Clint Brown enters his seventh season as an assistant coach with the South Dakota State University football program, and his third as the team’s sole defensive coordinator. He also coaches the team’s defensive ends.
Previously a co-defensive coordinator since his arrival in 2009, Brown has been a member of the Jackrabbit coaching staff for all four of the program’s Football Championship Subdivision playoff teams. In 2009, Brown helped direct a defense that played a prominent role in SDSU’s first berth in the FCS playoffs. SDSU ranked among the national leaders in scoring defense for much of the season, before finishing the year ranked 16th after allowing an average of 17.4 points per game. Additionally, SDSU posted top-20 national rankings in three other defensive categories: pass efficiency defense (fourth, 99.55); rushing defense (14th, 104.33 yards per game) and total defense (17th, 289.5 yards per game).
Brown also served as position coach for All-America defensive end Danny Batten, who was honored as Co-Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was later selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He has coached three other players who have gone on to earn all-MVFC honors.
During the 2010 campaign, the Jackrabbits posted 21 sacks in 11 games and continued to rank highly among MVFC squads for pass efficiency defense (second, 122.8) and scoring defense (third, 23.6 points per game). Four SDSU players received all-conference accolades on the defensive side of the ball, including first-team selections Cole Brodie at cornerback and Derek Domino at linebacker.
The Jackrabbits ranked in the upper half of the MVFC in several defensive categories during the 2011 season, including finishing second in pass defense by allowing an average of 186.9 yards per game through the air.
SDSU made a return to the FCS playoffs in 2012 behind a defense that ranked in the top 10 for three different categories: pass efficiency defense (fourth, 100.33); scoring defense (fifth, 16.38 points per game) and total defense (eighth, 305.31 yards per game).
In 2013, Brown directed an opportunistic Jackrabbit defense that improved steadily throughout the season as it played a key role in the team returning to the postseason. SDSU forced 33 turnovers — and at least one in each game — during the campaign, finishing fifth among FCS programs for turnover margin with an average of plus-1.1 per game. In a four-game span late in the season, which included a 26-7 playoff win at Northern Arizona, Brown’s defense surrendered a total of 32 points.
The 2014 edition of the Jackrabbit defense ranked second in the MVFC for pass defense (192.1 ypg), while ranking fourth in total defense by allowing 375.9 yards per game as SDSU made its third consecutive appearance in the FCS playoffs.
Brown has coached at the collegiate level for 21 years. Prior to joining the Jackrabbit coaching staff, Brown served as the defensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and assistant head coach at Wayne State College (Neb.) for four seasons. During his tenure at Wayne, the Wildcats improved from four wins the first season to a 9-3 record and an NCAA Division II playoff berth in 2008.
A native of Arlington, Neb., Brown earned two varsity letters at Nebraska and was a member of the Cornhuskers’ 1994 national championship team. While completing his bachelor’s degrees in secondary education biology and history, Brown began his collegiate coaching career as a student assistant for the Cornhuskers during the spring of 1995. He moved on later that year to coach the outside linebackers at Nebraska Wesleyan, then spent the 1996 season as a graduate assistant at Nebraska-Omaha.
Brown spent two more seasons as a graduate assistant at New Mexico State, working with the linebackers in 1997 and the secondary in 1998. While in Las Cruces he completed a master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction.
After four years as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Bethel College (Kan.), Brown returned to New Mexico State for the 2004 season, coaching the Aggies’ safeties and special teams. He also served as the team’s academic coordinator.