With a successful head-coaching resume and a reputation for running an attacking-style scheme, Don Brown is in his third season as Maryland's defensive coordinator.
He was hired in January 2009, coming to the Terrapins from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he served as head coach the previous five years, which included a trip to the 2006 FCS championship game.
Brown demonstrated that aggressive style over his first two seasons in College Park as the Terps scored twice on defense in 2009 (first time scoring on that side of the ball since 2006) and four more times in 2010.
The 2009 squad also posted the Terps highest sack total in five years (2.25 per game) and picked off six passes over the final four games.
After a year under Brown's direction, 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 ypg), 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.
Senior Alex Wujciak led the linebacking unit and earned All-ACC honors for a third straight season. FS Kenny Tate thrived in Brown's system, totaling 100 tackles, a league-high four forced fumbles and three interceptions en route to first team all-conference honors. DL Joe Vellano also earned a spot on the All-ACC second team.
Brown's success at Maryland is not surprising given his body of work.
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 (third in 2005; 20th in 2006; 14th in 2007). UMass was also first nationally in scoring defense in 2005 and fifth in 2006.
Brown, who oversees the Maryland defensive backs, 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 annals.
In 2006 and 2007, he led UMass to a 23-5 overall record, including a 14-0 mark at home, 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, becoming the first undefeated conference team since Villanova in 1997.
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. The Minutemen finished the season ranked No. 2 in the nation.
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.
The 2007 campaign was another historic one for the Minutemen, as UMass went 10-3 in capturing the first-ever CAA Football Championship with a 7-1 league mark. It was the 22nd overall conference crown in UMass history. UMass finished ranked No. 6 in the Coaches poll and No. 7 in the Sports Network Media poll after reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals.
After a rebuilding year in 2004, Brown had UMass ranked nationally in 2005.
The Minutemen jumped out to a 7-2 start in 2005 and were ranked as high as fifth in the nation, finishing the year 19th in the polls. UMass had the top scoring defense in the nation (13.27 points per game) en route to a 7-4 overall record, including a 6-2 mark in the A-10 North.
A number of players garnered individual success during Brown's five seasons in Amherst.
The 2006 squad featured five All-Americans and the 2007 team had a first-team All-American on the offensive line in Matt Austin and a Walter Payton Award candidate in QB Liam Coen. The defense was anchored by Buchanan Award candidate and All-American Jason Hatchell along with six other All-Conference selections.
Brown prepared a number of players for the NFL while at UMass.
During the summer of 2008, UMass had eight players in NFL training camps, including Matt Lawrence (Chicago Bears), Brad Listorti (Atlanta Falcons) and Breyone Evans (Carolina Panthers).
Brown, who led UMass to five NCAA postseason wins, has served as a head coach at three universities and been a defensive coordinator at four schools. He has a 95-45 career mark as a head coach.
Prior to his head-coaching stint at UMass, Brown led the Northeastern Huskies for four seasons (2000-03).
He led a total transformation of the Huskies' program. 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.
During the 2003 season, Brown led Northeastern to an overall record of 8-4, and a third-place finish in the Atlantic 10 (6-3 mark). The eight victories tied for the second-most in school history, while the Huskies were the only team in the country to defeat eventual national champion Delaware.
In 2002, Brown led Northeastern to its best season in school history, as the Huskies went 10-3 overall and 7-1 in the Atlantic 10. Northeastern set a school single-season record for victories, while claiming a share of the Atlantic 10 title for the first time ever. In addition, the Huskies made their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs, while playing in only the second postseason game in school history.
Brown was one of the top defensive coaches in the Northeast before his most recent two stints as head coach.
Brown served as UMass' defensive coordinator under Mark Whipple during the 1998 and 1999 seasons. He 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 as Whipple's 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.
Prior to his time at Plymouth State he was the defensive coordinator at Dartmouth (1984-86) and Yale (1987-92).
Brown began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Dartmouth in 1982 after five seasons (1977-1982) at Hartford High School in White River Junction, Vt., He moved on to Mansfield (Pa.) University as an assistant coach in 1983.
He is a 1977 graduate of Norwich University where he starred at running back and is now a member of the NU Hall of Fame. He earned his master's degree from Plymouth State in 1996.
A native of Spencer, Mass., Brown and his wife, Deborah have four children (Echo, Zachariah, Rana and Chelsea) and three grandchildren (Lola, Piper and William).
The Brown File
PersonalDate of Birth: July 31, 1955
Hometown: Spencer, Mass.
Alma Mater: Norwich `77
2011-pr: Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
2009-10: Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks
2004-08: Head Coach
2000-03: Head Coach
1998-99: Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator
1996-97: Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator
1993-95: Head Coach
1987-92: Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator
1984-86: Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator
Mansfield (Pa.) University
1983: Assistant Coach - Defensive Coordinator
1982: Assistant Coach
Hartford (Vt.) High School
1977-81: Assistant Coach/PE Instructor
1973-77: Running Back
Recruiting AreasMaryland (Frederick and Baltimore counties); Southern Florida