Thomas Brown returning to Georgia as running backs coach

Thomas Brown returning to Georgia as running backs coach

February 17th, 2015 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Thomas Brown

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

The Georgia Bulldogs have added multiple assistant football coaches and support personnel the last several months who have connections to the University of Alabama.

On Monday, the Bulldogs hired one of their own.

Thomas Brown, a tailback for the Bulldogs from 2004 to '07, was tabbed Monday to coach Georgia's running backs. Bryan McClendon, who has guided running backs for the Bulldogs since 2009, will move to receivers coach and have the added title of passing game coordinator.

McClendon was a Georgia receiver from 2002 to '05, so he and Brown were teammates for two seasons.

"These moves with two former Georgia teammates will add a great dimension to our offensive coaching staff," Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt said in a release. "It brings back a great Bulldog running back in Thomas, who has NFL playing experience and has had success as a college coach at multiple schools. He also inherits a position that has been built to an elite level by Bryan.

"It gives Bryan the opportunity to return to coaching the position he played and the one where he cut his teeth serving as a graduate assistant under wide receiver coach John Eason here at UGA. It also provides him with a new experience as passing game coordinator."

Georgia incurred an offensive vacancy last Friday, when Tony Ball left after nine seasons to become receivers coach at LSU. Ball played and coached at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Brown also has experience with the Mocs, having coached their running backs in 2012 before spending the 2013 season at Marshall and this past season with Wisconsin.

At Wisconsin, Brown worked with Heisman Trophy runner-up Melvin Gordon, who rushed for 2,587 rushing yards and 32 total touchdowns before electing to forgo his final season for the NFL draft. Gordon and sophomore Corey Clement combined to rush for 3,536 yards, breaking the Bowl Subdivision's single-season record for rushing yards by a tandem.

The Badgers rushed for 644 yards against Bowling Green and 581 against Nebraska, which were the two best performances by a FBS team in 2014.

At Georgia, he will inherit Nick Chubb, who rushed for 1,547 yards and 7.1 yards per carry this past season as a freshman. Chubb is expected to be backed by Sony Michel and Keith Marshall.

Brown signed with Georgia in 2004 as Rivals.com's No. 4 running back nationally. He led the Bulldogs in rushing as a freshman (875 yards) and a sophomore (736) and finished his career with 2,646 yards, 25 touchdowns and a career average of 5.0 yards per carry.

A sixth-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2008, Brown spent that season on the injured reserve list. He was waived before the 2009 season and was signed to the practice squad of the Cleveland Browns before shifting to a career in coaching.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.


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