Chart: What Don Brown brings to Michigan as defensive coordinator

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday December 21, 2015

Needing a new defensive coordinator, Jim Harbaugh didn't hire someone with previous ties to Michigan or himself. He went with the person who did more with less, hiring Boston College’s Don Brown.

While Boston College went 3-9 this season, it wasn’t Brown’s defense. The Eagles were No. 4 in scoring defense, but No. 122 in scoring offense.

The 60-year-old Brown has been coaching since 1977, including the last seven years as an FBS defensive coordinator. Here’s what Brown’s defense have done recently.

Look at how the defense improved each year at each different stop. Brown’s defenses involve constant blitzing, and he’s used all different kinds of fronts.

In a release, Harbaugh said, “After a very thorough search and talking with those I respect the most in this game, including Jack Harbaugh, John Harbaugh, Bill Belichick, Bob Sutton, Vic Fangio and others, it led me to Don Brown. Everything he has touched has turned to gold.”

Brown won’t be have a rebuilding project this time. He takes over a Michigan defense that was No. 10 in scoring this season. The Wolverines will bring back talented defensive backs Jourdan Lewis and Jabrill Peppers and a stout defensive line.

There are no clear ties between Brown and the Michigan staff, but Harbaugh has increased U-M’s recruiting in the northeast. Brown will help with that. For example, U-M currently has four commitments from New Jersey and one total from Michigan and Ohio.

Michigan went 9-3 this year, but lost to rivals Michigan State and Ohio State. As Harbaugh shapes the program in his vision, Brown comes aboard.

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Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to