EAST GREENSBORO –North Carolina A&T State University Director of Athletics Earl M. Hilton III with Chancellor Harold L Martin Sr. formally introduced new head football coach Vincent Brown to the media, alumni, faculty and staff on Monday at Deese Ballroom inside the campus Student Center.
Brown takes over the Aggies program after spending four seasons as William & Mary’s associate head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. In 2022, the Tribe went 11-2 overall and 7-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The Tribe won a share of the regular-season title and reached the NCAA Division I-FCS playoff quarterfinals.
Brown, 57, played and graduated from Mississippi Valley State University before an eight- year career as an outstanding linebacker with the NFL’s New England Patriots. His coaching career has included stints as the linebackers coach under head coach Mike London on FCS champion University of Richmond in 2008, working under London as a key defensive assistant handling linebackers, defensive line and special teams in the ACC at the University of Virginia and joining London’s staff at Howard in 2017 and 2018.
He is the 22nd head coach in NC A&T program history. He takes over a football program with a rich tradition including nine black college football national
championships, including four in the past seven seasons. The Aggies will play next season as members of the CAA after competing in the Big South Conference over the past two seasons.
PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT EXCERPTS Coach Brown on A&T’s readiness to enter the CAA:
“The CAA is a tremendous league (with) remendous coaches. They allocate significant resources to recruiting very talented players. And having a chance to look at the A&T program and the talent level, we’ll be able to step into the conference and be extremely competitive. There are a lot of talented players in this program, many talented players that I’ve watched compete against CAA- caliber teams.
Coach Brown on why A&T was the right fit for him:
“There are a couple of reasons. The academic reputation speaks for itself. I’ve been fortunate over my college coaching career to have worked at some very, very fine academic institutions. The focus on academics here, especially in the STEM programs, was very attractive, knowing that we can get the kind of student-athletes we want with our program. Secondly, the football tradition and the history of success here. It’s phenomenal. Lastly, it is just the history of this great university in developing people to change lives. I didn’t want to take a job because I wanted to be a head coach. It had to be a perfect alignment from an academic, an athletics excellence, and a cultural perspective.”
Coach Brown on what A&T football will look like during his era:
“The team will be disciplined. It will be tough. It will be focused on eliminating things that cause you to lose games. If you can eliminate the things that cause losing, your chances of winning go up exponentially. The things that cause losing are mental mistakes, turning the ball over on offense, dumb penalties on defense, poor tackling on the back end, getting the ball thrown over your head and dumb penalties. We plan to build a focused, passionate team. We will always fit the scheme around the talented players down here. If we have a dynamic quarterback and a bunch of receivers, we’ll be wide- open and throw the ball around. If we’ve got great running backs and a strong offensive line, we’re going to line up and pound the rock.”
Coach Brown on the difference between A&T and William & Mary:
“I think in both environments, people are passionate about their football programs. Here, that passion is elevated to another level. People feel really connected to this football program. They feel that they’re part of everything that’s going on. And that’s truly the difference between the two. You’ve got the fans, and then you have family members that feel attached to the program.
Coach Brown on an HBCU playing in the CAA:
“The fact that we play football in the Colonial Athletic Association will not diminish who this institution is and what the institution is all about. The development of our student- athletes is what our program is all about. That’s not going to change. It will never change. You don’t become the No. 1 HBCU in the land by being minimal to outside influences to change who you are. The leadership will maintain its focus on being the No. 1 HBCU in the country. And from our perspective, we’re trying to coach the kid to be the absolute best to compete at an elite level in the CAA and beyond. Because that’s the goal to compete for conference and national championships.”