Sunday, August 26, 2012

Don Brown downplaying UMass reunion

UConn defensive coordinator Don Brown is about as competitive a person as you will ever meet so you will excuse him if he doesn't take time this week to reminisce too much about two stints at UMass heading into Thursday's season opener against the Minutemen.

Brown's first stop at UMass came as the defensive coordinator in the 1998 and 1999 seasons. In 1998 UMass won the FCS national title and the following season reached the national quarterfinals. After four seasons as the head coach at Northeastern Brown returned to Amherst for a successful five-year run as the head coach including a pair of playoff appearances.

"It was a really good experience," Brown said. "I was there in '98 and that is when we won the national championship. Then I came back in '04 as the head coach and had a five-year run which was the best in school history. Nothing but real fond memories but we have a game to play s all of that stuff you put behind you.

"It was really important. I din't know it but somebody brought it up to me but I was a part of every playoff win since 1998 in one way, shape or form. Obviously it gave me a lot of confidence knowing I was able to do that as a professional."

Now looking ahead to Thursday's opener, UConn head coach Paul Pasqualoni said other than junior defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (who will miss the game with a knee injury) the Huskies are in pretty good shape injury wise.

Pasqualoni said that he hopes to rotate in four or five players both at defensive tackle and defensive end because of UMass' no-huddle, uptempo style of offense.

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