Brian Stewart is in his second season as Maryland’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach.
Under his direction, the Terrapin defense has become one of the most dominate pass rushing teams in the country this season. In 13 games, the Terps had 37 sacks, the most sacks in single season since Maryland recorded 38 in 2001. The unit tied for third in the ACC and its 2.85 sack per game average is tied for 18th nationally.
In his first season in College Park, Stewart oversaw a remarkable turnaround of the defense. His unit finished the 2012 season ranked second in the ACC and 21st in the nation in total defense (336.8 ypg), second in the ACC and 26th nationally against the run (129.3 ypg) and third in the ACC and 32nd nationally in pass defense (207.5 ypg). The Terrapins also held five of their opponents under 100 rushing yards, a feat that only happened once in 2011.
A former NFL defensive coordinator, Stewart came to Maryland after a two-year stint with the Houston Cougars, who ended 2011 with a 13-1 record and a No. 14 ranking in the final USA Today poll.
Stewart oversaw a Cougars defense which was one of the best in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in 2011, ranking in the top 15 in five categories: red-zone scoring (second - 67 percent), interceptions (t-third - 21), tackles for loss (sixth - 7.7 per game), turnovers gained (t-10th - 31) and opponent passing efficiency (12th - 111.75 rating).
After taking hold of Stewart’s aggressive 3-4 scheme, Houston also improved from 96th nationally in scoring defense (32.2 points per game) in 2010 to 35th (22.4) in 2011.
Marcus McGraw totaled 141 stops in 2011 to set a school record for career tackles (509) and Sammy Brown finished the year with 30 tackles for a loss (a school record), including 13.5 sacks (second on the all-time Houston list). Brown led the FBS in TFL (2.1 per game) en route to All-America honors.
Another reason for Houston’s defensive improvement was the play of cornerback D.J. Hayden. The junior-college transfer was named the 2011 Conference USA Newcomer of the Year after posting 11 pass breakups, two interceptions and five forced fumbles. Hayden was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the first round (12th overall) of 2013 NFL Draft.
Stewart went to Houston after an eight-year run as an NFL assistant, including two years (2007-08) as the defensive coordinator with Dallas, where he guided the Cowboys to two top-10 rankings in fewest yards allowed. While in the NFL, Stewart helped his players make 14 Pro Bowl appearances.
The Cowboys led the league with 59 sacks in 2008 and ranked third in that category in 2007 (46). An NFL-best five Cowboys defenders (DeMarcus Ware, Roy Williams, Greg Ellis, Ken Hamlin and Terence Newman) earned Pro Bowl selections after the 2007 campaign.
Stewart spent the 2009 season as a defensive special assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he coached the NFL’s top cornerback interception tandem of Asante Samuel (nine) and Sheldon Brown (five). Samuel led the league in interceptions in 2009 and was named to the 2010 Pro Bowl.
Stewart served as the secondary coach with the San Diego Chargers for three seasons (2004-06). During his final year, the Chargers posted a 14-2 record and ranked seventh in the NFL in scoring defense (18.9 points allowed per game), while cornerback Quentin Jammer had a career-high four interceptions.
Stewart began his NFL career as an assistant defensive backs coach with the Houston Texans (2002-03).
Before joining the professional ranks, Stewart spent his first nine years of coaching at the collegiate level.
He served as the defensive backs coach at Syracuse in 2001 when he helped lead the Orange to a 10-3 overall record and No. 14 ranking in final Associated Press poll.
Stewart also coached the secondary at San Jose State (1997-98) and Missouri (1999-2000).
Stewart also mentored Missouri all-league free safety Julian Jones, who had a Big 12-best six interceptions in 1999.
A former college cornerback and free safety with Northern Arizona and Santa Monica City College, Stewart earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from NAU in 1995.
His first coaching position came as offensive assistant at Cal Poly, where he worked with the wide receivers in 1993 and running backs in 1994, when the Mustangs won the American West Conference title.
The native of West Covina, Calif., also coached tight ends at Northern Arizona University (1995) and was a graduate assistant at Missouri (1996).
Stewart is involved with a number of off-the-field endeavors. He is the president of the Urban Football Coaches Association which conducts an annual coaching clinic in Los Angeles.
He attended Nogales High School in La Puente, Calif., and annually conducts a free, one-day football camp there for kids 7-19. He also serves as host for ASR - a sports retreat for minority coaches and administrators.
Stewart and his wife, Kimberly, have three daughters: Leila, Mya and Zara.
The Stewart File
Date of Birth: Dec. 4, 1964
Recruiting Area• Primary: Upstate New York, Texas and junior colleges