News broke Wednesday morning that former Nebraska assistant Ron Brown was returning to the Huskers’ football program in a non-coaching capacity. Brown wasted no time in getting back to work. In an appearance on Sports Nightly Wednesday night, Brown said he is already in Lincoln working as the team’s newest Director of Player Development.
Brown didn’t provide many details on the circumstances surrounding his return to Lincoln but said his past relationships with head coach Scott Frost and Associate Athletic Director Matt Davison played a role.
“I think we all touched each other’s lives in a very special way," he said. “I got to talking to Scott one day and I could really feel his heart. I felt very honored that he would even think he would want me to be a part of that.
“I just come to serve. I love this place, always have, always had a passion in my heart for Nebraska. It’s really a dream come true to be back.”
Brown said his role will be to help members of the football team in life outside of football. He will also work with the Life Skills program and assist with community outreach efforts for the Nebraska football team, according to a release from the university. The particulars of Brown’s day-to-day are still being worked through.
“We’ve been talking through a number of things,” he said. “What’s really important for [Frost] is just making sure the players have a guy they can go to that’s not necessarily just a coach.”
Brown was around the Husker football program earlier during the spring when he caught a few Husker practices. When asked what he took away from those viewings, Brown had plenty of praise for Frost.
“Scott reminds me a lot of Coach [Tom] Osborne,” Brown said. He’s not a guy that tries to draw a lot of attention to himself but he gets a lot of attention … I saw a guy that was very under control. He has a lot of control over his spirit, he doesn’t let his emotions rule him. I think players feel very comfortable and they trust him.”
Brown also referenced Frost’s experience on both sides of the football as a player and a coach as something special.
“There’s not many guys in college football that have the pedigree he has,” Brown said.
For the last three seasons, Brown has been an associate head coach at Liberty University, working alongside former Husker quarterback and current Liberty head coach Turner Gill. Brown said Gill’s mentorship and friendship came at the right time in his life.
“There are different times in everyone’s life that you need a special friend,” he said. “I think that was really a time in my life where I had to search within myself: 'What kind of a man am I?'
“I learned a lot from [Gill’s] consistency and just how he does things.”
As Brown sees it, the move back to Nebraska is the right move for him to make at this time. He doesn’t just have relationships with Frost and Davison, but he also cited friendships with running backs coach Ryan Held, offensive line coach Greg Austin, inside linebacker coach Barrett Ruud and Director of High School Relations Kenny Wilhite.
“I want to be a servant to [Frost] and help these players maximize the talent they have,” Brown said. “I’m going to do everything I can to help Nebraska football be what it ought to be, what it should be.”
You can hear the full Brown interview below.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.