UPDATE, 1:15 p.m.: Georgia has made it official:
Welcome back Thomas Brown! He returns to his alma mater and will be @FootballUGA's running backs coach!— Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics) February 16, 2015
Wisconsin is undergoing some additional turnover on its coaching staff.
Monday morning, Doug Samuels of FootballScoop.com reported that Badgers running backs coach Thomas Brown is headed to his alma mater, Georgia, for the same position.
Brown was Wisconsin's running backs coach for the past season after stints with Chattanooga and Marshall. He was also an assistant strength and conditioning coach for Georgia in 2011, and was one of two assistants Paul Chryst kept on staff after he was hired along with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. Brown was due to earn $215,000 with the Badgers this season.
Brown's loss means that Wisconsin will now have its third running backs coach in as many seasons after Thomas Hammock left before last season.
Earlier in the day, reports suggested Stanford running backs coach Lance Taylor would replace Tony Ball as Georgia's wide receivers coach coach. Ball left last week to become LSU's wide receivers coach. But after Taylor changed his mind, Georgia was left with a vacant position on Mark Richt's coaching staff. UGA's current running backs coach, Bryan McClendon, will reportedly move wide receivers coach.
While it goes without saying that the implications of this news definitely hurt the Badgers, it's not entirely unexpected. Brown was born in Tucker, Ga., and finished his college career as Georgia's fifth-leading rusher with 2,646 yards from 2004-07.
If there was any school that Brown would leave for, it was likely Georgia. That said, a young energetic recruiter seems to be the order of the day if Brown is making his exit. Brown landed commitments from Arrington Farrar and Bradrick Shaw in January and helped keep Jordan Stevenson on campus when there were rumors of a flip to Oklahoma State. How good this recruiting class looks like it will be entering the 2015 season is almost strictly tied to the efforts of Brown, who also recruited 2016 four-star running back Antonio Williams and 2015 linebacker signee Chris Orr.
Already, Williams and 2016 quarterback target David Moore have responded on Twitter.
Staying off of twitter for a while. Not answering any questions at the moment.— Antonio Williams® (@A_B_Williams34) February 16, 2015
Coach Brown went to Georgia wow....there goes my favorite coach at Wisconsin!— David Moore (@David_Moore5) February 16, 2015
It also goes without saying that Brown coached Melvin Gordon to a Heisman Trophy-finalist season in 2014 and oversaw the rushing attack that finished fourth in the country.
As for potential replacements, the obvious favorite has to be former Wisconsin and Pitt running backs coach John Settle. After coaching UW's running backs from 2006-10, Settle spent time in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns before joining Chryst's staff at Pitt in 2014. A return to Wisconsin would reunited Settle with not only Chryst, but offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph as well.