Great Don Brown article on his family's coaching DNA

Submitted by UMProud on July 17th, 2018 at 5:58 AM


Credit:  Milford Daily News, 7/16/2018, Lenny Megliola

"Zach Brown was watching a college football bowl game on TV with his father, Don, when Don’s phone rang.  He let it ring, and checked it later. It indicated the call was from Palo Alto. He didn’t know anyone in Palo Alto.

He played the message and hung up. “He said, very nonchalantly, ‘that was Jim Harbaugh.’ I said ‘Dad, call him back!’” said Zach.

Harbaugh had been the head football coach at Stanford, thus the Palo Alto message, but had taken the job at Michigan in 2015. He was looking for a defensive coordinator. He couldn’t help notice that Don had recently been named the top assistant coach in the college ranks while at Boston College.

Harbaugh wanted to see if Don was interested in moving north, to Ann Arbor. In fact, he’d left Don a number of messages. When Don finally called Harbaugh it went like this, Harbaugh sounding a bit irritated: ”‘Is this you? I’ve been trying to get hold of you,’” Don recalled Harbaugh saying. “Two days later, I went up and interviewed.”

And took the job."

"Deb first spied Don when he was playing in a Little League game in Spencer, Mass. “He was 12, I was 10. I thought he was cute. Another girl said ‘he’s crazy.’” "

"He knew Michigan was football crazy. At airports he’d get “hi coach, Go Blue.” His first spring game with the Wolverines blew him away. “I didn’t think it’d be anything special as I ran out of the tunnel.” Then the cacophony began. And it got louder, with 76,000 spectators at a spring game."