Irish hire Jets' Brown as defensive coordinator

Updated: January 19, 2007, 4:05 PM ET
Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Coach Charlie Weis, who used what he learned from Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick to turn around Notre Dame's offense, turned to them again to try to fix a Fighting Irish defense that has struggled the past two seasons.

After Weis fired Rick Minter as defensive coordinator, he called his mentors as well as Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel and University of Virginia coach Al Groh for advice. Weis said they all recommended New York Jets defensive backs coach Corwin Brown.

Weis introduced Brown as Notre Dame's new defensive coordinator Friday and named former Irish signal-caller Ron Powlus the new quarterbacks coach, replacing Peter Vaas.

Weis, who didn't take questions during the news conference, said he wanted someone familiar with his system.

"I won't have to concern myself with knowing what we're doing, because I know what we'll be doing. Because it's a system that I grew up in as I started on the defensive side of the ball my first year," he said.

Brown, a 36-year-old Chicago native, has been defensive backs coach with the Jets for the past three seasons. He played for the New England Patriots from 1993-96 and Jets from 1997-98 while Weis was an assistant coach for those teams.

Brown said whether he runs a 3-4 or 4-3 defense at Notre Dame will depend on the personnel.

Weis said another reason he wanted to hire someone with a background in a system he is familiar with is because he will be busy teaching Powlus how to be a quarterbacks coach while also trying to develop someone to replace Brady Quinn.

Powlus, who was touted as a Heisman Trophy candidate before he even stepped on campus, has been director of personnel development the past two seasons.

Powlus said he got the coaching bug after several years in the business world.

"The more removed I was from the game, the more I missed it," he said. "I finally said to myself, 'Why am I not doing what I want to do?'"


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press