STEPHENVILLE – Todd Whitten has announced the addition of Cornell Brown to the Tarleton Texan Football coaching staff as the newest leader of the defensive line.
Brown comes to Tarleton after four years spent coaching at Marshall University, one season as the co-defensive coordinator at Norfolk State University and six seasons on the sidelines of his alma mater, Virginia Tech. During his time as a Hokie, he was an All-American and was inducted into the Va. Tech Hall of Fame in 2007. He was a sixth-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens and was a part of the Super Bowl champion Ravens in 2000.
“We’re thrilled to add a coach to our staff with the football pedigree of Coach (Cornell) Brown,” said Tarleton head coach Todd Whitten. “He has played football at the highest level in the world and was a member of one of the best defenses in the last 25 years, so he understands what it takes to build a winning defensive front. We’re excited about all the experience he brings, not just from his playing days, but as a coach. He will be an excellent addition to our program.”
Brown’s domination of the gridiron started out of E.C. Glass High School as one of the premier prospects in the state of Virginia. Ranked the No. 2 recruit in the state by The Roanoke Times and No. 6 in the Atlantic Coast region by Blue-Chip Illustrated, Brown chose to stay home and compete for Hall of Fame Coach Frank Beamer and Virginia Tech as the program’s top recruit in 1993.
“Cornell is an extremely smart guy and he’s a guy that really understands football,” said Beamer. “I know a lot of smart guys who couldn’t explain the elements of football, but Cornell is smart and understands the game. He also has a great understanding of how to teach the game of football. Cornell is the complete package. He really has it all.”
He started four years for the Hokies and recorded 36 sacks during his career, which was the most in Big East history at the time of his final game. He was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 1995 and a two-time All-American, including a consensus first-team selection in 1996. His jersey was retired by the program in 2002. He was inducted into the Virgina Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
“(Cornell) really changed our football program,” said Beamer. “As a recruit out of Lynchburg, he could have gone anywhere he wanted out of high school and chose to stay in the state. After that, a lot of really good players in the state of Virginia chose to do the same – and Cornell set the tone for that.
“After we got him on campus, we really were able to see what a great person he was and what great character he had,” he continued. “He has great knowledge of the game and, as much as anything, we saw how much the other players in our program really respected him. He had such a great overall impact on our program at Virginia Tech and I have no doubt he will have a great impact (at Tarleton).”
After his college career, Brown was selected in the sixth round at No. 194 overall in the 1997 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens, who he remained with through the 2000 season. Including time with the Oakland Raiders and a second stint with the Ravens, Brown played seven seasons in the NFL and played in 108 games with 25 starts. He made 147 tackles, seven sacks and three forced fumbles.
Brown was a member of the Super Bowl XXXV Champion Ravens that defeated the New York Giants 34-7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Following his playing career, Brown entered the coaching world in 2010 at his alma mater. He was a linebackers coach for Virginia Tech for six seasons before spending one year at Norfolk State and the last four at Marshall, where he coached defensive ends.
During his time with the Thundering Herd, Brown mentored Ty Tyler and Darius Hodge into two of the best pass rushers in the conference. Tyler was an all-conference second team selection in 2018 with 9.0 sacks. In 2019, Hodge led the team with 8.5 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks.
Brown graduated from Virginia Tech with an undergraduate degree in consumer studies in 1997 and a master’s degree in academics in 2006. He has a son, Enzo, and currently resides in Stephenville.
With the addition of Brown to the growing Texan Football staff, former defensive line coach Eddie Jones remains on staff and will move to outside linebackers and assistant special teams coach.