UMass hires Arizona Wildcats DC Don Brown as head coach

Justin Spears
Arizona Daily Star
UMass is bringing Don Brown back as head coach in the hopes that the struggling football program can return to the time of its greatest success. Brown has spent the last 13 years as a defensive coordinator for major programs, most recently at Arizona.

Arizona will need a new defensive coordinator in the offseason. 

UA defensive coordinator Don Brown — also known as "Dr. Blitz" — was hired by UMass to be the Minutemen's next head coach Monday morning. Brown is expected to coach his final game at the UA in Arizona's regular-season finale at Arizona State Saturday afternoon, according to Yahoo! Sports' Pete Thamel. 

This will be Brown's second stint at UMass; his was first was from 2004-08, where he posted a 43-19 record. 

"I am very pleased that we are able to bring Don and his family back to UMass. Coach Brown's remarkable coaching expertise and familiarity with our program and the Northeast makes this a perfect fit," UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford said in a press release. "Don is a phenomenal recruiter, talent developer and connector. We will benefit from his football acumen, strong leadership qualities and his fierce intensity and desire to build our growing FBS program into a perennial winner."

Since joining the FBS in 2012, UMass hasn't finished with a record better than 4-8 and are 2-25 over the last three seasons. With the 66-year-old Brown, a Spencer, Massachusetts native, returning to the helm, the Minutmen hope to revive the best five-year stretch in program history. 

"I am honored to return to Amherst and lead the football program at the University of Massachusetts again," Brown said. "I promise to work tirelessly to make this program into something that our players, alumni and fans can be proud of. My focus will also be to develop our student-athletes so they can play at an elite level and achieve success, which requires building great relationships and having a tremendous work ethic. I can't wait to get back to the Commonwealth and get to work."

Arizona faces rival Arizona State for the 2021 Territorial Cup Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.