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Michigan football announces new special teams coordinator hire

Michigan football already had announced two official hires on Friday with the promotions of Kirk Campbell to offensive coordinator and Grant Newsome to offensive line coach.

While fans await the news of defensive coach retentions as well as that of a new defensive coordinator, new head coach Sherrone Moore has turned his eyes to special teams for his next hire.

Having been an analyst for the Wolverines since 2021, Michigan has elevated J.B. Brown to the role of special teams coordinator, taking over for the departed Jay Harbaugh.

You can read more about Brown in the press release below:

Full release

J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach Sherrone Moore named J.B. Brown as special teams coordinator for the Michigan Football program on Friday (Feb. 2). Brown has been with U-M since 2021 in the role of special teams analyst.

“Coach Brown has an outstanding mind for special teams and knows how we want to attack that phase of the game,” said Moore. “He has been a key factor in our special teams success and he will help us continue to be a leader in this important aspect of the game. I am glad to keep J.B. his wife Jessica and their family here in Ann Arbor and part of the Michigan Football program.”

“I am excited for this opportunity and grateful to Coach Moore,” said Brown. “Having been in meetings and at practice the last three seasons, I know how we want to run our special teams units and I will ensure we are an aggressive group capable of making plays that set up our offense and defense for success. I cannot wait to get working more actively with our players and to get to work for an outstanding set of spring practices.”

Brown has helped advise Michigan’s special teams units for the past three seasons (2021-23). In that time, the group has ranked third, second, and 27th in special teams FEI, an opponent-adjusted efficiency rating system. U-M has ranked second, third, and seventh in special teams SP+ in that same stretch.

Brown has helped develop the plan of attack in the kicking and kick coverage phases. The kickoff defense unit ranked first nationally in 2021 (12.4 yards per return attempt), 26th in 2022 (17.6), and 18th in 2023 (16.53), and U-M also has been top-25 in net punting twice (fifth, 2021; 22nd, 2023). Opponents have returned just 20 percent of all punt attempts against U-M since 2021 (28 returns on 140 punts). The Wolverines also have blocked four punts and two field goals in the last three seasons.

In 2023, punter Tommy Doman delivered 18 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line including at least one at the 12-yard line or deeper in six of Michigan’s final seven games. Kicker James Turner set a single-season record with 65 PATs and scored 119 points, the second-highest single-season total all-time among kickers. Brown also worked with the group while Jake Moody was a two-time Lou Groza Award finalist (2021-22), becoming the program’s first-ever winner while rewriting the U-M kicking record book.

Brown began his career in college football as a graduate assistant, spending two seasons at the University of Kansas (2015-16) and two at the University of Houston (2017-18). He was special teams coordinator for two years (2019-20) at Texas Southern, helping the Tigers rank seventh in the FCS in punt return defense in both seasons and eighth in net punting in 2020.

Brown attended Alvin High School in Alvin, Texas, and went on to be a standout baseball player at the University of Pacific. He was drafted in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the New York Mets and played four years in the minor leagues. He spent the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons as a graduate assistant at Pacific, completing his communications degree along the way.

He and his wife, Jessica, have two sons, James Thomas Brown III, and Jaxson.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire