ARIZONA FOOTBALL

Arizona Wildcats DC Don Brown hired as next UMass head coach

Nov 22, 2021, 8:59 AM | Updated: 9:03 am
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Arizona Wildcats defensive coordinator Don Brown has accepted the head-coaching position at UMass and will depart his current job after a year working under head coach Jedd Fisch.

The Minutemen made the hire of Brown, who previously was head coach at the school from 2004-08, on Monday morning.

The Wildcats (1-10) will finish the year at Arizona State on Saturday. Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel reports Brown is expected to coach Arizona for its season finale.

“I am honored to return to Amherst and lead the football program at the University of Massachusetts again,” Brown said in a release. “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.”

In his two stops before joining the Wildcats, Brown helped turn around Boston College’s defense in 2013-15 before his arrival under head coach Jim Harbaugh at Michigan in 2016. Led by Brown, the Wolverines maintained a top-five defense in terms of yards allowed per game until 2020.

Fisch and Brown became familiar with one another in 2016, when the former served as Michigan’s passing game coordinator, quarterbacks coach and wide receivers coach.

Michigan went 2-4 in 2020 and fired Brown after the team slipped to 89th by allowing 434.5 yards per game.

Brown, 65, has spent most of his coaching career out east, serving as head coach at UMass (2004-08), Northeastern (2000-03) and Plymouth State (1993-95).

“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 director Ryan Bamford in a statement.

“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.”

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