Syracuse hires Fran Brown as its next football coach

Syracuse taps Brown for next football coach

Georgia assistant’s ties to Northeast and recruiting acumen help make up for his lack of head coaching experience.

Fran Brown (center), shown here among his Georgia football players at the 2022 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal game.
Brown was in his second season as the defensive backs coach at the University of Georgia.

Syracuse is hiring Fran Brown as its next football head coach. The university confirmed the news in a press release it issued on Tuesday afternoon.

Brown — a native of Camden, New Jersey — was the defensive backs coach at the University of Georgia, a role he held for the past two seasons.

“I am incredibly proud to be leading Syracuse Football at a university with a rich and storied tradition of academic and athletic excellence,” Brown said in a press release. “Syracuse Football has outstanding talent, great facilities and passionate alumni. The success of the players is my No. 1 priority—on and off the field.

“I want my guys to succeed in life, because they played football at Syracuse. My immediate area of focus is building relationships with my current players and putting together an elite staff, while also having fun on the recruiting trail. I’m ready to get to work and look forward to building something special for our fans.”

After the firing of Dino Babers on Nov. 19, Brown will become the 31st head coach at Syracuse since the program began play in 1887. At 40 years old, Brown will become one of the youngest head coaches in college football.

His rapidly ascendant candidacy was first reported by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic on Monday. first reported that Brown and the University were finalizing an agreement to make him the next head coach.

While he did not possess any head coaching experience, Brown’s Northeastern background and recruiting acumen were qualities that made him a candidate for the job.

247sports recently named Brown as the nation’s best recruiter. Georgia currently has the top recruiting class in the country

After playing quarterback in high school, Brown switched to cornerback in college at Western Carolina, where he played from 2003-06. After becoming a first-team all-conference player, he briefly spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2007 and 2008.

Brown spent a year coaching high school football before landing his first college job at Temple in 2011 as director of internal operations.

First under Steve Addazio, then under Matt Rhule, Brown rose to become the defensive backs coach and associate head coach at Temple by 2016.

When Rhule left for Baylor, Brown followed and served in those same roles for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Following his second season at Baylor, Brown returned to Temple to serve as the co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coaching after twice interviewing for the vacant head coach position.

In 2020, Brown went back to his home state of New Jersey to coach defensive backs at Rutgers. After two seasons, he took the same position at Georgia, with the Bulldogs winning the national championship in his first season. Georgia is positioned for another College Football Playoff run this season.

It remains to be seen if Brown will coach for the rest of the season or leave his post to get started at Syracuse.

The university will hold a press conference on Monday to formally announce Brown’s hiring.