Georgia defensive backs coach Fran Brown has emerged as a prime target for Syracuse’s vacant head coach job, program sources confirmed Monday. Here’s what you need to know:
- The New Jersey native has spent the past two seasons on the Bulldogs’ staff.
- Brown was Rutgers’ secondary coach from 2020 to 2021. The Western Carolina graduate also previously coached at Temple and Baylor.
- Holy Cross coach Bob Chesney and Toledo’s Jason Candle have received strong interest in the job, according to sources.
- Syracuse fired coach Dino Babers with one game remaining this season after spending eight seasons with the Orange and compiling a 41-55 record.
How Brown could impact Syracuse
Brown was an out-of-nowhere hire at Georgia two years ago, but he showed why Kirby Smart wanted to hire him: recruiting, both in the secondary and in the Northeast. Brown was a major recruiter of five-star athlete Ellis Robinson, the third overall pick in the 2024 cycle, who is now at IMG Academy in Florida, as well as linebacker Justin Williams from Texas and four-star offensive lineman Jordan Thomas. From Calhoun, New Jersey
On the field, the importance of Georgia’s secondary is the strength of its defense, and that’s not just because of Brown, as Will Muschamp and Smart both help coach there, but Brown is a big part of that. Brown has also been one of the voices in the defensive coaching room regarding strategy, with Smart saying last year: “Everyone pitches in a little bit because we believe multiple voices develop coaches and multiple voices are heard better by the public.”
However, is this too far-fetched for Syracuse? probably. But Brown isn’t even the first Georgia coach to get a job in a power conference: Sam Pittman went from offensive line coach to Arkansas’ head coach despite having no head coaching experience, and like Brown that was a good case.
While Arkansas has struggled this year, Pittman’s first three years have seen improvement, and it’s not unreasonable to think Brown could take what he saw work at Georgia the past two years and use it in the ACC. — Seth Emerson is a football writer from Georgia
Brown is currently ranked as the No. 1 recruit in the country for the 2024 signing class, according to 247Sports. The 40-year-old has six players committed for the upcoming class, including two five-star prospects.
(Photo: Mark J. Rebelas/USA Today)
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