- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 10, 2009

Maryland hired Massachusetts coach Don Brown as its defensive coordinator Friday, filling the higher-profile position of its two vacancies with the man who led UMass to the Football Championship Subdivision title game in 2006.

It’s the first major-college job for Brown, who had head coaching stints at Plymouth State (1993-95), Northeastern (2000-03) and UMass (2004-08). He was also a defensive coordinator at Dartmouth, Yale, Brown and Massachusetts. Brown’s defensive philosophy has been predicated on heavy blitzing, especially by linebackers and defensive backs.

“I think it’s going to be a very aggressive thing,” Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen said. “I’m anxious to see how we have to fit our people to fit into that system.”

Brown replaces Chris Cosh, who left last month after three seasons to become Kansas State’s assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator. Al Seamonson, the interim defensive coordinator for the Terps’ 42-35 defeat of Nevada in last month’s Humanitarian Bowl, was passed over for the second time in four years.

Maryland limited Nevada, which entered with the nation’s No. 2 rushing offense at nearly 300 yards a game, to 114 rushing yards at the expense of yielding 370 passing yards. Friedgen said Seamonson was one of three other candidates to interview for the job, though he said he talked to about a dozen other possibilities. Seamonson’s formal interview occurred before the bowl trip.

“Him being the interim defensive coordinator, that was really an interview in itself,” Friedgen said.

Brown’s arrival also means a juggling of assignments on the defensive staff. Brown will be responsible for the cornerbacks, while Kevin Lempa’s duties will include only the safeties. Seamonson, whom Friedgen expects to stay, will absorb Cosh’s old positional duties and oversee all linebackers. Friedgen wants Seamonson to remain on the staff.

“I would love for Al to stay,” he said. “He’s been an integral part of our staff since I’ve been here. I thought he did a very good job in our bowl game.”

Brown inherits a defense that produced average national rankings at best. The Terps ranked 44th in scoring defense, 63rd in total defense, 71st in rushing defense and 77th in pass defense during an 8-5 season. Maryland loses two of its top three tacklers - linebackers Moise Fokou (who also led the Terps in sacks) and Dave Philistin.

Friedgen also said the team’s leading tackler, linebacker Alex Wujciak, underwent knee surgery and will miss spring practice. His six-month rehabilitation should have him ready for camp.

Friedgen considers Brown as a good fit regardless of the challenges ahead.

“I felt he would be a very good addition to our staff from a personality standpoint, but then also from an organization and leadership [standpoint],” he said. “What I was looking for was someone who would take charge and has a system.”

Notes - Friedgen said he interviewed “a couple” of candidates for his special teams coordinator vacancy, but he isn’t close to a decision. Fullback Cory Jackson and receiver LaQuan Williams had surgery and will miss spring practice. Friedgen said linebacker Ben Pooler and fullback Paul Lariviere are also expected to miss spring drills. He said he’s optimistic that tackle Tyler Bowen and receiver Ronnie Tyler will be ready for spring but that safety Dominique Herald’s status is less certain.

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