College and Professional Playing Days
Brown was recruited by coach Richt to the University of Georgia back in 2004 as a running back and as soon as he stepped on campus he was an instant impact player out of the backfield. In his first season for the Bulldogs he totaled 1,043 yards from scrimmage to go along with eight touchdowns. Due to that success he was named SEC Freshman of the year. In his last three seasons at Georgia, Brown had relatively good success but injuries in his sophomore and junior seasons as well as a time share his senior season (with Knowshon Moreno) tempered his career totals and hurt his draft stock.
In the end, Brown did go pro and was selected in the sixth round by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2008 draft. His career in the NFL was unfortunately cut short again by the injury bug and he was waived by the team before the 2008 season even started. Brown kept at his dream to be an NFL player and stuck around in the league for two more seasons as a practice squad player then an active roster backup for the Cleveland Browns from 2009-2010. After he was waived by the Browns he set his sights on the coaching ranks..
One thing to keep in mind when we do breakdowns of the coaching staff, especially when it comes to the position coaches: they move frequently from team to team. It's not because they necessarily want to per se but it's mainly because they're on one year contracts and they often are looking for better opportunities. Brown started his coaching career in 2012 at 1AA program Chattanooga where he was their running backs coach. After just one season in the state of Tennessee he moved on to a new state, West Virginia where he coached at Conference USA power Marshall. Again, after just one season, he moved up the ranks again and now joined the newly formed staff up in Wisconsin after the recently departed Bret Bielema left for the Arkansas head coaching opening. Lastly, in 2014, he decided to return to his college roots and coach under his former Head Coach Mark Richt at Georgia. At all his pit stops he was a running backs coach. If all of this looks like a jumble, please see below for the easy breakdown:
2011: Chattanooga - FCS (Southern Conference)
2012: Marshall - FBS (Conference USA)
2013: Wisconsin - FBS (Big Ten)
2014: Georgia - FBS (SEC)
To me, it looks like he's been a quick riser and if you look deeper into why that is it's because the players he coaches at the running backs position perform well and he's also a very good recruiter. In the current class alone at Georgia he was the "main recruiter" per 247 for four star running back Elijah Holyfield and three star corner back Chad Clay. If that sounds underwhelming keep in mind there are several "big fish" still out there that haven't verballed for the current cycle so he's still got hot leads on many players still undecided. One for example, is four star Texas running back Devwah Whaley who has Miami in his current top 5.
Besides being young (only 29) and able to easily relate to recruits, his running backs flat out perform on the field. In 2014 for example, Georgia was besieged by injuries along the entire offense but their top three running backs combined put up over 2,000 rushing yards, 22 touchdowns and about 350 receiving yards. For a perspective, Miami last year as a team rushed for 1,400 yards, 500 total receiving yards by Yearby and Walton and had a total of 22 touchdowns.
Based on his brief coaching career (again, he's only been in coaching for four years), it looks like Thomas Brown is a quick riser amongst the position coaching ranks and a good to possibly great recruiter. It helps being at a big, resource rich school like Georgia but recognizing talent in the region (south east) and getting the unit to perform on game days take coaching skill and it looks like so far he's got the gift. As a position coach, there doesn't look to be any red flags on this hire.