Thomas Brown enters his second season as running backs coach at Wisconsin in 2015 after overseeing one of the most productive rushing seasons in college football history.
Junior RB Melvin Gordon finished as the Heisman Trophy runner-up and posted the second-best season ever by a running back with 2,587 rushing yards and 32 total touchdowns. He and sophomore Corey Clement combined to run for 3,536 yards to break the single-season FBS record for rushing yards by teammates that Gordon and James White set with 3,053 yards in 2013.
|Brown at a Glance
|Georgia, New Jersey, E. Pennsylvania
| Georgia assistant strength and conditioning coach (2011)
Chattanooga running backs coach (2012)
Marshall running backs coach (2013)
Wisconsin running backs coach (2014-present)
| 2011 Outback Bowl (Georgia)
2013 Military Bowl (Marshall)
2015 Outback Bowl (Wisconsin)
The Badgers posted the two most prolific rushing performances in the country in 2014 with a school-record 644 rushing yards vs. Bowling Green and 581 vs. Nebraska, and their average of 6.91 yards per rushing attempt ranks as the fourth-best mark in FBS history.
Brown, a standout running back himself at the University of Georgia and in the NFL, came to Wisconsin from Marshall, where he served as running backs coach for the 2013 season. Prior to his time with the Thundering Herd, Brown spent the 2012 season as the running backs coach at Chattanooga. That followed one season as an assistant coach on the strength and conditioning staff at Georgia, his alma mater.
At Marshall, Brown helped direct Conference USA's second-ranked rushing offense. The Herd averaged 205.9 rushing yards per game, which ranked 24th nationally. Marshall's 34 rushing touchdowns also ranked the Herd in a tie for 19th nationally.
That offensive success helped Marshall secure the C-USA East Division title with a 7-1 record, and the Herd capped the season with a 31-20 win over Maryland in the Military Bowl.
Brown guided RB Essray Taliaferro to a 1,000-yard season that saw him average 5.2 yards per carry and score 10 touchdowns while amassing 1,140 rushing yards. Marshall was one of just seven FBS teams to boast three running backs that rushed for at least 500 yards in 2013 -- along with Wisconsin -- and was the lone program outside the Power Five conferences to accomplish the feat.
In addition to Taliaferro, Steward Butler rushed for 765 yards and Kevin Grooms tallied 503.
A native of the Atlanta area, Brown starred at Tucker High School before enrolling at Georgia and helping the Bulldogs secure the 2005 Southeastern Conference championship. He finished his career as the fifth-leading rusher in Georgia history with 2,646 career yards and led the Bulldogs in rushing in 2004 and 2005. For his career, Brown averaged 5.0 yards per carry and scored 25 total touchdowns.
He was selected in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons and spent the 2009 season with the Cleveland Browns before retiring from football to pursue coaching opportunities.
Brown earned his bachelor's degree in speech communication from Georgia. He and his wife, Jessica, have two children, Orlando and Tyson.