July 18, 2019 | 72° F

Rutgers hands reigns to defensive line over to Brown

Ash announces hiring of Corey Brown on Tuesday

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The sidelines of High Point Solutions Stadium will look even fresher this fall, as Rutgers football head coach Chris Ash announced the hiring of Corey Brown as the team's defensive line coach on Tuesday.

Brown will bring 12 years of coaching experience to a Scarlet Knights team that overall needs to regroup, as they prepare for another long season of Big Ten play.

“I am excited to welcome Corey to our program,” Ash said to scarletknights.com. “He is a great teacher and an outstanding person. Our players will benefit from his playing and coaching experience.”

Tuesday’s announcement marks the second coaching hire of the offseason from Ash, who announced the hiring of John McNulty as the offensive coordinator earlier this month.

Most recently, Brown spent four years as the defensive line coach for Miami (Ohio), a team that last season was ranked 14th in red zone defense, 24th in first downs defense and 43rd in scoring defense. Overall, the RedHawks defense was ranked 47th, compared to a 69th defensive ranking for Rutgers.

During all four years at Miami (Ohio), Brown’s defensive lines earned all-conference honors in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Brown also led three players to All-MAC honors, including two second-team recognitions.

Brown is yet another coach on the Knights' sideline that is familiar with Big Ten play, as he played football with the Iowa Hawkeyes for four years from 1995-1999. Brown also earned the team’s defensive hustle award as a senior defensive tackle.

Brown and current Rutgers offensive line coach AJ Blazek both played with the Hawkeyes during the 1999 season, so it seems everything is coming full circle.

After college, Brown spent some time in the Arena Football League 2, but eventually made his way to coaching for the first time with North Iowa Area Community College, where he served as defensive line and strength and conditioning coach for two seasons.

In 2008, Brown moved over to Iowa Western Community College, where he stayed for four years and coached eight players to either all-region or all-conference performances — including an All-American pick.

In possibly the most notable part of his resume, Brown was a part of the Notre Dame team that made it to the BCS National Championship in 2012 only to lose to Alabama. Brown served as a defensive graduate assistant with the Fighting Irish for two years before making his way to Miami (Ohio).

The Knights certainly need improvements on the defensive side of the ball after getting outscored by 124 points last season. Something Rutgers needs to do is get to the quarterback, as the team was nearly doubled in passing yardage — 1387 for the Knights, compared to 2601 from their opponents.

Brown will not have the luxury of working with fifth-year senior Kemoko Turay, who led the Rutgers defensive line all season with 65 tackles and four sacks, and will be leaving the program for the NFL Draft.

In addition to Turay, the program will lose fifth-year senior defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph, who started all 12 games last season and contributed 41 tackles and 1.5 sacks for the defense. 

Instead, he will get to work with the likes of redshirt freshmen Elorm Lumor and Julius Turner, sophomore Willington Previlon and juniors Jon Bateky and Kevin Wilkins, who all together combined for 133 tackles last year.

Brown will also be tasked with developing some of the younger members of the defensive line, including true freshman CJ Onyechi, who was the lone first-year player on the defensive line to see action last season. He managed to rack up eight tackles in four games.

Looking at the difference between the Knights' two seasons under Ash, and then adding the additions of Brown and McNulty to the coaching staff, things are certainly looking up for the team as the 2018 season slowly approaches.

For updates on the Rutgers football team, follow @cgreen204 and @TargumSports on Twitter.

Coby Green

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