Jan. 19, 2007

The University of Notre Dame has named Corwin Brown its new defensive coordinator, head coach Charlie Weis announced Friday.

Over the last 14 years, Brown has either played for or coached under some of the best defensive minds in football including Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Romeo Crennel, Herm Edwards, Al Groh and Eric Mangini. Brown has spent the last three years coaching the defensive backs of the New York Jets under Edwards and then Mangini. Prior to his NFL coaching duties, Brown got his first full-time coaching job on Groh’s staff as special teams coach at the University of Virginia from 2001-03. An eight-year NFL career preceded his move to the coaching profession as Brown was a safety and special teams stalwart for the New England Patriots (1993-96), N.Y. Jets (1997-98) and Detroit Lions (1999-2000). He was drafted in the fourth round of the 1993 NFL Draft after a stellar four-year career at the University of Michigan that saw him win four Big Ten titles and play in three Rose Bowl games.

During his tenure in New York, the Jets intercepted 56 passes, tied for the fifth-most in the NFL from 2004-06. Of those 56 picks, Brown’s defensive backs were responsible for 46. By contrast, in the three seasons prior to his arrival, the Jets secondary had accounted for 36 interceptions. Brown not only helped turn veteran cornerbacks into Pro Bowl cornerbacks but also took one rookie in both 2004 and 2005 and developed them into solid full-time starters in their first year. This past season, Brown was one of a few select coaches retained by Mangini. He was part of a coaching staff that generated six more wins than the previous year, tied for the second-best improvement in the 46-year history of the franchise. In 2005, Brown oversaw a secondary that allowed an average of only 172.2 passing yards per game, second-best in the NFL, and recorded 18 of the team’s 21 interceptions. Only one Jets team in the previous 17 seasons intercepted more passes in a single season.

Hired originally as the assistant special teams/assistant defensive backs coach by Edwards on Feb. 17, 2004, Brown was elevated to defensive backs coach prior to the start of training camp. In his first season with the Jets he helped a defense that featured seven new starters finish the season ranked fourth in the NFL in points allowed per game, fifth in rushing yards allowed and seventh in total yards allowed.

Brown received his first full-time coaching job on Jan. 12, 2001 as he was one of the initial hires to Groh’s coaching staff at Virginia. In three seasons with the Cavaliers, Brown once again demonstrated his ability to connect and get the most out of both veteran and young players as well as scholarship and walk-on student-athletes. He also learned how to hit the recruiting trail as he was a major reason the Cavaliers were able to attract some of the top high school talent in the nation.

Brown got his first taste of coaching in 1996 as he served as a volunteer coach at Boston University while playing for the Patriots. After moving to the Jets, he was able to develop player evaluation skills as he worked with the Jets’ coaches and scouts at the 1997 and 1998 NFL scouting combines.

A native of Chicago, Ill., Brown was an all-state football player and lettered in track and field at Julian High School before accepting a scholarship to the University of Michigan. A four-year letterwinner for the Wolverines, he was tri-captain of the 1992 team and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior and first-team accolades as a senior. Brown majored in English and received his degree in 1994. Born April 25, 1970, he and his wife Melissa are the proud parents of one son, Corwin, Jr., and two daughters, Tayla and Jaedan.


Playing Career

Year School/Team
1989-92 University of Michigan
1993-96 New England Patriots
1997-98 New York Jets
1999-2000 Detroit Lions

Coaching Career

Year School/Team Assignment
2001-03 University of Virginia Special Teams
2004-06 New York Jets Defensive Backs
2007- University of Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator

What they’re saying about Corwin Brown:
“I knew Corwin wanted to be a coach six months after I met him his rookie year in 1993. I know he will be successful.”
-Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells

“Corwin Brown has proven himself as a key component in our defensive system over the last decade, first as a player and now as a bright young coach. I respect Corwin for his team oriented attitude and his ability to relate so well to everyone he interacts with. Corwin will be an outstanding addition to Charlie’s staff and the Notre Dame football program.”
-New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

“I coached Corwin in the 1993 Senior Bowl, with the Patriots and Jets, and he was on my staff at Virginia for three years. His core has always been the same – passionate about football, hard working and dependable, tough minded, a great teammate and committed to winning. He’s a member of the Tribe and will bring all those qualities to Notre Dame”
-University of Virginia head football coach Al Groh

“Corwin Brown was a fundamentally sound football player and is a fundamentally sound football coach. He brings energy, enthusiasm and expertise to his position and will be able to relate to his players. He will work hard and provide a plan for continued success at Notre Dame.”
-Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel

“This is a well-earned opportunity for Corwin. Since his days as a player, you sensed Corwin would excel as a coach. We appreciate Corwin’s contributions to the New York Jets and wish him the best in his new position.”
-New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini