As we told you earlier, Mark Stoops is on the road today, meeting with Neal Brown, who is rumored to be the Cats’ next offensive coordinator. Neal is no stranger to the BBN. A Danville, KY native (represent!), Brown played at UK under Hal Mumme for three years before transferring to UMass. With the decisions expected in the next few days, let’s take a look at the man who may lead Kentucky’s offense next season:
Hometown: Danville, Kentucky
Family: wife, Brooke; daughters Adalyn and Anslee
Played college at: Kentucky (wide receiver, 1998-2000), UMass (wide receiver, 2001-2002)
2003: UMass (Tight Ends Coach)
2004: Sacred Heart (Quarterbacks Coach)
2005: Delaware (Wide Receivers Coach)
2006-2007: Troy (Wide Receivers Coach)
2008-2009: Troy (Offensive Coordinator)
2010-2012: Texas Tech (Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks Coach)
Why he’s being interviewed:
Brown’s name has popped up in several coaching searches, even Kentucky’s. He considered an up-and-comer in the game with an exciting offensive system, which is reason alone to consider him, but here are some specific reasons Stoops is going to see him today:
Neal is not only a great offensive coordinator, he’s also a Kentucky boy. Born in Danville, Neal attended Boyle County High School, where he is now a member of the Baseball and Football Hall of Fames. He went on to play wide receiver at Kentucky under Hal Mumme (and assistants Mike Leach and Tony Franklin) and transferred to UMass after Mumme left. A few years later, Franklin hired Brown as Troy’s Wide Receivers coach and when he left for Auburn in 2007, Brown took his old job. Because of his ties to the Bluegrass, you have to think that Brown will seriously consider Stoops’ offer. Hopefully Stoops takes him a box of Burke’s Bakery doughnuts to seal the deal.
The Tim Couch Connection
Tim Couch was instrumental in the coaching search, and in his comments to the media afterwards, he openly lobbied for Neal Brown, his former teammate, as offensive coordinator:
“I think he’s a hot candidate at a lot of places. Especially him being a Kentucky guy, Neal was an old teammate of mine, and he’s gone on to do great things. He’s one of the hottest young offensive coordinators in the country right now. I think he has the second-rated pass offense in the country at Texas Tech and he does a great job. Certainly if that’s the route Mark wants to go, I would fully support that and I know everyone at Kentucky would as well.”
Hear that? It’s the old air raid siren! Stoops said he wants to bring the excitement back to Kentucky’s offense. Has there been a more exciting time for Kentucky fans than the days of the Air-Raid? Brown, a receiver in the Air-Raid offense under Mumme, is now a protege of the system, listing Mumme, Franklin, Leach and Chris Hatcher as coaching influences. Under his tenure as offensive coordinator this season, Texas Tech finished 12th in the nation in total offense, with 501.42 yards, and 16th in scoring, with 37.75 points. Last season, Texas Tech QB Seth Doege was a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award and led the nation in completions per-game at 33.17. This season, Doege has passed for 3934 yards and 38 touchdowns.
For those of you too young to remember (bless you), the Air Raid offense is an extremely pass-heavy system that relies on short passes as an extension or sometimes a replacement of the running game. The majority of the time, the quarterback audibles in and out of plays based on the defense’s alignment. Almost all of the plays are called at the line of scrimmage, giving the quarterback almost unlimited control. On Sunday, Tim Couch said that Patrick Towles would flourish in Kentucky’s next offensive system, which makes you think that he’s referring to Brown and the Air-Raid.
In his own words:
Twitter profile: @CoachNealBrown
Brown is much tamer than the Florida State guys on Twitter, but he did post a picture of the Texas Tech team giving Lane Goodwin a thumbs-up:
Thumbs up for Lane Goodwin from Texas Tech Football!lockerz.com/s/247342283
— Neal Brown (@CoachNealBrown) September 24, 2012
Come home, Neal.