AUBURN, Ala. — Greg Brown is the definition of a journeyman coach. His current job with Auburn football as defensive backs coach is his 20th different role since he first started coaching in 1981.
Several of those job changes were tough decisions for Brown and his family. The veteran coach even rejected some offers his daughters wanted him to take.
But deciding to leave Missouri after 1 season and join Gus Malzahn’s staff at Auburn wasn’t one of those difficult calls.
“It was a no-brainer,” Brown said. “I greatly admire this program at Auburn University and Coach Malzahn, what he’s accomplished here. I’ve worked with Kevin Steele in the past before. So when this opportunity presented itself, it took all of like 1 second. I jumped on that.
“It was a total no-brainer to come here. I just love it.”
Brown enters his first season as Auburn’s defensive backs coach, a role that has changed hands 4 different times since Malzahn arrived as coach in 2013.
Still, Brown felt like he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to coach the Tigers — a program he believes is one of the best in the entire country under Malzahn.
“The success that Auburn’s had, the tradition, the accomplishments of Coach Malzahn here… when you think of what Auburn’s accomplished in 2010 and 2013 with winning the national championship and playing for it, you could list how many people who have done that in a couple of fingers, I’m sure,” Brown said.
And Brown has a vast knowledge of the country’s football landscape. In college, he’s the only coach to ever train 3 different Thorpe Award winners. He also coached for 6 different NFL franchises.
“You don’t coach  years in the National Football League if you don’t know what you are doing,” Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said. “You spend  years in the National Football League, you are obviously intelligent, have a lot of ideas and are a very good technique coach.”
That experience at the highest level of football stands out to Brown’s new players, many of whom played under several position coaches at Auburn.
“He definitely knows his stuff,” senior safety Nick Ruffin said. “Obviously, his resume speaks for itself. He teaches us a lot about the game itself and learning techniques and learning tendencies and habits about other receivers and the route trees and things like that. He’s been amazing for us.”
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Brown’s defensive backs speak as highly of him as he does of the job he now has at Auburn.
The former Colorado defensive coordinator said he and his family thoroughly discuss every job opportunity that comes his way. But the discussion didn’t take long when he had the chance to reunite with Steele at Auburn.
Now, heading into his first campaign on the Plains, it’s hard for Brown to wipe a grin off of his face.
“Every day, I pretty much have to say, ‘Are you kidding? I get to work here? This place is great.'” Brown said. “I drive into work every morning, and I can’t really believe it. I feel extremely lucky and very fortunate that Coach Malzahn would bring me in. I’m ready to go and do my part.”