Head coach Charlie Weis and his staff spoke during Friday's football media day on the Notre Dame campus.
Notre Dame's defense was much stingier against the run in '08, allowing 134.15 yards per game, 61.17 fewer rushing yards per game than in '07. The Irish pass defense permitted just 195.69 yards per game and the passing efficiency defense ranked 22nd nationally.
During a four-game stretch during the '08 season, Irish allowed only 958 combined yards of total offense against Washington, Pittsburgh, Boston College and Navy. That marked the fewest yards allowed by an Irish defense over any four-game period since the final four contests of the '96 season.
Brown switched from coaching linebackers in '07 to defensive backs in '08 and helped safeties Kyle McCarthy and David Bruton record two of the most productive seasons in school history. McCarthy set the single-season school record for tackles by a defensive back as he totaled 110 tackles, ranking 54th nationally. Bruton ranked second on the team with 97 tackles and led the team with four interceptions, adding six pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Bruton became the fourth Irish defensive back selected in the last three NFL drafts when the Denver Broncos tabbed him with their fourth-round pick in the 2009 draft. In Brown's first season as Irish defensive coordinator in '07, Notre Dame ranked 39th in total defense, 26 places higher than '06.
The strength of the '07 defense was the secondary, demonstrated by the 161.58 passing yards allowed per game. That average ranked second in the nation and was the best by an Irish defense since '96 and the fifth-best average in the past 25 Notre Dame seasons.
Defensive lineman Trevor Laws recorded 112 tackles in '07, the second-most ever by an Irish defensive lineman. He was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Safety Tom Zbikowski became just the eighth Notre Dame player to reach 300 career tackles in '07 and was drafted in the third round by the Baltimore Ravens.
Brown was hired on Jan. 19, 2007, following 14 years of tutelage as a player and assistant coach under some of the best defensive minds in collegiate and professional football. The list includes: Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Romeo Crennel, Herm Edwards, Al Groh and Eric Mangini.
Prior to Notre Dame, Brown coached the defensive backs of the New York Jets for three years. During his tenure, the Jets intercepted 56 passes, tied for fifth most in the NFL from 2004-06. Cornerback Ty Law was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2005 with Brown's coaching and safety Kerry Rhoades was named to the NFL all-rookie team in '05.
In 2004, Brown guided safety Erik Coleman from a fifth-round draft pick to the starter in all 16 games, as Coleman became the first Jets rookie to start every game since 1988.
Brown broke into coaching at the University of Virginia where he coached special teams from 2001-03. Punter Mike Abrams earned all-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in 2001.
An eight-year NFL player, Brown was selected in the fourth round of the 1993 NFL draft by the New England Patriots. He started 20 of the 120 games he appeared in and totaled 177 tackles. Brown's first four seasons were played with the Patriots before he followed Parcells, Belichick, Crennel, Groh and Weis to the Jets from 1997-98. His final two seasons were played with the Detroit Lions.
In college, he was a member of four Big Ten Conference championship teams at Michigan and was recruited by legendary head coach Bo Schembechler. He majored in English and received his degree in 1994.
A native of Chicago, Ill., Brown was an all-state football player at Julian High School. Both of his parents taught in the Chicago Public School system and are now retired. His father, Albert, turned down the chance to play professional baseball because of his fear of flying. In fact, Albert took the train to all three Rose Bowl games Corwin played in.
Born April 25, 1970, he and his wife Melissa are the parents of one son, Corwin, Jr., and two daughters, Tayla and Jaedan.