A coaching shakeup on the Georgia coaching staff opened an opportunity for Brown to be hired at his alma mater. Georgia made the hiring official Monday afternoon.
Brown, who starred at tailback for the Bulldogs from 2004-07 and later worked as an assistant strength coach after spending three seasons in the NFL, was hired by former head coach Gary Andersen last spring and helped coach Melvin Gordon to one of the best seasons for a running back in college football history in 2014.
He also earned the reputation as the Badgers’ top recruiter, helping Wisconsin land a pair of tailbacks – four-star Jordan Stevenson and three-star Bradrick Shaw – and four-star outside linebacker Arrington Farrar from Atlanta. Brown was also the main recruiter for Antonio Williams – a four-star tailback from North Carolina who is Wisconsin’s lone verbal commit in 2016.
Brown , 28, was one of two assistant coaches, along with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, that Chryst opted to keep from Andersen's staff.
“I'm excited about the running backs that we're getting, and Thomas, he's built good relationships with the kids that I witnessed, and coaches,” said Chryst on national signing day. “… I was impressed with what he did. That is part of our job. We've got to coach guys and we've got to recruit and I thought he did his job.”
Brown would have earned $215,000 with the Badgers this year.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia plans on moving current running backs coach Bryan McClendon to its vacant wide receivers coach opening to make room for Brown. Brown got the job after Stanford assistant Lance Taylor originally accepted the job but changed his mind Monday morning.
Brown helped guide Wisconsin to the two most prolific rushing performances in the country in 2014 with a school-record 644 rushing yards vs. Bowling Green and 581 vs. Nebraska, and their average of 6.91 yards per rushing attempt ranks as the fourth-best mark in FBS history.
Chryst, who still hasn’t officially announced a wide receivers coach, might be persuaded to reach out to Pittsburgh running back coach John Settle again. Settle, who coached the tailbacks at Wisconsin from 2006-10 before leaving for the NFL, reportedly was in the running to return to Madison.