Photos from the 2008 UMass Hockey/Pond Club Golf Tournament at The Orchards Golf Club
Resigned as UMass head coach on January 9, 2009 to take position as defensive coordinator at Maryland
Don Brown has continued UMass' championship tradition in his four years as the Minutemen's head coach. The Massachusetts native has led the Maroon & White to back-to-back conference titles and consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Over the last two years, UMass is undefeated at home (14-0), while posting a 23-5 overall record and a 15-1 conference record. Brown has coached 37 all-conference selections over the last two years, by far the most of any coach in the league.
UMass' 36 wins over the last four years under Brown equal the best four-year span in UMass program history. Brown was named the 27th head coach in the 125-year history of the UMass football program on February 9, 2004. Brown returned to UMass after four seasons as the head coach at Northeastern University. Recognized as one of the top defensive minds in college football, he previously served as defensive coordinator for the Minutemen during the 1998 and 1999 seasons. He played a key role in the 1998 NCAA Championship.
Brown has a 88-40 (.688) career mark, including a 36-14 (.720) mark in his four seasons at the helm of UMass. He coached his 100th career game in the 2005 regular-season finale at Hofstra.
Brown heads into the 2008 season tied for third in career wins in UMass history with 36. He is behind Vic Fusia (59) and Dick MacPherson (45). Brown is tied at 36 with Bob Pickett and Jim Reid entering the season. With his .720 win percentage, he is easily the school's winningest coach in terms of career percentage.
Coming off the 2006 NCAA Championship game appearance, the 2007 campaign was another historic one for the Minutemen, as UMass went 10-3 in capturing the first-ever CAA Football Championship with a 7-1 league mark. It was the 22nd overall conference crown in UMass history, the most of any team in league annals. UMass finished ranked No. 6 in the Coaches poll and No. 7 in the Sports Network Media poll after reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals.
UMass continued to show its well-rounded team in 2007 as the Minutemen set a school record for total offense per game with more than 400 yards per contest. The Minutemen also led the CAA in scoring defense (19.2) and total defense (309.6 yards per game). That defense was anchored by Buchanan Award candidate and All-American Jason Hatchell along with six other All-Conference selections including first-teammers David Burris, Courtney Robinson, Sean Smalls and Charles Walker.
On the offensive side, UMass had a first-team All-American on the line in Matt Austin. He was joined by All-CAA picks in quarterback Liam Coen, tailback Matt Lawrence, receivers J.J. Moore and Rasheed Rancher as well as linemen Sean Calicchio and Nick Diana.
Coen, who was a Walter Payton Award candidate, continued to set nearly every UMass passing record. In 2007, he became the school's all-time leader in passing yards, attempts, completions and touchdowns.
UMass had eight players in NFL training camps in 2008 including recent grads Lawrence with the Chicago Bears, Brad Listorti with the Atlanta Falcons and Breyone Evans with the Carolina Panthers.
The 2006 season was one to remember for Brown. Brown led UMass to the national championship game after capturing the Atlantic 10 Championship with a perfect 8-0 record, becoming the first undefeated conference team since Villanova in 1997. UMass tied the school record for wins in a season with a 13-2 record and set a school-mark for wins in a row with 12. The Minutemen finished the season ranked No. 2 in the nation.
UMass also set a school record for wins at home, going a perfect 8-0 at McGuirk Stadium. That came along with record crowds as close to 12,000 fans came out each game. UMass had its first sellout since 1973 when 17,000 packed McGuirk for the New Hampshire playoff game on Dec. 2, 2006.
Brown was recognized nationally and regionally for the team's accomplishments. He was named the 2006 AFCA Region I Coach of the Year, 2006 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year and 2006 New England Football Coach of the Year. In leading UMass to the 2006 A-10 crown, Brown became the second coach to win the A-10 title with two teams leading the Minutemen to the crown this year after his title at Northeastern in 2002. Jim Reid was the first coach to do so at UMass and Richmond. Brown coached a conference record 20 Atlantic 10 selections in 2006 in leading the Minutemen to the title game. UMass featured five All-Americans in guard Austin, tailback Steve Baylark, linebacker Hatchell, safety James Ihedigbo and center Alex Miller. Baylark made history as he became just the third player in I-AA/FCS to rush for more then 1,000 yards in four different seasons with Austin, Miller and All-Conference guard David Thompson blocking for him.
A defensive mastermind and architect of the defense that led UMass to the 1998 National Championship, the 2006 UMass team led the nation in scoring defense until the final game, finishing fifth, giving up just 13.3 points per game. UMass ranked in the top three in the conference in six major defensive categories, leading in pass efficiency defense and net punting. Nationally, the Minutemen ranked in the top 20 in nine statistics including the top 10 in scoring defense, net punting and pass efficiency. UMass' defense flourished in the playoffs as it did not allow a point in the second half of its first three playoff games. The Minutemen posted two shutouts of conference teams in the same season for the first time since 1979.
UMass players reaped the rewards of the sensational season as five players were signed or invited to NFL training camps: Baylark (Arizona Cardinals), Ihedigbo (New York Jets), Brandon London (New York Giants), Miller (Detroit Lions) and Thompson (St. Louis Rams).
In 2005, Brown led the Minutemen to the nation's top scoring defense as UMass allowed just 13.27 points per game. As UMass posted a 7-4 overall record and 6-2 in the A-10 North. The Minutemen led the Atlantic 10 in five defensive categories including scoring defense. They also led in net punting (38.35) - which led the nation; total yardage defense (261.18) - which ranked third nationally; passing defense (145.09)-- which ranked fifth nationally and pass efficiency defense (106.83). On the offensive side, UMass' line allowed the fewest sacks in the A-10, just 1.0 per game, which was eighth in the nation.
The Minutemen jumped out to a 7-2 start in 2005 and were ranked as high as fifth in the nation, finishing the year 19th in polls. UMass' best win came over No. 4 James Madison and catapulted UMass to a No. 5 national ranking. The Minutemen also beat ranked Rhode Island and Delaware teams. The win at the Blue Hens, was their worst home loss in 20 years, a 35-7 Minuteman win.
UMass featured two All-Americans and 10 All-Atlantic 10 players. Punter Christian Koegel was named the A-10 Special Teams Player of the Year as well as a Walter Camp first-team All-American. Safety Shannon James was named a consensus first-team All-American for the second year in a row as well as being a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award - as the top defensive player in Division I-AA -- for the second year in a row. Joining Koegel and James on the A-10 First Team were Baylark, Miller and defensive end Keron Williams. James, Williams and the versatile R.J. Cobbs were all invited to NFL training camps in 2006.
In his first season back with UMass as head coach in 2004, Brown led the Minutemen to a 6-5 record winning four of the last five games. UMass' late-season run elevated them to a second place finish in the Atlantic 10's North Division. Included in the 4-1 stretch to close out the season was a 26-22 win at Northeastern, which was an emotional game for Brown, as he had recruited nearly every player on the Huskies' roster. The Minutemen knocked off three teams ranked in the top 20 during the season including No. 4 Colgate, No. 7 New Hampshire and No. 19 Maine. The win over UNH, was the 500th win in UMass football history
Under Brown's guidance, James was named a consensus first-team All-American and Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of Year as well as being a finalist for the Buchanan Award. James led the nation in interceptions as a junior and finished his career in 2005 with more interceptions than any player in the nation at the time. The Minutemen led the Atlantic 10 in pass efficiency defense while the offensive line led the country in fewest sacks allowed per pass attempt (giving up nine on 344 pass attempts) as Baylark led the conference in rushing.
Over his four seasons at Northeastern (2000-03), Brown led a total transformation of the Huskies' program. After taking over a team coming off a 2-9 record, with just two winning seasons in the previous 12 before his arrival, Brown led Northeastern to a 27-20 mark during his four seasons. The Huskies posted winning records each of his last two seasons, going a combined 18-7 during that two-year span, and made the program's first-ever NCAA playoff appearance.
During the 2003 season, Brown led Northeastern to an overall record of 8-4, and a third-place finish in the Atlantic 10 Conference with a 6-3 mark in league games. The eight victories tied for the second-most in school history, while the Huskies were the only team in the country to defeat eventual national champion Delaware, posting a 24-14 victory over the Blue Hens on November 8. Brown had Northeastern ranked at or near the top of the Atlantic 10 in several statistical categories, including total offense (first / 431.8 yards per game), scoring offense (second / 34.5 points per game), scoring defense (third / 18.2 points per game) and total defense (fourth / 338.2 yards per game). The Huskies finished the season ranked 20th in the nation. In 2002, Brown led Northeastern to its best season in school history, as the Huskies went 10-3 overall and 7-1 in the Atlantic 10. Northeastern set a school single-season record for victories, while claiming a share of the Atlantic 10 title for the first time ever. In addition, the Huskies made their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs, while playing in only the second postseason game in school history.
Northeastern ended the year leading the Atlantic 10 in scoring offense (31.0 points per game), while ranking second in scoring defense (16.0 points per game) and third in total defense (299.3 yards per game). After the Huskies finished the season ranked 11th in the country, their highest-ever season-ending ranking, Brown received several coaching honors. He was selected as the 2002 Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year, the 2002 New England Football Writers Coach of the Year, and the 2002 American Football Coaches Association Region I Coach of the Year.
During his first two seasons at Northeastern, Brown laid the groundwork for the success that would follow in 2002 and 2003. During his first year, in 2000, the Huskies posted an overall record of 4-7, including an impressive 35-27 road victory over Division I-A Connecticut. In 2001, Brown's squad improved to 5-6 overall with a 4-5 mark in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Huskies finished the 2001 season ranked in the league in total defense (322.3 yards per game), pass defense (159.8 yards per game) and turnover margin (+0.6 turnovers per game).
Prior to his time at Northeastern, Brown served as UMass' defensive coordinator under Mark Whipple during the 1998 and 1999 seasons. He helped UMass to two of the best seasons in school history, as the 1998 team posted an overall record of 12-3 and won the Division I-AA national championship. The 1999 season was also a successful one, as the Minutemen went 9-4 overall, claimed a share of the Atlantic 10 title with a 7-1 mark in league games, and made a second straight trip to the Division I-AA playoffs. UMass' 21 victories during Brown's two years as defensive coordinator set a school record for most wins during any two year-span.
During the 1996 and 1997 seasons, Brown served as Whipple's defensive coordinator at Brown University. In 1997, the Bears posted an overall record of 7-3, matching the school's best record in 20 years. In addition, Brown's 1997 defense led the nation with a school record 28 interceptions, while ranking second in the country in takeaways (36) and holding opponents to just 19.4 points per game.
From 1993-1995, Brown spent three seasons as the head coach at Plymouth State (N.H.) College. He led the Panthers to a pair of Freedom Conference titles in 1994 and 1995, while posting an overall record of 25-6 (6-4 in 1993, 10-1 in 1994 and 9-1 in 1995). Brown was named Freedom Conference Coach of the Year during each of his three seasons, and led Plymouth State to a pair of Division III playoff appearances in 1994 and 1995. In addition, he was named the American Football Coaches Association District I Coach of the Year in 1994.
A native of Spencer, Mass., Brown began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Dartmouth in 1982, helping the Big Green to the Ivy League title. He moved on to Mansfield (Pa.) University as an assistant coach in 1983, before returning to Dartmouth as defensive coordinator from 1984-1986. Brown then served as defensive coordinator at Yale from 1987-1992, helping lead the Elis to the 1989 Ivy League crown. His coaching career started at Hartford High School in White River Junction, Vt., where he served as an assistant football coach and physical education instructor from 1977-1982.
The 53-year old Brown (born July 31, 1955) is a native of Spencer, Mass., where he graduated from David Prouty High School. He is a 1977 graduate of Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., where he starred as a running back for the Cadets' football team. He went on to earn a master's degree from Plymouth State College in 1996.
Brown and his wife, Deborah, reside in South Hadley. The couple has four children: Echo, Zachariah, Rana and Chelsea. Brown became a grandfather for the first time on November 4, 2004, as Lola was born prior to the game at Northeastern. He welcomed his second grandchild Piper in 2008.
Brown's Year-By-Year Head Coaching Record Overall Conf. Conf. Year School Record Pct. Record Pct. Place Accomplishments 1993 Plymouth State 6-4 .600 5-1 .857 2nd 1994 Plymouth State 10-1 .909 6-0 1.000 1st NCAA Division III Quarterfinals/ Freedom Conference Champions 1995 Plymouth State 9-1 .900 7-0 1.000 1st NCAA Division III First Round/ Freedom Conference Champions 2000 Northeastern 4-7 .364 1-7 .125 10th 2001 Northeastern 5-6 .455 4-5 .444 6th 2002 Northeastern 10-3 .769 7-1 .875 1st NCAA Division I-AA First Round/ Atlantic 10 Conference Champions 2003 Northeastern 8-4 .667 6-3 .667 3rd 2004 Massachusetts 6-5 .556 4-4 .500 2nd 2005 Massachusetts 7-4 .636 6-2 .750 2nd 2006 MASSACHUSETTS 13-2 .867 8-0 1.000 1st NCAA FCS Championship Game/ Atlantic 10 Conference Champions 2007 MASSACHUSETTS 10-3 .769 7-1 .875 1st NCAA FCS Quarterfinals/CAA Champions Career 11 Years 88-40 .688 61-24 .718 Five Conference Titles/Five NCAA Berths