized nationally and regionally for the team's accomplishments. He was named the 2006 AFCA Region I Coach of the Year, 2006 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year and 2006 New England Football Coach of the Year.
Prior to his head-coaching stint at UMass, Brown led the Northeastern Huskies for four seasons (2000-03). After taking over a team coming off a 2-9 record, with just two winning seasons in the previous 12 before his arrival, Brown led Northeastern to a 27-20 mark. The Huskies posted winning records each of his last two seasons, going a combined 18-7 during that span.
In 2002, Brown led Northeastern to its best season in school history, as the Huskies went 10-3 and made the school's only appearance in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs.
Brown was one of the top defensive coaches in the Northeast before his most recent two stints as head coach. He served as UMass' defensive coordinator during the 1998 and 1999 seasons and helped UMass to two of the best seasons in school history, as the 1998 team posted an overall record of 12-3 and won the Division I-AA national championship,
During the 1996 and 1997 seasons, Brown served the defensive coordinator at Brown University.
Brown also served as a head coach at Plymouth State (1993-95) where he posted a 25-6 mark (.806), leading the Panthers to a pair of Division III playoff appearances.