published Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

UTC hires ex-UGA running back Thomas Brown

  • photo
    In this file photo, Georgia's Thomas Brown celebrates after the Bulldogs defeated Auburn 45-20. The former running back was hired by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as the new running backs coach.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Former Georgia running back Thomas Brown was hired as the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team's new running backs coach Tuesday.

This will be the first football coaching job for Brown, who spent last season as a graduate assistant at Georgia, serving as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. Drafted in the sixth round by the Atlanta Falcons in 2008, Brown spent two seasons in the NFL with the Falcons and one with the Cleveland Browns.

"It's my first chance to coach and I'm really excited about this opportunity," asaid Brown, who rushed for 2,646 yards and 23 touchdowns at Georgia (2004-07). "I've spent the last year in the weight room, which was always one of my strengths as a player, and I'm looking forward to getting back out on the field and working with the running backs up there."

Brown set numerous lifting records at Georgia and usually was regarded as the strongest player on the team, pound for pound.

After getting strong recommendations from the likes of Georgia coach Mark Richt and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who was Georgia's running backs coach in 2005, Brown interviewed at UTC on Tuesday.

"I talked to Mark Richt and he loved him, just absolutely loved him," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said. "We brought him in today and he has just an unbelievable personality. He's bright, knows what he's talking about and he impressed everybody, from the coaching staff to [athletic director Rick Hart] to everybody."

Because of his success at Georgia, Brown is a familiar name to UTC's backs and brings "instant credibility," Huesman said. "He hasn't coached the position, but he brings instant credibility to those guys. He's been there, done that at a high, high level. He tells them to do three backflips and two somersaults on a zone play, they're probably going to do it."

Despite his inexperience wearing a whistle, Brown said he thought his youth and recent playing experience will be helpful.

"I'm going to be able to relate to the guys and know what they're going through," he said.

Brown is replacing Jamaal Fobbs, who left UTC after two seasons for a job at Liberty. During his final two years at Georgia, Brown's running backs coach was former UTC great Tony Ball.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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