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Bring back Brown

Dan Laughlin | Monday, November 16, 2009

I will preface this with the acknowledgement that the Irish secondary has grossly underperformed on the field this year compared to pre-season “on-paper” expectations. The reason could be anything from coaching to players being over-rated. Nonetheless, my biggest disappointment this year has been the “disappearance” of Corwin Brown.

This comment definitely comes on the heels of the Nov. 12 articles reporting Brown’s comments about Navy. No matter how one may perceive those comments, since he arrived at Notre Dame in 2007, Coach Brown has displayed an unmatchable enthusiasm for the game and the University. Moreover, he has earned a reputation as a good recruiter and a coach the players respect. For these reasons, no matter what occurs with Charlie Weis, I would like to see Corwin Brown back on the Notre Dame sideline next season.

During Coach Brown’s first season with the Irish, I enjoyed his chest-bumping and camaraderie with the players despite a 3-9 performance. His appearance and reactions on the sideline let me know that someone on the staff “got it.” And while I did not question the move of Jon Tenuta to defensive coordinate at season’s start (the guy coached top-25 defenses at Georgia Tech and many referenced him as a coach Notre Dame should aspire to have during the 2007 season), I thought Corwin Brown’s young defenses had progressed.

At season’s start, my dream scenario involved Coach Weis in the coaches’ box upstairs calling plays and Coach Brown on the sideline communicating with players. Word out of the Dome after the bowl game last December was that administration officials were impressed by Brown’s pregame and halftime speeches to the players during the Hawaii Bowl. And that turned out pretty well, I believe. Unfortunately, conventionality won out, and here we sit at a very mediocre 6-4.

Much as history tells us that Bob Davie should have promoted Urban Meyer from receivers’ coach to offensive coordinator in 1999 (most of us agreed with Kevin Rogers’ hire at the time), I believe time will show that Charlie Weis should have moved to the coaches’ box and given Corwin Brown the sidelines for the 2009 season.

So no matter how this season ends, my biggest disappointment, besides the record of course, will be the “disappearance” of Corwin Brown. Because, as I said, the man gets “it.”


Dan Laughlin


class of 2001

Nov. 12