Brown Accepts Position with NFL's Falcons

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana football assistant head coach Gerald Brown has accepted a position as the running backs coach with the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana football assistant head coach Gerald Brown has accepted a position as the running backs coach with the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons. Brown, who also served as the Hoosiers' running backs coach and special teams co-coordinator, will join head coach Mike Smith's staff immediately.

"I really enjoyed my time in Bloomington," Brown said. "It was outstanding to finish my career at Indiana by going to a bowl game. The program has come a long way, has great leadership and many great things to come.

"When I got into coaching I had a lifetime goal of coaching in the NFL. I was offered a job by a good friend of mine and it is an opportunity I could not pass up at this time."

Indiana head coach Bill Lynch is sad to see Brown go but is grateful for his contributions to the program.

"We want to wish Gerald the best of luck," Lynch said. "This is a great opportunity for him and his family. His knowledge, experience and loyalty to Indiana University were instrumental in the growth of our program."

The Hoosier rushing attack posted the most yards (2,046), yards per game (157.4), yards per carry (4.3) and rushing touchdowns (18) since the 2001 season during the 2007 campaign. Three Hoosiers rushed for over 350 yards and averaged over 4.0 yards per carry, including backs Marcus Thigpen (568, 4.1) and Bryan Payton (381, 4.2).

Brown's running backs averaged 1,601 yards per season during his tenure. In his first campaign in Bloomington (2002), Indiana gained 1,398 yards despite not having a back with more than 90 career carries entering the year. BenJarvus Green-Ellis became the seventh true freshman in Indiana history to rush for 100 yards in a game in 2003 (he had four 100-plus yard efforts) and just the third freshman to eclipse the 200-yard plateau in a single game when he gained 203 yards against Penn State. In 2004, IU had at least one rushing touchdown in 10 of 11 games.

The 2007 season saw another strong year from Brown's special teams unit. The field goal team, led by kicker Austin Starr, holder Dustin Hass and long snapper Tim Bugg, went 21-for-23 and saw Starr earn a spot as a finalist for the Lou Groza Award. Additionally, the punt return team finished second in the conference (11.0) and the kickoff return squad finished fifth (22.3), as IU was tops in the conference in combined return average.

In 2006, Brown's special teams unit totaled five touchdowns – three on kick returns by Marcus Thigpen, one on a punt return and one on a fumble recovery. Thigpen led the nation with a 30.1 kick return average and with his three TDs. The special teams unit also held opponents under 20 yards per kickoff return (19.1).

Brown and his wife, Jill, have a daughter, Caitlin, who will attend Indiana University next fall.

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