Thomas Brown is “coming home.”
Brown, a native of Tucker who starred at tailback for Georgia from 2004-07, is leaving Wisconsin to coach the Bulldogs’ running backs, coach Mark Richt announced Monday. Bryan McClendon, the Bulldogs’ current running backs coach, will be taking over as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator, Richt added. McClendon played receiver at UGA from 2002-05.
“These moves with two former Georgia teammates will add a great dimension to our offensive coaching staff,” Richt said in a UGA news release. “It brings back a great Bulldog running back in Thomas who has NFL playing experience and has had success as a college coach at multiple schools. He also inherits a position that has been built to an elite level by Bryan. And it gives Bryan the opportunity to return to coaching the position he played and the one where he cut his teeth serving as a graduate assistant under wide receiver coach John Eason here at UGA. It also provides him with a new experience as passing game coordinator.”
Brown got the job after Stanford’s Lance Taylor changed his mind and turned down the Bulldogs’ offer Monday morning. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, citing sources, reported Monday morning that Taylor was joining UGA as receivers coach. Taylor reportedly accepted Georgia’s offer initially but changed his mind after sleeping on it overnight and conferring with confidantes.
Brown, a native of Tucker, coached running backs and Heisman Trophy finalist Melvin Gordon at Wisconsin last year. He also coached running backs at Marshall and Chattanooga, respectively, the previous two seasons. He was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Georgia in 2011.
Brown played tailback at Georgia from 2004-07 and finished his career as the fifth-leading rusher as the Bulldogs’ fifth-leading rusher with 2,646 career yards. He led UGA in rushing in 2004 and 2005 and averaged 5.0 yards per carry and scored 25 total touchdowns in his career.
Brown fills the vacancy left by the departure of Tony Ball. The Bulldogs’ receivers’ coach since 2009 and a member of Mark Richt’s staff since 2006, Ball left UGA last week to become receivers’ coach at LSU.
Check back for updates on this developing story.