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Coach Detail

Ron Brown

Title: Associate Head Coach/Running Backs

Former Nebraska assistant coach Ron Brown joined Turner Gill's coaching staff on May 1, 2015, when he was named Liberty's associate head coach and wide receivers coach. Brown served as Liberty's wide receivers coach during the 2015 and 2016 seasons before he was named the Flames' running backs coach on Dec. 14, 2016. 

During the 2015 season, Brown helped All-America wide receiver Darrin Peterson rewrite Liberty's career record books.

Peterson finished the 2015 season ranked No. 1 in program history in career receiving yards (3,170), receptions (215) and receiving touchdowns (27).

He also ranked No. 3 among active FCS players in career receiving yards and No. 4 in career receptions. The native of Gadsden, Ala., finished his career as a three-time All-Big South performer and spent most of the 2015 season on the STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year Award watch list.

Brown was also instrumental in the development of junior Zac Parker (464 receiving yards and a touchdown) and redshirt freshman B.J. Farrow (448 receiving yards and two touchdowns), who finished second and third on the team in receiving yards in 2015.

During his final season overseeing Liberty's wide receivers, Brown helped Dante' Shells become the seventh player in program history to finish his career with 2,000 career receiving yards. The 2016 All-Big South honoree finished his days in a Liberty uniform with 2,061 career receiving yards.  

Brown first crossed paths with Gill when the pair spent 13 seasons coaching together at Nebraska under legendary head football coach Tom Osborne (1990, 1992-2003).

During the 13-year span, Nebraska won three national championships (1994, 1995 and 1997) and five conference championships (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1997).

Brown spent a total of 24 seasons as an assistant coach at Nebraska, working under Osborne (1987-97), Frank Solich (1998-2003) and Bo Pelini (2008-2014).

Brown followed Pelini to Youngstown State in 2015 where he served as the Penguins' running backs coach during spring workouts before joining Liberty's staff.

Brown served in a variety of roles at Nebraska, working with the Huskers' wide receivers/tight ends from 1987-2002, wide receivers in 2003, tight ends from 2008-10 and running backs from 2011-14.

Under Brown's direction, running back Ameer Abdullah became a Doak Walker Award finalist in 2014 and was a second round NFL Draft pick by the Detroit Lions.

As a junior in 2013 and an All-Big 12 first team selection and semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, Abdullah rushed for 1,690 yards. He ranked seventh nationally in rushing yards per game, while his yardage total was the fourth best in Nebraska history and the most since All-American Ahman Green ran for 1,877 yards in 1997.

Brown's running backs helped Nebraska rank eighth nationally in rushing offense (253.4 yards per game) in 2012. Preseason All-American Rex Burkhead missed much of the season with a knee injury, carrying the ball only 98 times, but managing 675 yards and 6.9 yards per carry. Without his top running back, Brown tweaked his I-back rotation to help the Huskers again rank among the nation's rushing leaders.

Abdullah rushed for 1,137 yards on 226 carries as a sophomore, and his rushing total was the sixth-highest ever by a Husker sophomore. The second-team All-Big 12 selection produced six 100-yard rushing efforts, including 100-yard performances in each of his first five career starts, the longest such streak by a Husker since 1993.

In 2011, Brown helped Nebraska rank No. 15 nationally in rushing and was a nominee for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach.

All-Big 12 running back Rex Burkhead led the Huskers' prolific rushing attack, ranking No. 19 in the nation with 104.2 rushing yards per game. Burkhead posted seven 100-yard rushing games, and finished with 1,357 rushing yards for the seventh-best rushing total in school history, the highest total by a Husker running back since 1997.

Working with Nebraska's tight ends in 2010, Brown's unit was a valuable asset in both the passing and running games. In the passing game, Kyler Reed emerged as a playmaker, catching 22 passes for 395 yards and a Nebraska tight end record eight touchdown grabs. Led by Ben Cotton, Brown's tight ends were also a key cog in Nebraska's rushing attack, which led the Big 12 and ranked ninth nationally in rushing.

In 2009, Brown's tight ends combined for 46 catches, 442 yards and six touchdowns, led by Mike McNeill. The Associated Press All-Big 12 second-team selection led the squad with four touchdowns, ranked second with 26 receptions and was third with 259 receiving yards.

In 2008, Brown assisted with a Nebraska offense that finished No. 12 nationally in total offense. McNeill set a Huskers tight end season record with 32 receptions, including six touchdown grabs.

Brown served as wide receivers coach for his entire first tenure with the Huskers and also tutored the tight ends during his first 17 seasons on the Nebraska staff (1987-02). The blocking of Brown's wide receivers played a key role in Nebraska's nine NCAA rushing titles.

Brown is nationally respected for his ability as an intense teacher on the field. Under Brown, Nebraska's were long known for their tenacity and downfield blocking. Despite featuring a run-based attack from 1987 to 2003, Brown's receivers and tight ends also made their mark in the passing game, leading the Big 12 in touchdown receptions three times.

Brown joined Osborne's staff for his first tenure at Nebraska after four years of coaching at Brown University in Providence, R.I., from 1983 to 1986. Brown's first season was as the school's head freshman coach, and then spent three seasons as defensive backfield coach. Brown also served as assistant to the athletic director in 1986.

Twenty-seven of Brown's former pupils have gone on to professional careers, including tight end Johnny Mitchell, the New York Jets' first-round pick in 1992; Tyrone Hughes, a two-time Pro Bowl selection with the New Orleans Saints; tight end Sheldon Jackson, a 1999 draft pick of the Buffalo Bills and Ameer Abdullah, the Detroit Lions second round selection in 2015.

Brown has coached 39 academic all-conference players and three CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, including Burkhead in 2011.

Brown received his bachelor's degree from Brown in 1979, and earned his master's degree in public health from Columbia in 1982.

Brown was a two-time first-team All-Ivy League performer as a defensive back. He was selected to Brown's All-Century team and the school's Sports Hall of Fame. Brown signed with three NFL teams as a free agent from 1979 to 1981.

He began his coaching career as a defensive coordinator for the semipro New Jersey Rams in 1982, before moving to his alma mater in 1983.

Off the field, Brown and former Husker Stan Parker are co-founders and co-directors of a statewide Christian ministry called Mission Nebraska.

The ministry stewards MY BRIDGE RADIO, which consists of numerous Christian radio stations and translators across Nebraska. Brown spends much of his time challenging and inspiring men and boys to take a strong, courageous Christian stand in the public square across America.

Brown spent the four years prior to his return to coaching serving as the Nebraska State Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (2004-07). After returning to coaching, Brown has continued as a regular columnist for FCA's national magazine "Sharing the Victory."

During his time away from coaching, Brown also worked as an internet, television and radio college and high school analyst for ESPN and Sports Spectrum.

He has authored several books on Christian character and growth. He is an outspoken advocate on many issues, including adoption, abstinence and drug and alcohol education, race relations and anti-pornography, to name a few.

Brown is married to Molvina Carter and they have two daughters, Sojourner Elaine and Bronwyn Pearl.

Brown at a Glance
Coaching Experience
      2015-Present – Liberty (WR/RB)
      2015 (Spring) – Youngstown State (RB)
      2008-14 – Nebraska (TE/RB)
      1987-03 – Nebraska (WR/TE)
      1984-86 – Brown (DB)
      1983 – Brown (Head Freshman Coach)
      1982 – New Jersey Rams (Def. Coord.)
Recruiting Area: Virginia (Richmond/Petersburg/Chesterfield County), Georgia (East/Central), Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina (Central), North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming
Education: B.A., Sociology (Brown, '79), M.A., Public Health (Columbia, '82)
Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Wife: Molvina
Children: Sojourner Elaine and Bronwyn Pearl