I don't know about anyone else, but this kind of came out of left field for me.
Three weeks after pulling out of the running for the head coaching vacancy at Yale, Don Brown pulled out of his position as UMass coach to become the defensive coordinator at the University of Maryland.
In five years as UMass head coach, Brown reached the national championship game in 2005, made another playoff appearance in 2007 and finished his tenure with a 43-19 overall record.
UMass athletic director John McCutcheon released a statement earlier today.
"We want to thank Don Brown for his contributions to the University of Massachusetts and the athletic department as the head coach of the Minutemen," McCutcheon said. "He has prepared us for great success in the future. We wish him good luck in his new endeavors. A national search for his successor is already underway."
Brown also released a statement.
"I am extremely proud of my time at UMass. "During the five-year period we experienced tremendous success as a football family. I am proud of the fact that our senior class was the winningest in the history of UMass football," Brown said.
Big shock, especially after the defense did so well against Nevada. I was expecting Seamo to get at least an elongated interview process.
There is a catch here: the school is yet to officially recognize the hiring. There's been no comment from Maryland about this yet, so maybe there's a misunderstanding somewhere. You'd expect the school to announce something like this pretty early.
This is definitely a strange hire, at least from my perspective. It seems almost...Cosh-ian, at least in terms of me thinking "Who?". Had the hire come a few years ago, I would feel better. In 2006 and 2005, his teams allowed only 13.3 ppg. But last year, he gave up 26.8 ppg, and his team only finished 7-5. Yes, the stats did seem to increase once it was his own players playing, so it's not a good indication if he does end up taking over Cosh position recruiting. He's never had any major (read: 1A) coaching experience, at any level in an organization. He's coached at Northeastern and Plymouth State in addition to his time at UMass, but never any FBS experience.
To be fair, he did lead the Minutemen to a 43-19 record in his time there, which isn't shabby. In fact, it was the best stretch in program history. Oh, and in 2006, he won a ton of awards, including four coach of the year honors. He runs a 4-3 defense (no LEO, perhaps?!) and is known for being somewhat of a defensive mastermind. I'm going to do some more snooping around before I come to a decision and have a bigger post.