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Report: Don Brown the top candidate at UMass

Don Brown is a top candidate for the UMass job, where he once won over 40 games in a 5-year stretch.

From 2004-08 Arizona defensive coordinator Don Brown served as the head coach at UMass, where he won over twice as many games as he lost while the Minutemen were members of the FCS.

It appears a homecoming could be in the works.

According to a report from Pete Thamel tonight, Brown has emerged as the top candidate for the UMass job.

Thamel adds that no announcement is imminent. Tomorrow night, Arizona enters Friday night's game against Washington State at 1-9. 

Prior to the move to the desert, Brown led a number of top 10 defenses at Michigan, where he spent five seasons.

Brown, who is 66 years old, has been a head coach at three different stops (Plymouth State, Northeastern and UMass) and has left each place with a winning record. At Plymouth he was 25-6 in three seasons, at Northeastern he was 27-20 and was 43-17 with the Minutemen.

After his successful run as the head coach at UMass, Brown went on to serve as the defensive coordinator at Maryland, UConn, and Boston College before joining Jim Harbaugh in Ann Arbor.

In 2012 UMass, now an Independent, made the jump to FBS under Charley Molnar and have yet to make a bowl game. Mark Whipple's back-to-back 4-win seasons in 2017 and 2018 have been the best marks for a UMass head coach since their FBS transition. 

Brown is set to make $800k as Arizona's defensive coordinator in 2022.

Brown's experience, and deep roots on the east coast made him an early mention for the job and a natural fit for UMass, who is staring down a significant rebuild. 

He was also the last UMass head coach to record a double-digit win season, and he did it in back-to-back years (2007 and 2008).

Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.