When University of Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley began conducting a national search in June of 1995 to find a new men's track and field coach, his decision to hire Doug Brown was a relatively easy choice. The biggest obstacle Foley faced was trying to convince Brown to leave his alma mater, the University of Tennessee. At Tennessee, Brown spent 15 years and won three national championships while building the Volunteers into a perennial national power as a nine-time All-America athlete and as the school's head coach.
In 1999, Brown's Gators took two dramatic steps forward with the first outdoor national top-10 finish since 1993 and their first national champion since 1992.
After failing to place outdoors in 1996, Florida improved to 22nd in 1997, 13th in 1998, and advanced to a tie for ninth place in 1999. Much of the credit for the finish goes to the Gators' first national champion outdoors since 1990. Freshman John Capel won the 200m outdoor title and took second in the 100m, leading Brown's Gators into the top 10 for the first time. Florida's head coach was named South Region Outdoor Coach of the Year for 1999, the first regional honor for a Florida men's coach since 1989.
After four years at Florida, Brown has already made his mark in Gator history. Before the accomplishments of last year, he had orchestrated the second greatest one-year turnaround in Florida men's track and field history by transforming a team which placed seventh at the SEC Indoor Championships in 1996 to a second-place finish in 1997. The Gators went from an eighth place finish at the 1996 SEC Outdoor Championships to a second-place 1997 SEC showing. He brought in the fifth-rated recruiting class by Track and Field News and blended those young athletes with veterans left over to form a second-place SEC finisher in one year. In 1998, the improvement continued on a national level. During the indoor season, Florida moved back into the top 10 with a seventh place finish at the national championships - an improvement of 27 spots from the year before. Brown's troops weren't through, yet. With their final surge of the 1998 season, the Gators made another impressive leap improving from 22nd the year before to 13th at the outdoor national championships.
Before beginning his career in Gainesville, Brown led the Volunteers from 1985 to 1996 to seven Southeastern Conference titles and nine top-five national finishes, including the 1991 outdoor season when Brown's UT squad captured the national championship. In all, Brown has coached 11 cross country All-Americans, 82 track and field All-Americans and four Olympians.
He has earned SEC Coach-of-the-Year honors 10 times (four for cross country and three each for indoor and outdoor track), in addition to being named the NCAA Division I Coach-of-the-Year following the 1991 championship season. Brown was also recognized by his peers when he was named an assistant track and field coach for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Entering his fifth year at the helm of the Gator program, Brown's resume includes more than 22 years of NCAA and international experience as both a world-class athlete and coach. During his collegiate career in the early 1970s, the Michigan native earned nine All-America honors in cross country and track, including two NCAA steeplechase titles, while leading the Vols to the 1972 NCAA team title in cross country and the 1974 outdoor national championship. Brown holds the oldest standing SEC track and field record with his 3,000 meter steeplechase time of 8:23.2 set in 1974. His collegiate success helped him earn a spot on the United States Track and Field team in three different Olympiads ('72, '76 and '80). He ran the steeplechase in Munich in 1972 and at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, in addition to qualifying for the boycotted 1980 Games in Moscow.
Brown started coaching as a graduate assistant at UT in 1975-76 and as a head coach at Knoxville's Fulton High School (1976-78). After earning degrees in psychology and physical education from Tennessee, and armed with his first taste of coaching experience, Brown headed west to Oregon. Over the next seven years he enhanced his coaching and administrative experience while working for Nike and competing for the Athletics West Track Club. He also served as head coach at Churchill High School in Eugene during the 1980-81 track season.
In 1985, Tennessee asked Brown to return to his alma mater after legendary Vol coach Stan Huntsman moved to Austin to take over the University of Texas program. Upon returning to UT, Brown quickly built upon the tradition of excellence that his mentor had begun when Brown was a student in the 1970s. In his first season at the UT helm, Brown's squad captured the elusive SEC "Triple Crown," sweeping the cross country and indoor and outdoor track titles.
In addition to the winning attitude Brown has instilled within his track and field squads, he has always remained equally committed to the importance of academics within a student-athlete's college experience. This fact is evidenced by the 89 Volunteers that were named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll during his tenure at UT, and by the three that earned Academic All-America status under his guidance. In his first four years at Florida, Brown had 37 selections to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Brown's teams embody a family-oriented atmosphere because he cares for his athletes as performers, students and individuals. By stressing personal and team-oriented goals through an energetic and positive approach, Doug Brown has emerged as one of the nation's top track and field coaches.
Doug Brown Year-By-Year
|*1995 cross country at Florida|
DOUG BROWN YEAR-BY-YEAR
National championships: 1991 (outdoor)
SEC championships: (7) - cross country (3) 1985, 1989, 1990; indoor (2) 1986, 1991; outdoor (2) 1986, 1991
Top five NCAA finishes: (9) - cross country (1) 1988; indoor (3) 1993, 1994, 1995; outdoor (5) 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
Individual All-Americans: (142) - cross country 11, indoor 44, outdoor 87
Individual NCAA Champions: (13) - indoor 4, outdoor 9
Individual SEC Champions: (81) - cross country 2, indoor 41, outdoor 38
Academic All-SEC honorees: 78 (10 in 1998)
Academic All-Americans: 3
THE DOUG BROWN FILE
Date of Birth: March 1, 1952
in Detroit, Mich.
Hometown: St. Clair Shores, Mich.
Began at Florida: July 3, 1995
Education: Notre Dame High School (Harper Woods, Mich.); Bachelor of Science, Psychology (1974); Bachelor of Physical Education, University of Tennessee (1976)
Collegiate Honors at Tennessee:
1971 Outdoor - Six-mile run
1972 Cross Country, Outdoor - 3,000m Steeplechase
1973 Cross Country
1973 Indoor - Two-mile run, Outdoor - 3,000m Steeplechase
1974 Indoor - Two-mile run, Three-mile run, Outdoor - 3,000m Steeplechase
U.S. Olympic Teams:
1972 Munich - 3,000m Steeplechase (Tennessee)
1976 Montreal - 3,000m Steeplechase (Knoxville Track Club)
1980 Moscow - 3,000m Steeplechase (Athletics West)
1996 Atlanta - Assistant Coach, Men=s Track and Field
1975-76 Graduate Assistant, University of Tennessee
1976-78 Head Coach, Fulton High School, Knoxville, Tenn.
1980-81 Head Coach, Churchill High School, Eugene, Ore.
1986-95 Head Coach, University of Tennessee
1995-present Head Coach, University of Florida
SEC Coach of the Year: Cross Country - 1985, 1989, 1990, 1994; Indoor Track - 1986, 1989, 1991; Outdoor Track - 1986, 1990, 1991
1988 NCAA Division I District III Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year
1991 NCAA Division I Outdoor Coach-of-the-Year