NFL

U-M fires DC Brown after 5 seasons, source says

  • ESPN staff writer
  • Joined ESPN in 2011
  • Graduated from Central Michigan

Michigan has dismissed defensive coordinator Don Brown, a source confirmed to ESPN.

The move was first reported by The Athletic.

Michigan finished the season 2-4, and the defense ranked 87th in yards allowed per game, 59th in yards allowed per play and was in the bottom tier in rushing and passing yards allowed per game as well.

Brown, 65, had just finished his fifth season at Michigan, and the defensive numbers had continued to slide. His first season as defensive coordinator, in 2016 after he was hired from Boston College, Brown’s defense ranked first in yards allowed per game and led the country in passing yards allowed per game.

The Wolverines had held opponents to fewer than 2,000 yards passing in three straight seasons from 2016 to 2018.

As those numbers stood out, so too did the statistics the past two seasons against rival Ohio State. Brown’s defense allowed 62 points and 567 yards in 2018 and 56 points and 577 yards in 2019.

As Brown has been let go, there is still no confirmation that Jim Harbaugh and Michigan have agreed to a contract extension, as Harbaugh is entering the final year of his current contract.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg contributed to this report.

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