Corwin Brown - honest debate about coaching ability (no race this time)

Submitted by myrtlebeachmai… on February 3rd, 2011 at 11:19 PM

Ok, he's a great recruiter, but I think we've got that covered.

The race/demographic question is more than answered in the other post.

I want someone to tell me what I'm missing regarding his coaching abilty.  Who has he developed that makes him stand out?

NY Jets as DB coach 2004-2007 - their DB/S's have only improved since he left

ND - He was better IMO running the DC position (because of the recruiting/tying positions/people together) as he did in 2007.  He only took over DBs in 2008, and I don't remember ANY great secondary play from ND in that timeframe.  Shoot, of anything I remember  of us having success at all against them was due to taking advantage of their poor backfields.  I don't remember a single DB's name from ND (except for DB's named Rye, White, Wheat - they were all toast).  2009 he's back to multi-tasking with Asst HC, DC, and DB roles. 

Am I missing something?  If we're truly looking for a DB coach, is he even close to the best guy?  If we were short on the recruiting front AND needed the DB spot, sign him up, but I think it's no big miss otherwise.




February 4th, 2011 at 2:04 AM ^

There is no question a lot of it is Brian. And it's fucking annoying.

Dude can say what he wants, but when he's got so many lemmings, he does have to kind of be considerate with what he says. The race post regarding the assistants was one of the few times I thought he was being irresponsible with that. Along with things like "0.0" and "We've just ensured the transfer of the Big Ten player of the year." Basically, he's not been on a roll lately.


February 4th, 2011 at 10:01 AM ^

But as time goes on, with no change in tone, it's proving your point. It's hard on a big ego (a trait many of us who graduated from Michigan have) when you make fun of others, tell them things will go one way, and then tell them things will never happen, and you're wrong on all accounts. And rather than admit that, you try and make it true by changing public perception and making things worse just to be right. Oh, and telling people who point it out to "fuck off and die".
<br>He's entitled to his opinions, but more and more he's skewing his "facts" to be purposefully and unnecessarily negative. Freep practices. Which were abhorrent when they didn't get their way, but seem suddenly accrptable.

Mitch Cumstein

February 4th, 2011 at 10:07 AM ^

Perhaps my use of language was a little harsh, but this whole theme of crying about the press taking a "180" and trying to find specific examples of the media calling out RR (mind you he is a CBS college sports analyst now, not the UM coach) and trying to prove them wrong with obscure stats is going to get old, real quick.  Its even more annoying to see other posters just echoing everything he says without even considering the validity. 

He needs to realize he was wrong about a lot of things, and just move on.  But I agree with you also, there are a lot of egos on this board, for better or worse, myself included.


February 4th, 2011 at 10:47 AM ^

I just try (though maybe not always succeed) to not flat out call him out on his own blog. Tell him he's wrong, and why? Sure. Just like I would any other media source that's influencing people. Keeping it to just email seems to be on deaf ears as time goes on. But it is his right to run the blog any way he wants, even if it is into the ground (I just see a lot of older, frequent, quality posters who seem to be posting less and less...all your top point guys can't ALL be getting extra busy at the same time. Something has to be due to the environment).

And I used "us" for a reason. I'll totally cop to that ego thing too. We were not just called "arrogant asses"; we embraced it. I think the mentality of "I'm smarter than everyone else and always right" is something in common with Brian. The difference is, and what keeps it from being totally insufferable, is that I can admit when I'm wrong. (Just had to in the other thread Re: the racial make-up of Rich's staff).


February 4th, 2011 at 10:29 AM ^

1) On Jan 19, there was this post by "wesq"; it had 175+ comments, so it got a lot of discussion:

2) On Jan 20, the next day, was the first time Brian brought it up as an item in a mega-post:

So you can blame Brian all you want, and surely his Jan 20 post helped make it more prominent, but I think most people who comment on this blog can think for themselves and don't need to "follow" anyone.

Also, as far as the fanbase ever making an issue out of black assistant coaches, I couldn't tell you; there's no archive to search that goes back that far.  At least in recent times, U of M has had at least one coordinator who was black (English, 2006-07; Magee, 2008-10), so perhaps that's part of the reason, but that's a guess.


February 4th, 2011 at 1:09 AM ^

Black, yellow, red, brown or white coaches, I just want them to be all maize and blue!  I'm sure BH has done his homework and probably has GM giving him input to hire the defensive coaches.  CB seems like a good coach and a great recruiter but may be BH thought CM would be the better fit for his defensive staff.  I wish Stefan Humphries would have gotten in to coaching, but he's an MD in Spokane, Washington.


February 4th, 2011 at 2:15 AM ^

I'm glad that people are adhering to the OP's request of "no race this time."

I do agree with the premise that there is very little to suggest Brown is a great DBs coach (though there may be even less to suggest Mallory is). Also, just based on some youtube videos I saw of CB speaking at Notre Dame, he seems like kind of a negative guy. Just tone, body language. Perhaps Hoke is looking for a different kind of demeanor on the staff.

The thing that just really pisses me off about it is the theory floating that his (gasp!) negative recruiting against Michigan eliminated him. Just like the rumor that Miles' recruitment of Jai Eugene hurt if not eliminated his chances of coaching Michigan because Llllllloyd didn't like it. There is really no way to know if those rumors are true, but if so, I don't have much faith that we can compete in big-time college athletics today with that kind of sensitivity and lack of respect for cut-throat dynamics.





Bando Calrissian

February 4th, 2011 at 2:19 AM ^

Well...  If I'm remembering correctly, the accusations of Corwin Brown negatively recruiting/talking about MIchigan were paired with direct quotes and specific examples, not vague rumormongering of Les Miles barnstorming around SEC country spreading stuff about Lloyd Carr's health.  There's a bit of a difference there.


And "Llllllloyd" is a bit RCMB, isn't it?


February 4th, 2011 at 2:37 AM ^

I didn't say it was a rumor that he negatively recruited Michigan, I said it was a rumor that such a thing got him blackballed.

Look, I don't care that he negatively recruited against us. That is not a scandal. He was employed by a rival. It was his JOB. And if it consistently worked, it should be seen as a feather in his cap.

And I don't know if Llllllloyd is RCMB or not. I just like it.


February 4th, 2011 at 8:00 AM ^

It's a big boy business.  I would expect a coach to do that no matter where he went to school. And I would've hoped if Michigan hired him he would use some of the things he knows now about ND to recruit against the Domers.  So should Montgomery not be able to recruit against Iowa.  And if Mattison recruits against Wisconsin when he grew up right in Madison then shame on him!


People overreact to this recruiting against Michigan stuff.  If he isn't employed by Michigan then he needs to do his job elsewhere or else he won't even have a job.  Michigan and ND happen to go head to head on a number of recruits so it happens.  Man up and quit whining about it. 


February 4th, 2011 at 10:11 AM ^

It's not that he "recruited against Michigan". It's that he trashed Michigan while recruiting against it. Good recruiting is playing up your school, and selling it. Trashing someone else shows a lack of confidence in your product, and an inability to sell it. Doing it to your former school is just low, and does make it tough to come back. If he were recruiting for Muchigan, and had just sold ND, he could say "they are a good program, but here's what WE have to offer" (much like someone from somewhere else can). But if you've said "I'd rather have been at ND than Michigan", it's hard when a recruit says "why should I come to Michigan over ND? You said you wouldn't". Which is why the high road is don't get caught in those situations.

Big Boutros

February 4th, 2011 at 2:31 AM ^

Whoever Mattison wants is fine by me. As many have been asking today, can you name TCU's DB coach? Alabama's? Ohio State's? The job, as it relates to performance on the field, is an extension of the defensive coordinator. If Mattison would rather work with Curt Mallory, cool, whatever. Cornflakes is a proven recruiter; the only name I can attribute to Mallory offhand is Vontae Davis. Both men were asstastic defensive coordinators.

As for the race handwringing, I'd wait until Cornflakes himself has something to say. It's entirely possible that Corwin Brown comes out and says "I don't know what the fuck Michael Taylor is talking about." If he gives an expose to Angelique and claims Brady Hoke refused him an interview because he's black...well, welcome to Hell Part II, I guess.

Here's what I'd like to think: they are coaches. Not black coaches or white coaches, just football coaches. I'd like to think if you asked anyone--fan, player, fellow coach, whoever--to put a qualifier on Fred Jackson's title, it would be "running backs coach" or "easily excitable coach." I don't think you'd hear "black coach" from anyone except Stormfront moderators. I'm not stupid or idealistic enough to pretend that race neither exists nor matters, but I would love to believe that it is irrelevant on a football field. I hope this story does not materialize into something genuinely ugly and shatter that hope.

In any case, I'd like to see Greg Harden reintroduced to the program. I think all parties can agree that his participation in the Michigan athletic department would be a welcome one.


February 4th, 2011 at 8:11 AM ^

This argument about whether fans know the coaches is irrelevant.  Because the recruits know the coaches.  The coaches are the ones who recruit the players to the school.  So while we may not know them, the recruits do in fact know the coaches and I don't know how big a factor race plays into it but it is certainly possible.  I know Tony Dews and Fred Jackson and Soup Campbell and Corwin Brown are all known as great recruiters.  Maybe it is their personality or maybe the young kids relate to them better.  I don't know what it is.


But if you do a search on those teams coaches, OSU has 3 black assistants on staff, but ND and MSU have only 2.  We will have 2 on staff after Jerry Montgomery is officially hired.  So maybe it won't be a big deal in the end, but you are kidding yourself if you think it is entirely irrelevant.  On the actual football field it is irrelevant, but recruiting players and their families it matters.  2 may be enough for that. 1 would have been walking a very thin line so I'm glad we hired Montgomery.


February 4th, 2011 at 4:36 AM ^

From an ND fan perspective, Corwin obviously was a great recruiter.  He bears most of the responsibility among the assistant coaches for putting together ND's 2008 recruiting class (ranked #2 overall by Rivals) during the 2007 season, the year we went 3-9.

As a defensive coordinator he showed promise in 2007 as he got a largely inexperienced unit that was devoid of talent at several positions to play hard and keep games competitive early until they wore down by being on the field so much.

After his promising 2007, Weis decided to bring in John Tenuta, which everyone was excited about at the time, but ended up being Weis' worst single decision as coach.  After making the transition to a 3-4, ND went to a hybrid (3-4 under look maybe the best description) in 2008.  The defense played decently considering the transition and youth but wasn't a great unit.

2009 was when shit hit the fan.  Weis turned playcalling duties over to Tenuta and his blitz-happy schemes killed us.  The talent brought in back in 2008 that was recruited to play the 3-4 was now shoehorned into the 4-3.

Corwin's DB coaching was pretty good his first two years but everything fell apart in 2009.  The DBs frankly didn't look like they were coached at all (watch the missed tackles, poor angles, and lack of recognition during the 2009 USC-ND game).  Corwin bears responsibility for this but clearly he and Tenuta weren't on the same page.  The difference between the DB play last year under Corwin and this year under Chuck Martin (former GVSU HC) is night and day.

Overall, I would definitely take a chance again on Corwin as a position coach b/c of a recruiting abilities (I also think he can motivate) but only if he's on the same page with the coordinator.  The lack of chemistry on the coaching staff really killed Weis and it was apparent between Corwin and Tenuta.


February 4th, 2011 at 8:52 AM ^

if Hoke and Mattison wanted someone else. Wasn't one of the big problems on the old staff the fact the DC couldn't pick his own assistants? Should the new staff be assembled by committee vote of former players?

Hoke will be held accountable for the team's play, Mattison will be the guy held accountable for the defensive performance. Given that, they have the right to hire whoever they want without ex-players attacking them in the media for it.


February 4th, 2011 at 9:13 AM ^

Just set aside the whole "they didn't call him back" meme. It's not important, even if true.

[1] People have cited his resume as a reason to hire him, but it's also a reason not to do so. He's not an up-and-coming position coach, likely to stay in the program and then maybe be able to replace Mattison when the time comes. Brown isn't a guy who would benefit from working under Mattison and Hoke. Instead, he's a former DC who is likely to be around for just a year or two before he gets an offer that is too good to pass up. I think this is the most likely explanation -- Brown doesn't fit what they're looking for -- they don't need a co-DC, they need a DBs coach.

[2] Another question I have about his resume is why is it that his best option last year was a last-second job with New England as an assistant (safeties) to the DBs coach? That's a pretty big step down from DC at Notre Dame. Almost sounds like Weis called in a favor.


February 4th, 2011 at 10:20 AM ^

I'm not sure your first point is consistent with them hiring Mallory.  Mallory is 41 (a year older than Brown) and a former DC at Illionois and now at Akron.  This past off-season Mallory interviewed and was a finalist for the Miami, Ohio job (… ) and the CMU job (… ) , so it appears that he has aspirations beyond being a DB coach at UM.


February 4th, 2011 at 9:54 AM ^

I know that many wanted CB to be hired onto this staff, for several reasons - race, recruiting, alum status, whatever.  

But, we the fans do not have to work with the guy.  Hoke and Mattison do, and the most important thing is that they hire someone who they feel will fit THEIR vision for the defense and with whom THEY feel that they will have good chemistry.  

We, as Michigan fans, should be well aware of the importance of staff chemistry, as we have very recently seen the result of a defensive staff composed of different philosophies.  

On another note, I commend the OP for trying to conduct a discussion about the coaching position and CB without letting race enter the equation.  It's unfortunate that many on this board are so over-sensitive and looking to create issues where none exist that they couldn't even have such a discussion, and felt to ignore this request and bring up race.


February 4th, 2011 at 10:04 AM ^

If you look at the resumes of Corwin Brown and Curt Mallory:

One has 6 years of college coaching experience and 4 years of professional coaching experience.  One has 16 years of college coaching experience.  Coaching 18-23 years olds is different from coaching 23-thirtysome year olds. 

In terms of cultivating recruiting relationships with HS coaches in Michigan and Ohio, one has recruited in the midwest for 3 years and the other for 16 years.

Both are the around the same age.  Both understand the culture and traditions of U of M.

Based on these qualifications, who would you hire?







February 4th, 2011 at 10:17 AM ^

"In terms of cultivating recruiting relationships with HS coaches in Michigan and Ohio, one has recruited in the midwest for 3 years and the other for 16 years."

CB recruited like a beast in the midwest.  All the more impressive that he only had 3 years to cultivate those relationships.

Also, NFL experience carries a lot of weight, especially w/ recruits.


Webber's Pimp

February 4th, 2011 at 10:20 AM ^

race does play a part whether we like it or not. You have to connect with the kids and trust me you want to have as diverse a staf as possible. Brown is an ACE recruiter and he would certainly help our efforts particularly now that we've hit rock bottom recruiting wise (this is the lowest ranked recruiting class we've had at Michigan ever since I've been keeping tabs on such things - a period which spans 20 years). 

Moreover, as far as Brown's coaching ability keep in mind what he did with the Patriots this year. He has basically taken a rookie CB and coached him up to the point where he's the best CB on the team and soon to be selected the rookie of the year 9at least many analysts think so). So to call Brown's coaching ability into question given his resume is absolutely ridiculous. The fact is Brown is better qualified than some of the guys we have on teh staff and the very least we could do for him is extend the courtesy of a call back. As far as I'm concerned this is the first faux pas of the Hoke regime (and the 2nd legitimate controversy of the Brandon tenure). 


February 4th, 2011 at 11:23 AM ^…

or this one:…

or this one:

Neg away.

Relating to recruits and players matters.  It's exactly why some really great x and o coaches can't succeed running a program--they can't relate to kids.  Part of that has to do with skin color, and denying this is willful blindness.  Hiring someone specifically because of their race is a bad strategy, but taking into account that having some diversity on staff sends a good message to potential players is just smart business.