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BC Coach Candidate Profiled: Don Brown

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What could a Don Brown return mean for BC?

Ohio State State v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Most BC fans will recognize the name Don Brown. After all he coached at Boston College for three seasons during and during that time he put together a defense that in 2014 was 21st best in the country and and 4th best in the country the following year. This success followed him to Ann Arbor, where the Wolverine have not had a defense ranked outside the top 20 since Brown’s arrival.

That time at BC only makes up a small fraction of his coach resume. Brown has been coaching since 1977 when he was as an assistant at Hartford High School in Vermont. Since then he has been at Dartmouth twice as an assistant then a defensive coordinator, Mansfield, Yale, Plymouth State, where he was a head coach, Brown, UMass twice, once as a defensive coordinator and once as a head coach, another head coaching stint at Northeastern, Maryland, UConn, then Boston College, and now Michigan. As a head coach Brown was 95-45 and won nine conference titles. Even the great Bill Belichick eyed Don Brown at one point for a coaching position on the Patriots.

Now, many Eagles fan (this writer included) almost certainly thought of Don Brown at least once as soon as they heard of the firing of Steve Addazio, because during his tenure Brown’s defenses were arguably the highlight of the BC program. Andre Williams and Don Brown were the best things BC had going on at the time. And there are a lot of reasons Brown would work at BC. First off it isn’t like it’d be uncharacteristic for Brown to return to a school he left. Brown was a coordinator at UMass, left, and then returned to become head coach. At Dartmouth before that he started as an assistant, left, and came back as a coordinator. Who’s to say he wouldn’t do that at BC?He is very familiar with the New England area and he has a track record of rebuilding defenses. Defense is definitely an area where the Eagles need to improve. Brown’s style of defense is defined by aggression. During his first two years on the hill Brown’s defenses produced thirty plus sacks in both seasons. BC’s defense so far this year has produced 16 total sacks. I imagine he’d leave the offensive responsibilities to an offensive coordinator so his impact on that side of the ball would probably not be that noticeable.

The biggest complaint about Addazio was his lack of offensive innovation. Don Brown will not solve that, not on his own at least. He will solve the defense’s problems but unlike Addazio, I don’t think Bill Sheridan is the problem...for now. We all knew this defense was an inexperienced and untested group before the season started. This should’ve been a great year for BC’s offense with the talent they had and that potential was never realized because Steve Addazio never allowed it to be. Don Brown will make the defense better and will give his offensive coordinator (whoever that may be) the freedom Addazio never did. That just means that we then after to wonder who that offensive play-caller will be. I’m not sure that the offensive game-plan would change that much under Brown. Defensive head coaches often love to run the ball, often love to have nice long possession so they can rest their defenses.

Something else for the comment section to debate about is what would Don Brown want out of being BC’s head coach?

And I’m not talking about money. BC is not competing for a playoff spot in the next 5 years. Now Michigan might not be either but their chances are a lot better than BC’s. BC is not Michigan. Maybe it could be, but it needs a coach who wants to build it into that. Is Don Brown, at age 64, that guy? Does he just want the job so he could be a coach of a power five school? I don’t know. Did he not have any head coaching offers after he left BC? Were they not big enough? Why has he only had 3 head coaching jobs?

I’m sorry if this seemed like I was bashing Don Brown because that’s not my intention. I’m supposed to be profiling the coach and from what I see, I think these are the question Eagles fan should be asking themselves.