Colorado has officially announced that ShaDon Brown has been hired to coach the Buffaloes’ secondary.
Brown coached cornerbacks at Army this past season after spending the previous five years at Wofford.
“ShaDon is an excellent secondary coach who brings knowledge of the 3-4 defense that they ran at Army and is a perfect fit for what we’ve been doing here at Colorado,” CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said in a press release. “I’m excited about ShaDon working with our secondary and helping us continuing to have one of the top pass defenses in the country.”
CU (10-4, 8-1 Pac-12) ranked fifth nationally in pass efficiency defense (104.25 opponent QB rating), and 20th in passing yards allowed (193.6 per game). The Buffs also ranked second nationally – and first among Power 5 teams – with 89 passes defended (74 break-ups, 15 interceptions).
The Buffs, however, lost three of their top five defensive backs to graduation. They also lost cornerbacks coach Charles Clark, who left CU for Oregon, and safeties coach Joe Tumpkin, who was asked to resign last week amid an investigation into domestic violence claims.
It was originally believed that Brown was being hired to coach the cornerbacks, but CU announced he will coach the secondary in general.
“I’m excited to be there, happy to be on staff that has a head coach who is well respected around the country like coach MacIntyre,” Brown said in CU’s press release. “I feel like this is a program very similar to where I came from; it’s on the rise, and I’m excited to work with the guys here, high character guys that love playing the game of football.
“I’m excited about coming on staff with (new defensive coordinator) D.J. Eliot, who I’ve heard nothing but good things about as a person and as a football coach and I’m excited to get going and win a Pac-12 Championship.”
With Brown coaching corners this past season, Army was sixth nationally in passing yards allowed (170.2). The Black Knights tied for 11th with 17 interceptions and 42nd in opponent completion percentage (56.5). Only 16 teams allowed fewer touchdown passes (14) and only eight allowed fewer passing plays of 10-plus yards (82).
Army ranked 17th nationally in pass efficiency defense (115.11 opponent QB rating) after ranking 99th in 2015 before Brown arrived. For much of the 2016 season, Army had two true freshmen starting at corner.
As a player at Campbellsville University, an NAIA school in Kentucky, Brown played linebacker. He has coached linebackers, corners and safeties during his career. He also spent two seasons as the special teams coordinator at Wofford and was the recruiting coordinator there in 2015.
Brown will be paid a base salary of $200,000 at Colorado.
CU still has one full-time opening on its coaching staff.
Gillam adding weight
MacIntyre said linebacker Addison Gillam has added about 15 pounds since the end of last season and is “doing really well.”
After two injury-plagued seasons in 2014 and 2015, Gillam, listed at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds in December, played all 14 games for the Buffs this past season, splitting time at inside linebacker with Rick Gamboa.
CU was cautious with Gillam throughout the season because of a knee injury that cut his 2015 season short, but he wound up with 66 tackles and had career highs in sacks (four) and QB hurries (seven).
MacIntyre said he sees Gillam as an every down linebacker this next season.
“His legs are doing good, and he’s doing real well,” MacIntyre said.
Valor Christian senior Devin Noth announced on Twitter on Monday that he has committed to CU. He will be a preferred walk-on and play long snapper for the Buffs. … Macintyre said the Buffs are “looking at some kickers” for the 2017 recruiting class. He said it’s possible the Buffs sign one on national signing day Wednesday, but if not, they may look to add a kicker after signing day. … Former CU walk-on and Holy Family High School standout Chris Helbig is transferring to Butler (Kan.) Community College, where he plans to play quarterback.