Brown officially announced as new Troy football coach
TROY – Considered one of the top young minds in college football, Neal Brown has been named the football head coach at Troy University, Athletic Director John Hartwell announced at a press conference Monday morning.
Brown, 34, is the second youngest head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision and returns to the school where he broke through as one of the top offensive coordinators in the country. A native on Danville, Ky., Brown becomes the 21st head coach in the program’s history.
Brown spent four seasons at Troy (2006-09), including the final two as the Trojans’ offensive coordinator. Troy won four Sun Belt Conference titles and appeared in three bowl games during Brown’s initial tenure.
At the time the youngest offensive coordinator in the FBS, Brown’s 2009 offense finished third in the nation in total offense at 485.7 yards per game, fourth in passing at 336.5 yards and 16th in scoring with 33.7 points per contest. In 2008, his first season as coordinator, Brown’s fast-paced offense set 10 school records.
In addition to the team accomplishments, Brown guided quarterback Levi Brown to the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year award in 2009 and SBC Newcomer of the Year in 2008.
Brown has spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator under Mark Stoops at Kentucky and has led the Wildcats to some new heights on the offensive side of the football. The Wildcats posted over 440 yards of total offensive in three Southeastern Conference games in 2014, its highest total since 2001.
In his first season, Kentucky’s offense averaged three more points and 26 more yards of total offense than the prior year and the totals grew even more in year two. Before Brown left Kentucky, he had the Wildcats averaging 11.3 points and 69.3 yards of total offense more than before he arrived on campus.
The Wildcats totaled 380 yards or more of total offense in their first three SEC games in 2014 – Florida, Arkansas and South Carolina – marking the first time a UK team had done so since 1998.
Kentucky scored 21 offensive touchdowns in SEC play in 2014. The two years prior to Brown being named offensive coordinator, Kentucky had a combined 21 offensive touchdowns in SEC play.
Brown left Troy to join Tommy Tuberville’s staff at Texas Tech in 2010 and picked up right where he left off at Troy. With Brown serving as Texas Tech’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the Red Raiders ranked in the nation’s top-seven teams in passing offense, top-15 in total offense and top-25 in scoring offense, having increased production in all three categories each year since 2010. TTU finished the 2012 season second nationally in passing with 355.9 yards per game, 13th in total offense at 495.4 yards per game and 20th in scoring with 37.5 points per game.
The 2012 campaign was an expansion of the success from 2011, when Texas Tech ranked 13th nationally in total offense at 470.6 yards per game. The Red Raiders lit the scoreboard at a tune of 33.8 points per contest.
Individually, quarterback Seth Doege put up eye-popping numbers. In 2011, Doege threw for 4,004 yards and 28 touchdowns. He improved to 4,205 yards and 39 touchdowns as a senior.
In his first season in Lubbock, Brown’s offense notched 460.2 yards of total offense per game, 318.9 passing, and scored at a 33.1-point clip as Tech went 8-5 and won the TicketCity Bowl.
Brown’s running game has made significant contributions to the attack as well. The Red Raiders rushed for 135.7 yards per game and scored 52 rushing touchdowns during his three seasons. TTU’s primary running backs averaged 5.0 yards per rushing attempt, including a 5.8 average by Kenny Williams, the leading rusher in 2012.
Prior to his first stint at Troy, Brown served one season as wide receivers coach at the University of Delaware, starting three freshman wideouts as the Blue Hens posted a 6-5 record. In 2004, Brown coached the quarterbacks and wide receivers at Sacred Heart, helping guide the school to a 6-4 record and the top-ranked scoring offense in the conference. In 2003, he was the tight ends coach and offensive line assistant at Massachusetts, helping the Minutemen win a share of the Atlantic-10 championship and a berth in the FCS playoffs.
Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in business management and his master’s in business administration from Massachusetts, where he played the 2001-02 seasons. He totaled 58 receptions for 721 yards and four touchdowns while being named to the Atlantic-10 All-Academic Team and the NCAA Division I-AA Athletic Directors’ Academic All-Star Team.
Born in Louisville, Brown grew up in Bardstown, Ky., before moving to Danville, Ky., where he was an all-state wide receiver at Boyle County High School, finishing his career as the No. 2 pass catcher in state history. He played at Kentucky from 1998-2000 and was a two-year letterman, catching 10 passes, including one touchdown. He was a member of the Outback Bowl and Music City Bowl teams and earned a place on the SEC Academic Honor Roll before transferring to Massachusetts.
He and his wife, Brooke, have daughters Adalyn and Anslee.