Washburn defensive coordinator named new head coach at Fort Hays State

Gene Cassell / Washburn SID

Washburn defensive coordinator Chris Brown has accepted the head coaching position at Fort Hays State as announced at a press conference earlier today. Brown has spent the past nine seasons leading the Ichabod defense and spent the last as assistant head coach.

Brown replaces Kevin Verdugo who was 18-47 over the past six years including a 3-8 mark in 2010.

“We’re excited for Chris, Daphne, Hunter and Hayden,” Ichabod head coach Craig Schurig said. “The Browns did a great job and Chris has a very good opportunity at Fort Hays State. We wish him all the best of the luck and we enjoyed his accomplishments and his contributions to the team and to Washburn University.”

At Washburn Brown was part of a program which has gone 62-41 in nine years including two NCAA playoff appearances in 2005 and 2007, the 2005 MIAA Championship along with the 2004 Mineral Water Bowl Championship and the 2010 Kanza Bowl Championship going 8-4 this past season.

While at Washburn, Brown has coached the 2009 and 2006 MIAA Most Valuable Defensive Players in Atlanta Falcons’ sixth-round 2007 NFL Draftee Trey Lewis and 2009 MIAA MVP Zach Watkins. He has also coached two All-American cornerbacks in Fletcher Terrell and Pierre Desir, five all-region picks and nine all-MIAA selections. While leading the Washburn defense, Brown has led a defense which has led the MIAA three season of the last four seasons in turnovers gained including a school-record-tying 23 interceptions in 2007.

Brown has guided two Ichabods who have been picked in the NFL Draft. The 2006 MIAA Most Valuable Player, defensive tackle, Trey Lewis was a sixth round 2007 draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons and cornerback Cary Williams was a seventh round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2008.

Brown has coached six All-Americans in both Williams and Lewis along with Fletcher Terrell, Grant Gould, Zach Watkins and Pierre Desir as well as 20 all-region selections and 41 defensive players who have earned all-MIAA honors including 21 first or second team selections.

Specifically coaching the Ichabod secondary, the Ichabods have picked off 97 passes in the last five seasons including the school-record-tying high of 23 in 2007. Overall the secondary has grabbed five of the top nine interception totals in school history.

The Ichabods allowed only 16 points per game in 2006 and in 2005, the Ichabods forced an MIAA-leading 30 turnovers and allowed 3.7 yards per carry. In 2005, the Ichabods also recorded 29 sacks, which were the most since the 2000 season and the combined total of the previous three seasons.

Brown came to Washburn after spending three seasons as the secondary coach at Liberal High School where the Redskins compiled a 37-5 record from 1998-2001.

Brown, a native of Liberal, Kan., is a 1996 graduate of Pittsburg State University where he recorded 470 tackles in 43 starts in his career at free safety. He is one of only three Gorillas to earn All-American honors three times. He was a unanimous first team All-American selection his senior season and was named the CNN Division II National Player of the Year in 1995. In the championship game as a freshman he recorded a record 21 tackles against Jacksonville State. He was also named to the NCAA Quarter Century Team from all players from 1975 to 1999 at free safety. Brown was inducted into the Pittsburg State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.