Wisconsin confirms hiring of Thomas Brown as running backs coach

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Badgers confirmed Gary Andersen's latest hire on Monday.

Thomas Brown is officially Wisconsin's next running backs coach, as UW confirmed the hiring per a release on Monday. Brown will replace Thomas Hammock, who announced on Feb. 5 (National Signing Day) that he was leaving for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.

UWBadgers.com's Mike Lucas also had an in-depth interview with Brown, and that's certainly worth checking out. Some interesting highlights from there, with UW's official statement below:

  • Brown said he heard "out of the blue" from Wisconsin, but "things rolled from there."
  • Gary Andersen said he loves Andersen's enthusiasm as a coach, noting that "you always want a mix on your staff of younger and older coaches."
  • Regarding Brown's recruiting acumen"We had to have someone who could go out and truly be that hustler in recruiting -- someone who can sit in those living rooms and completely relate to the kids."
  • Andersen said that Brown "wasn't initially on my radar," but "everyone basically said the same thing about him -- he's a great person and a great recruiter."
  • While in Madison for his interview, Brown was introduced to Melvin Gordon, Corey Clement and Derek Wattconfirming Andersen's statement on National Signing Day that Gordon would be involved in the interviewing process.

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin football coach Gary Andersen announced on Monday that the Badgers have hired Thomas Brown as running backs coach.

Brown, a standout running back himself at the University of Georgia and in the NFL, comes to Wisconsin from Marshall, where he served as running backs coach for the 2013 season. Prior to his time with the Thundering Herd, Brown spent the 2012 season as the running backs coach at Chattanooga. That followed one season as an assistant coach on the strength and conditioning staff at Georgia, his alma mater.

At Marshall, Brown helped direct Conference USA's second-ranked rushing offense. The Herd averaged 205.9 rushing yards per game, which ranked 24th nationally. Marshall's 34 rushing touchdowns also ranked the Herd in a tie for 19th nationally.

That offensive success helped Marshall secure the C-USA East Division title with a 7-1 record, and the Herd capped the season with a 31-20 win over Maryland in the Military Bowl.

Brown guided RB Essray Taliaferro to a 1,000-yard season that saw him average 5.2 yards per carry and score 10 touchdowns while amassing 1,140 rushing yards. Marshall was one of just seven FBS teams to boast three running backs that rushed for at least 500 yards in 2013 -- along with Wisconsin -- and was the lone program outside the Power Five conferences to accomplish the feat.

In addition to Taliaferro, Steward Butler rushed for 765 yards and Kevin Grooms tallied 503.

A native of the Atlanta area, Brown starred at Tucker High School before enrolling at Georgia and helping the Bulldogs secure the 2005 Southeastern Conference championship. He finished his career as the fifth-leading rusher in Georgia history with 2,646 career yards and led the Bulldogs in rushing in 2004 and 2005. For his career, Brown averaged 5.0 yards per carry and scored 25 total touchdowns.

He was selected in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons and spent the 2009 season with the Cleveland Browns before retiring from football to pursue coaching opportunities.

Brown earned his bachelor's degree in speech communication from Georgia. He and his wife, Jessica, have two children, Orlando and Tyson.

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