Auburn, Ala.--It didn't take long for Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele to find their guy to replace Wesley McGriff and he comes from the Southeastern Conference. Coaching the defensive backs last season at Missouri and with 36 years of experience, veteran Greg Brown arrives on the Plains with significant experience at the collegiate and pro levels.
“I’m excited to welcome Greg Brown, who is one of the best defensive backs coach in all of football to our staff at Auburn,” Malzahn said on Saturday evening. “Greg has coached three Thorpe Award winners and has a strong proven track record of developing players at both the college and professional level.”
Coaching Jim Thorpe Award Winners (Deon Figures at Colorado in 1992, Chris Hudson at Colorado in 1994, and Gerod Holliman at Louisville in 2014), Brown has coached 15 All-Americans during his 19 years of college experience with stints at Missouri, Louisville, Alabama, Colorado and Arizona in the last 11 years. That included being the defensive coordinator or co-coordinator both with the Buffaloes and the Wildcats. Under Brown's tutelage the Wildcats were ranked 33rd in the nation in total defense and held five opponents to 14 points or less during the year.
He also has an extensive National Football League background as well with 15 seasons in that league and even two in the USFL to his credit.
In his accomplished career at the collegiate and pro level Brown has mentored outstanding players in the secondary like All-Pro Rodney Harrison with the San Diego Chargers and outstanding NFL players like Scott Case, Lance Shulters, Kevin Ross, Merton Hanks, Samari Rolle, Blaine Bishop and Marcus Robinson. During one of his three stints at Colorado, Brown guided Deon Figures to the Jim Thorpe Award in 1992. Overall, he has coached five all Big Eight or Big 12 performers, six draft picks and 15 NFL All-Pro performers.
He also tutored a pair of young cornerbacks in Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown, with Smith a two-time All-Big 12 performer. In 2005, Brown wrapped up his fourth and final year as a defensive assistant with the NFL's New Orleans Saints under coach Jim Haslett. The Saints 2005 pass defense ranked third in the entire NFL, allowing only 178 yards per game.
Together at Alabama in 2013 when Brown coached future first rounder Haha Clinton-Dix, Brown is already very familiar with Steele and said he's looking forward to working with the Tigers.
“I’m extremely excited to come to Auburn and have the opportunity to work for Gus Malzahn and on the defensive side of the ball with Kevin Steele,” Brown said. “Auburn has a great football tradition built on hard work and toughness. I can’t wait to get to Auburn to help continue to build upon that success.”
Brown has spent the last 11 years at Power Five schools coaching defensive backs with stints at Missouri, Louisville, Alabama, Colorado and Arizona. Prior to that he had a 12-year run coaching the secondary with five different NFL franchises. In all, Brown has 19 years of college coaching experience and 17 years of professional experience (15 NFL, two USFL) to his credit.
He graduated from UTEP in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in education (history/physical education). At UTEP he lettered twice at cornerback. He earned his A.A. degree from Glendale (Ariz.) Junior College in 1978. Brown graduated from Arvada (Colo.) High School, where he lettered in both football and track.
Brown's Coaching Bio:
- 2016- Missouri Defensive Backs
- 2014-15 Louisville – Safeties/Recruiting Coordinator
- 2013 Alabama – Secondary
- 2011-12 Colorado – Defensive Coordinator
- 2010 Arizona – Co-Defensive Coordinator
- 2007-09 Colorado – Defensive Backs/Passing Game Defensive Coordinator
- 2006 Colorado – Defensive Backs
- 2002-05 New Orleans Saints – Defensive Assistant
- 2000-01 Atlanta Falcons – Defensive Backs
- 1999 San Francisco 49ers – Defensive Backs
- 1997-98 Tennessee Oilers – Secondary
- 1995-96 San Diego Chargers – Secondary
- 1994 Atlanta Falcons – Defensive Backs
- 1991-93 Colorado – Secondary
- 1989-90 Purdue – Defensive Backs
- 1987-88 Wyoming – Defensive Backs
- 1986 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – U-Backs/Tight Ends
- 1985 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Offensive Quality Control
- 1984 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Defensive Quality Control
- 1983-84 Denver Gold – Secondary
- 1982 Green Mountain H.S. – Defensive Coordinator
- 1981 UTEP – Graduate Assistant/Secondary