FootballScoop is proud to announce that Don Brown is the 2015 FootballScoop Defensive Coordinator of the Year presented by ProGrass.
To lead college football in total defense and yards per play allowed is difficult enough. To do so while playing opposite an offense that ranked near the bottom in FBS in each of those two categories is next to impossible.
Yet Brown's Boston College defense managed to do both in 2015.
The Eagles yielded only 998 rushing yards this fall -- only Alabama allowed fewer -- and 2,054 passing yards -- only six teams permitted less -- culminating in a unit that allowed only 254.3 yards per game, the fewest of any FBS team in the past two seasons. BC's 4.07 yards per play allowed also led the nation.
Beyond their simple yardage totals, Boston College allowed the fourth-fewest points per game (15.4) and fewest total touchdowns (15) in FBS. Their pass efficiency defense finished ninth nationally, allowing just over 50 percent completions for a meager 6.2 yards per attempt with nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Boston College's rush defense ranked second, permitting just 2.39 yards per carry (second-best in FBS) and a national leading six touchdowns.
Brown's charges also ranked second in first downs allowed (13.8 per game), 17th in sacks per game (2.83), 11th in red zone defense (73.3 percent), third in plays of 10-plus yards allowed (119) while leading the nation in tackles for loss (9.5 per game) and third down defense (24.14 percent).
Individually, linebacker Matt Milano finished tied for 16th in tackles for loss, one of four Eagles to finish among the top 45 nationally. Boston College succeeded as a whole greater than the sum of its parts, as the ACC's top defense produced only two First Team All-ACC members and four total honorees on any of the league's top three teams, while not a single Eagle garnered a vote for the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year or Defensive Rookie of the Year.
“Don is real. He is a tough, New England guy and he has come up the hard way like we all have – the small college route through New England,” BC head coach Steve Addazio said of Brown earlier this fall. “You have to love him because that’s who he is. He loves defense; attack-blitzing defense. He can really build a great attitude, a toughness, and he’s done that to our defense.”
This fall marked Brown's third season as Boston College's defensive coordinator. Prior to his arrival in Chestnut Hill, Brown coordinated defenses at Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Brown, Yale, Dartmouth and Mansfield University in Pennsylvania. He also racked up a 95-45 record as head coach at Plymouth State, Northeastern and Massachusetts.
On December 20th, Brown was hired as the defensive coordinator at Michigan. “After a very thorough search and talking with those I respect the most in this game, including Jack Harbaugh, John Harbaugh, Bill Belichick, Bob Sutton, Vic Fangio and others, it led me to Don Brown," Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said upon his hiring. "Everything he has touched has turned to gold. Just look at his track record as a head coach, defensive coordinator and even as a baseball coach. We are beyond excited to welcome this high character, high achieving individual to our program and university. Teaching and player development are synonymous with coaching and Don Brown epitomizes those qualities.”
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Gene Chizik [North Carolina], Kirby Smart [Alabama], Brent Venables [Clemson], and Brown) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Brown will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Defensive Coordinator of the Year award are Nick Holt (USC, 2008), Smart (Alabama, 2009), Vic Fangio (Stanford, 2010), John Chavis (LSU, 2011) Bob Diaco (Notre Dame, 2012), Pat Narduzzi (Michigan State, 2013), and Venables (Clemson, 2014).
1st Nationally - Total Defense
1st Nationally - Tackles for Loss
1st Nationally - Yards Per Play Allowed
1st Nationally - Third Down Defense
1st Nationally - Touchdowns Allowed
2nd Nationally - Rushing Defense
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