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It’s official: Neal Brown named offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach at Kentucky

Neal Brown

Neal Brown

LEXINGTON, Ky. – New Kentucky head football coach Mark Stoops is known for his background on defense, so a natural question at his introductory news conference was his thoughts on offensive philosophy.

“We’re going to have an offense that you are going to enjoy, I promise you that,” Stoops said.  “Where is (former Kentucky All-America quarterback) Tim Couch?  We’re going to have an offense you’re going to be proud of.  We’ll get out there and rip it around a little bit, we are going to throw it.”

Stoops made his first step in fulfilling that promise with Monday’s announcement of Neal Brown, a former teammate of Couch who has guided one of the nation’s most productive offenses at Texas Tech, as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at UK.

“Neil is a young, hungry, dynamic coach who has had a lot of success in the Big 12 (Conference),” Stoops said.  “I want a style of offense that puts defenses in difficult situations.  Also important to me was Neal’s familiarity with the people of Kentucky and the University.  When you put together the football and the relationships, it was a no-brainer.”

In each of Brown’s three seasons as offensive coordinator, Texas Tech has ranked in the nation’s top-10 teams in passing offense, top-15 in total offense and top-25 in scoring offense, having increased production in all three categories each year since 2010.  Currently, TTU is second nationally in passing with 361.9 yards per game, 12th in total offense at 501.4 yards per game and 16th in scoring with 37.8 points per game as the Red Raiders prepare for the Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl on Dec. 28.

The current campaign is an expansion of the success from 2011, when Texas Tech ranked 13th nationally in total offense at 470.6 yards per game, including an average of 345.4 passing yards.  The Red Raiders lit the scoreboard at a tune of 33.8 points per contest.

Individually, quarterback Seth Doege (pronounced DAY-gee) has put up eye-popping numbers over the last two seasons.  In 2011, Doege threw for 4,004 yards and 28 touchdowns.  With one game to play this season, barring injury, Doege is a virtual certainty to surpass the 4,000-yard mark again as he sits on 3,934 yards and 38 TDs.

In his first season in Lubbock, Brown’s offense notched 460.2 yards total offense per game, 318.9 passing, and scored at a 33.1-point clip as Tech went 8-5 and won the TicketCity Bowl.

Brown’s running game has made significant contributions to the attack as well.  The Red Raiders have rushed for 135.5 yards per game and scored 51 rushing touchdowns during his three seasons.  TTU’s primary running backs have averaged 4.95 yards per rushing attempt, including a 5.7 average by Kenny Williams, the leading rusher on the current squad.

As a former UK wide receiver, Brown is eager to return to Lexington.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to come home to the University that I grew up rooting for, and having played here, have a true personal investment in the program,” Brown said.

“Coach Stoops sold me on the job.  I’m excited about his plan.  He has a great vision about where he wants to take the program and how he wants to do it.”

Prior to Texas Tech, Brown spent four seasons at Troy University, including the last two as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.  During his term at Troy, the Trojans won or shared four consecutive Sun Belt Conference championships and earned three bowl invitations.

At the time the youngest offensive coordinator in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Brown’s 2009 offense finished third in the nation in total offense at 485.7 yards per game, fourth in passing at 336.5 yards and 16thin scoring with 33.7 points per contest. In 2008, his first as coordinator, Brown’s fast-paced offense set 10 school records.

In addition to the team accomplishments, Brown guided quarterback Levi Brown to the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year award in 2009 and the SBC Newcomer of the Year honor in 2008.  During his first two years at Troy, Brown coached the inside receivers.  The 2007 season saw the Trojans rank in the nation’s top-30 teams in scoring, total offense and passing offense.  In Brown’s first season at the school, he helped Troy improve markedly after having been one of the nation’s least productive offenses in the season before he arrived.

Brown went to Troy after serving one season as wide receivers coach at the University of Delaware, starting three freshman wideouts as the Blue Hens posted a 6-5 record. In 2004, Brown coached the quarterbacks and wide receivers at Sacred Heart, helping guide the school to a 6-4 record and the top-ranked scoring offense in the conference.  In 2003, he was the tight ends coach and offensive line assistant at Massachusetts, helping the Minutemen win a share of the Atlantic-10 championship and a berth in the Division I-AA playoffs.

Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in business management and his master’s in business administration from Massachusetts, where he played the 2001-02 seasons.  He totaled 58 receptions for 721 yards and four touchdowns while being named to the Atlantic-10 All-Academic Team and the NCAA Division I-AA Athletic Directors’ Academic All-Star Team.

A native of Louisville, Brown was an all-state wide receiver at Boyle County High School in Danville, finishing his career as the No. 2 pass catcher in state history.  He played at UK from 1998-2000 and was a two-year letterman, catching 10 passes, including one touchdown.  He was a member of the Outback Bowl and Music City Bowl teams and earned a place on the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll before transferring to Massachusetts.

Brown is a member of the Boyle County Baseball and Football Hall of Fame.  He and his wife, Brooke, have two daughters, Adalyn and Anslee.

Brown Coaching File

Year     School                            Position                                                                Record

2003    Massachusetts            Tight Ends, Offensive Line Asst.                    10-3, Division I-AA Playoffs

2004    Sacred Heart                Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers                         6-4

2005    Delaware                       Wide Receivers                                                     6-5

2006    Troy                                 Inside Receivers                                                   8-5, New Orleans Bowl

2007    Troy                                 Inside Receivers                                                   8-4

2008    Troy                                Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks            8-5, New Orleans Bowl

2009    Troy                                Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks            9-4, GMAC Bowl

2010    Texas Tech                    Offensive Coordinator                                        8-5, TicketCity Bowl

2011    Texas Tech                     Offensive Coordinator                                        5-7

2012    Texas Tech                      Offensive Coordinator                                      7-5, Meineke Car Care Bowl

National Rankings as Offensive Coordinator

Year     School              Passing Offense          Total Offense                          Scoring Offense

2008    Troy                 33rd, 246.6 yds. gm.   27th, 414.2 ypg                       26th, 32.8 points per game

2009    Troy                 4th, 336.5 ypg             3rd, 485.7 ypg                           16th, 33.7 ppg

2010    Texas Tech      7th, 318.9 ypg              15th, 460.2 ypg                        23rd, 33.1 ppg

2011    Texas Tech      7th, 345.4 ypg              13th, 470.6 ypg                        22nd, 33.8 ppg

2012    Texas Tech      2nd, 361.9 ypg              12th, 501.4 ypg                        16th, 37.8 ppg

(Note: Texas Tech has a bowl game remaining)

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  1. RJ

    Only one losing season in 10. Impressive. Would you look at the yards his offenses put up!?! BTW, looks like I’m going to get better seats next fall!!!!! This is one of those times when you wish you were 25 again. I think this is going to be good.

  2. Gary Dearborn

    This is an exciting time for FB fans!! Let’s hope that it results in bringing in top notch recruits to go along with what we have coming back! Can’t wait for the Spring game!

  3. Larry T Clemons

    Football Ticket Sales are Moving fast…. Wow…can’t wait to see Commonwealth Stadium sold out……what a turn around…..

  4. Mike Flannery

    It is exciting to get both national leading coaches for both the defense and offense, those defensive coaches love a ball control offense to keep them off the field, I know the air raid offense is more of a “ball control” offense. Go Big Blue!

  5. Mike Flannery

    It will be interesting to face Petrino in Nashville the first game of 2013, what an ironic twist!

  6. Anonymous

    Glad for Neal Brown to UK. It finally happened. coach Stoops and team have brought excitement back to UK football. With that said, the first one out of the gate for UK in 2013 will be against WKU and Bobby Petrino. So much for the opinions that no one would hire him.

  7. LarryPup

    Glad Neal Brown is finally our OC. coach Stoops and his hires have brought back excitement to UK football no doubt about it. Ironically WKU, with Bobby Petrino at the helm, will be the first opponent UK faces on the 2013 schedule. So much for all the bullshit that no one would hire Petrino. UK better be ready to strap em up.

  8. coldspringmike

    Larry, noticed you have coach Stoops picture up on your home page already, but please tell me who the guy is down in the lower right hand corner next to coach Matthews, been driving me crazy trying to figure that one out.

    1. larryvaught

      That is Bob Valvano, who has me on his radio show in Louisville quite a bit and always promotes the blog like crazy

  9. LindaS

    Good news, but what does this do to the other quarterback coach. Was he not a UK player a couple years ago?

    1. UKFAN197TONE

      Yes, it is Andre Woodson and he’s probably gone. Not 100% sure obviously.

  10. coldspringmike

    Good for you Larry, good for him to promote like he does. Knows a good thing when he sees it.

  11. Jimcats

    We can take shots at Petrino all we like. Maybe he’s not the guy you’d want teaching your kids’ Sunday school classes, but he knows the game of football and how to teach it. I expect WKU to be right in there with the Cats and Cards if he stays 2, 3years.

    1. Larry Pup

      You can count on it.

      1. TrueBlueJohn

        It will be a stretch for him to stay two years. My guess is that he will be gone after the first big-time job opens up next year. Western will be his rehabilitation job, and he will be gone.

        1. larryvaught

          Going to guess he’s at Western at least two years and if he wins big and leaves, Hilltoppers have no complaints. After all, believe Taggart was just there three years himself.

  12. Jim

    Stoops defense with air raid offense. If UKhad hired a defensive coach instead of Mumme and made him the OC, they could have had the best of both worlds back then as well.

    Now that Stoops has most of his staff named, I can’t wait to hear the recruiting news, leading up to signing day. There are some real gems inside Kentucky’s borders, this year. Hope the new staff can pull a few of them in.

  13. LarryPup

    I hear there is another coach from Nebraska on Stoops’s staff now. His name is Marrow. I think he coached tight ends. Not sure what his assignment will be at UK.

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