The Cardinal Playbook: Greg Brown

Greg Brown.

Greg Brown.

A 15-year NFL coaching veteran and former defensive coordinator in college football, Greg Brown is set to begin his first season as the safeties coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Louisville. Brown comes to the Derby City after one season coaching the secondary at Alabama under Nick Saban.

In his illustrious career at the collegiate and pro level, Brown has mentored some outstanding players in the secondary, like All-Pro Rodney Harrison with the San Diego Chargers and outstanding NFL safeties like Samari Rolle, Blaine Bishop and Marcus Robinson. During one of his three stints at Colorado, Brown guided Deon Figures and Chris Hudson to win the Jim Thorpe Award in 1992 and 1994, respectively.

He also tutored a pair of young cornerbacks in Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown, with Smith a two-time All-Big 12 performer. In 2005, Brown wrapped up his fourth and final year as a defensive assistant with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints under coach Jim Haslett. The Saints’ 2005 pass defense ranked third in the entire NFL, allowing a paltry 178 yards per game.

Brown, who spent the 2011-12 seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Colorado, also was the co-defensive coordinator at the University of Arizona in 2010. Brown led a resurgence of the Wildcat football program into the top 25 rankings for the first time in a decade and led the Wildcats to an appearance in the Alamo Bowl. Under Brown’s tutelage, the Wildcats were ranked 33rd in the nation in total defense and held five opponents to 14 points or less during the year.

Brown spent four years in Boulder (2006-09), the last three as the passing game defensive coordinator. It was his second stint at Colorado, following and preceding National Football League jobs with six different teams for 15 years.

Brown started his coaching career in 1981 as a graduate assistant at the University of Texas-El Paso, his alma mater, where he worked with the secondary. The following year, he came back to the state of Colorado, serving as a defensive coach at Green Mountain High School in Lakewood.

His first stint in the professional ranks came the following spring, with Brown joining the staff of the Denver Gold of the United States Football League (USFL). He coached the secondary for the Gold for two seasons (1983-84) before moving on to the NFL for the first time in the summer of 1984, joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff. For the Bucs, he coached three different positions: defensive quality control (1984), offensive quality control (1985) and the U-backs/tight ends (1986).

Brown graduated from UTEP in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in education (history/physical education). At UTEP, Brown lettered twice at cornerback under Bill Michael, and received the Coca-Cola Hold Helmet Award for his play against San Diego State. Brown earned his A.A. degree from Glendale (Ariz.) Junior College in 1978, having graduated from Arvada (Colo.) High School where he lettered in both football and track.

Brown is married to the former Stacie Bible, and the couple has two daughters, Hannah and Grace.