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Welcome back to New England, Coach Brown!

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

A heartfelt congratulations to Coach Don Brown, former Defensive Coordinator for the Arizona Wildcats, who has accepted the UMass Amherst head coach position for the 2022 season. Coach Brown is a clinic favorite and will be returning to our speaking lineup in March.

Here is the full text of the recent Boston Herald article about Brown's return to New England.

Don Brown is the exception to the notion that “you can never go home again.”

UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford announced Monday that Brown, the current Arizona Wildcats defensive coordinator, will be the Minutemen’s head football coach in 2022.

The position became available when Walt Bell was dismissed Nov. 7 after a loss to Rhode Island. UMass closes out the season at New Mexico State on Saturday under interim coach Alex Miller.

Brown, 66, will be making his second stop in Amherst. UMass was an NCAA Division I-AA program, the precursor to today’s FCS, when Brown led the team from 2004 to 2008, the most successful stretch (41-19) in school history.

UMass has made significant upgrades to McGuirk Stadium and its football facilities since becoming an FBS program in 2012. UMass has been an FBS Independent since 2016.

“I am honored to return to Amherst and lead the football program at the University of Massachusetts again,” said Brown in a prepared statement. “I promise to work tirelessly to make this program into something that our players and alumni and fans can be proud of.

“My focus will be on developing student-athletes so they can play at an elite level and achieve success, which requires building great relationships and having a tremendous work ethic.”

A Spencer native, Brown’s coaching roots run deep in New England. He was head coach at Plymouth State (1993-95) and Northeastern (2000-03) before coming to UMass. He also had stints as a defensive coordinator at UConn (2011-12) and Boston College (2013-15). He also served in that capacity at Maryland (2009-10), Michigan (2016-20) and Arizona (2021).

While at Michigan, the Wolverines finished among the top 12 in the nation in total defense from 2016 to 2019 and reached No. 1 in 2016. Michigan led the nation in pass defense in 2016 and 2017.

At BC, Brown developed defensive end Harold Landry (Titans) into an All-American and FBS sacks leader in 2016 while sending several defensive backs to the NFL. Brown built his resume on an aggressive defensive mastermind that earned him the nickname “Dr. Blitz.”

“I am very pleased that we are able to bring Don and his family back to UMass,” said Bamford. “Coach Brown’s remarkable coaching experience and familiarity with our program and the Northeast makes this a perfect fit.

“Don is a phenomenal recruiter, talent developer and connector. We will benefit from his football acumen, strong leadership and his fierce intensity and desire to build our growing FBS program into a perennial winner.”

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