Brookhart's spent seven years at Pitt

Updated: December 16, 2003, 8:27 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

AKRON, Ohio -- The University of Akron has hired University of Pittsburgh offensive coordinator J.D. Brookhart as its new head football coach, the school announced Monday.

Brookhart, 39, will receive a five-year deal worth $700,000, according to a statement released by the school. Brookhart has spent the last seven years on the Pittsburgh staff after two seasons with the NFL's Denver Broncos.

"We are thrilled to have J.D. as our new head football coach," said athletic director Mike Thomas in the statement. "J.D. brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for the game of football. Everyone that we spoke with during the process was extremely high on his ability as a coach, evaluator of talent and communicator. We expect great things of our football program in the future and feel he is the person to lead us in that direction."

Brookhart replaces Lee Owens, who was fired Nov. 16 following a 7-5 season. Owens had a 40-61 record during his nine years with the Zips, including 31-41 in the Mid-American Conference. Owens has since taken the head coaching job at Ohio's Ashland University.

"I'm extremely excited to be the new head coach at Akron and be part of the vision that Mike (Thomas) and the University have for the football team and the entire athletics program," said Brookhart in the statement. "Things are moving in the right direction on campus and I would be like to be part of that success."