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Football: Bustle calls Brown ‘a great fit’

New UL DBs coach brings pro experience

Hurlie Brown got to see the UL football program from the opposite sideline during the last three years, but his first contact with the school came while he was with the Washington Redskins.

"When I went through training camp with Brian Mitchell, that’s all we heard about," Brown said. "The Ragin’ Cajuns … we heard a lot from him. But I never thought I’d be coaching there."

As of Tuesday, Brown is the Cajuns’ cornerbacks coach, hired by UL head coach Rickey Bustle after five years as the only defensive backs coach in Florida International history. FIU’s pass defense ranked fourth nationally last season despite the Golden Panthers’ 0-12 record.

Brown fills the spot opened when Terry Sims was not retained following last season’s 6-6 campaign and will be one of four new members of the Cajun staff. New defensive coordinator Kevin Fouquier, the first of the new hires, also was at FIU last season after five years at Middle Tennessee.

"Kevin was obviously very high on him," Bustle said of Brown, "but the biggest thing was I felt he’d be a great fit here. We wanted someone with good experience, someone who’d had some professional background and that had been involved with outstanding coaches, and Hurlie was all of that."

Bustle interviewed Brown at last week’s AFCA convention.

"We talked for a few hours and got to know each other," Brown said, "and he made me feel like I’d known him all my life. That’s one thing that appealed to me. When Kevin first took the job, he showed me the Cajundome, the indoor facility, and I think it’s a great opportunity."

Brown joined Don Strock’s staff in 2001 when FIU inaugurated its program after two years of high school coaching.

"We played (UL) for the past three years and couldn’t find a way to beat ’em," he said. "If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em."

Brown was drafted out of the University of Miami by the Redskins in 1991 and also spent one year with the San Francisco 49ers before a six-year career in the Canadian Football League.

"Guys that played pro, they tend to be good teachers," Bustle said. "When you play in the secondary and then coach there, you’ve got a grasp of the fundamentals and teaching skills. We’re fortunate to mix the two. If I’m a player, I’m excited about that."

A native of Merritt Island, Fla., Brown played on two national championship teams at Miami as a strong safety. During that time, he was coached by Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wannstedt and Dennis Erickson.

"I wasn’t a great player," Brown said, "but I was forced to be mentally great. I didn’t have the ability some of those guys had, so I had to have perfect angles, know where everybody was on the field. I’ve been coaching myself every since I started playing college. But playing for coaches like that taught me a lot."

New Cajun coach recalls hospitality


Hurlie Brown had a positive opinion of the UL football program two seasons ago, and it had nothing to do with anything on the field. But he remembered it Tuesday when he was hired as UL’s defensive backs coach.

Brown rolled up to the UL athletic complex on Florida International’s team bus prior to the two teams’ Nov. 12, 2005, game, and he was starving.

"We didn’t have anything to eat on the bus," Brown said, "and I remember a family outside the stadium that was cooking. We were walking around, and they invited us to have some hot dogs, some shish kebabs, everything they had. It was wonderful.

"The hospitality there was tremendous. Everywhere we went in Lafayette, the people were great."