Ann Arbor, Mich. — University of Michigan J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach Jim Harbaugh announced Monday (Dec. 21) the hiring of Don Brown as defensive coordinator. Brown will start his appointment with the program after the conclusion of the bowl season.
“We are very pleased and happy to announce that our top candidate and number one choice, Don Brown has accepted our offer to become defensive coordinator,” said Harbaugh. “After a very thorough search and talking with those I respect the most in this game, including Jack Harbaugh, John Harbaugh, Bill Belichick, Bob Sutton, Vic Fangio and others, it led me to Don Brown. Everything he has touched has turned to gold. Just look at his track record as a head coach, defensive coordinator and even as a baseball coach. We are beyond excited to welcome this high character, high achieving individual to our program and university. Teaching and player development are synonymous with coaching and Don Brown epitomizes those qualities.”
Brown spent the past three seasons coordinating the defense at Boston College (2013-15). His 2015 defense currently leads the nation in eight defensive categories – total defense, rushing defense, scoring defense, red zone defense, first down defense, third down defense, fourth down defense and tackles for loss – and lists second in pass defense and pass efficiency defense.
Brown was named the 2015 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year. He was nominated for the Broyles Award which honors the nation’s top assistant in college football the past three seasons.
A long-time collegiate coach, Brown brings 34 years of experience to Ann Arbor, including 21 years as a defensive coordinator and 12 seasons as a head coach. He was the defensive coordinator for two seasons at the University of Connecticut (2011-12) and the University of Maryland (2009-10). Brown also coordinated defenses at Mansfield (1983), Dartmouth (1984-86), Yale (1987-92), Brown (1996-97) and Massachusetts (1998-99).
He spent 12 seasons as a head coach at three institutions – Plymouth State (1993-95), Northeastern (2000-03) and Massachusetts (2004-08). Those teams compiled an impressive 95-45 record, with five conference titles and six playoff appearances.
A native of Spencer, Mass., Brown was a running back at Norwich University (1973-76). He earned a bachelor’s degree from Norwich in 1977 and his master’s degree from Plymouth State in 1996. Brown was inducted into the Norwich University Hall of Fame in 2007.
Brown and his wife, Deborah, have four children – Echo, Zachariah, Rana and Chelsea – and 10 grandchildren.