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Fran Brown named head coach of Syracuse football team

Georgia defensive backs coach Fran Brown before Georgia’s game against Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.
Tony Walsh
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Georgia defensive backs coach Fran Brown before Georgia’s game against Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.

Syracuse University announced Fran Brown as the new head football coach for the Orange on Tuesday. This comes after former head coach Dino Babers was fired due to what Athletic Director John Wildhack said was a lack of success in November.

This will be Brown's first stint as a head coach. He is the defensive backs coach at the University of Georgia, which won the 2022 College Football National Championship. He was previously an assistant coach at Temple University, Baylor and Rutgers.

“I am incredibly proud to be leading Syracuse Football at a university with a rich and storied tradition of academic and athletic excellence,” Brown said. “Syracuse Football has outstanding talent, great facilities and passionate alumni. The success of the players is my No. 1 priority—on and off the field. I want my guys to succeed in life, because they played football at Syracuse."

Brown is the No. 1 recruiter in the nation for the 2024 recruiting class according to 247Sports — something he said he looks forward to doing for Syracuse.

"My immediate area of focus is building relationships with my current players and putting together an elite staff, while also having fun on the recruiting trail," Brown said. "I’m ready to get to work and look forward to building something special for our fans.”

Brown has deep ties to New Jersey and the Northeast. Wildhack previously said experience in the Northeast was critical in picking their next coach.

“Fran is an outstanding coach, recruiter and person, and exactly who we need to take Syracuse Football to the next level,” Wildhack said. “Fran has clearly articulated a vision for the future of our football program, and he is a powerhouse recruiter with deep ties to the geographies from where we need to draw consistently. Fran has had tremendous success recruiting to a variety of programs—in the South, Southwest and Northeast, and I have no doubt he will bring that track record here to Syracuse. I am looking forward to welcoming Fran and his family to the Orange community. The future is bright for our football program.”

Brown played college football at Western Carolina University and played in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud said that combination of experience well positions Brown to support Orange student-athletes.

“What impressed me most during my conversation with Fran is his deep commitment to our student-athletes,” Syverud said. “He knows how to win and how to recruit. But most importantly, he is passionate about mentoring and guiding student-athletes in all aspects of their lives. Fran is the kind of coach who is going to demand excellence from his student-athletes and coaching staff in everything they do—on the field, in the classroom and in our community.”

Georgia Head Football Coach Kirby Smart congratulated Brown on the new role.

“Fran is excellent,” Smart said. “No ego, he’s trustworthy, smart and he’s worked really hard during his two seasons here to earn an opportunity like this. He has built great relationships in our building, our players love him and we couldn’t be more excited for him, Teara and their family.”

Brown will officially be introduced as head coach at a press conference December 4.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.