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Rutgers hires Brown in latest move for program

Even after the conclusion of the introductory press conference of new football head coach Greg Schiano, the question of how exactly the Rutgers football team was going to attract top-ranked prospects from around the country was still left lingering in the minds of those seeking a solution to the very important issue for the Scarlet Knights (2-10, 0-9).

After all, the team had just gone through its fifth-straight losing season, and although Schiano could be seen as a very persuasive reason for some recruits to choose Rutgers, his presence alone would not at all be enough to captivate the attention of some of the four-star athletes that the program desperately needs.

In one of the first moves made by the new head coach since his hiring, though, the Knights seem to have eased many of the worries that have accompanied the team since the end of the regular season.

Rutgers will bring former Temple co-defensive coordinator Fran Brown onto its staff as secondary coach for the upcoming season, according to a press release from the school.

Brown, who had been with the Owls for a total of seven years since 2011 (with a brief stint at Baylor for the 2017 and 2018 seasons), grew up just across the Delaware River, where he excelled as a quarterback and defensive back at Camden before committing to Western Carolina.

There, the criminal justice major continued his prowess on the field after an All-Conference, record-setting career with the Panthers, as Brown transitioned into his role as a first-team All-SoCon cornerback for the Catamounts during his time with the program.

Though the honors attached to his name are as prestigious as they are, what is even more impressive is what Brown has accomplished during his tenure in North Philly. 

Originally hired in 2011 as the assistant director of Internal Operations under Steve Addazio, Brown worked his way into a position on the sidelines with Temple, where he became a defensive backs coach from 2013-16 under Matt Rhule. After following his colleague to the Bears in 2017, Brown remained with Rhule until the following season, when he ultimately ended up returning to the Owls as an assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator by Manny Diaz just a few days into the head coach’s 17-day tenure with Temple.

Though Brown has seen many different positions and head coaches in his time in the NCAA, he seemingly has had no trouble adjusting to each change, as the resume the Knights’ new staffer brings to the table is certainly nothing short of impressive in regard to the coach’s effects on his past teams.

In 2014, when Brown was still the cornerbacks coach of the Owls, he guided the members of his defensive unit into shaving off more than 100 passing yards a game from its opponent from the previous year. He also helped ensure that many of his players, including Temple alumni Tavon Young and Sean Chandler, would be acknowledged for their successful seasons, as both earned All-American Athletic Conference honors during their time spent with the program.

Along with the development of the two players, Brown also played a role in the recruitment of several members of the Owls’ program that would one day graduate to professional football in the NFL. Nate Hairston, Haason Reddick, Sharif Finch and Jacob Martin were among some of the players that Brown worked with during his time at Temple, with all of whom eventually getting the call to play in the nation’s biggest football league in company with Young and Chandler.

His efforts earned him recognition from Rivals.com as one of the top recruiters in the American Athletic Conference in 2014, which is something that assuredly played into Rutgers’ decision to hire the New Jersey native as one of the newest members of a revamped staff for the Knights. 

While the signing of Brown will not translate into a 12-0 record for his newly-affiliated team in the 2020 season, the move made by Rutgers signifies that the school is beginning to follow up the hiring of Schiano with the necessary corresponding moves to return the program to a status of excellence. 

The actions taken during the remainder of the offseason will be a good indicator of if the school is truly committed to doing so.

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

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