Former CFL assistant coach Cornell Brown hired at Bowling Green

Photo: Norfolk State University. Photo edit: 3DownNation.

Former CFL assistant coach Cornell Brown has been hired as the new defensive line coach at Bowling Green State University.

The 48-year-old served as the defensive line coach with the Calgary Stampeders in 2022, helping Shawn Lemon, Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund, Mike Rose, and Folarin Orimolade combine for 35 sacks. The club finished third in the West Division with a 12-6 record.

“I had the pleasure of working for three seasons with Cornell on Frank Beamer’s staff at Virginia Tech, and I love how he works with his guys,” said Bowling Green head coach Scott Loeffler in a statement.

“Cornell has a tremendous football IQ, and his ability to translate his knowledge into his coaching is one of his best assets. Cornell has been a winner wherever he has been. He was an All-American at Virginia Tech, a Super Bowl champion in the NFL, and his coaching career has produced success at every stop, including coaching one of the best defensive lines last year in the USFL. Cornell will provide an immediate impact to our defensive line, and we won’t lose a step from the success we have had of late with our defensive front.”

Brown had a previous stint with the Stampeders from 2008 to 2010 as part of a defensive staff whose unit ranked top-three in points allowed in all three seasons. He won a Grey Cup in his first year with the club.

As a player, the native of Englewood, N.J. started four years at Virginia Tech and recorded 36 sacks. He was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 1995 and a two-time All-American. His jersey was subsequently retired by the school and he was inducted into the Virginia Tech Athletics and the Virginia Sports Halls of Fame.

Brown was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 1997 NFL Draft and played seven seasons in the NFL, recording 147 tackles, seven sacks, and three forced fumbles over 108 regular season games. He was a member of Baltimore’s Super Bowl XXXV championship team.

Prior to first joining the Stampeders, Brown coached for three seasons with the Cologne Centurions and the Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe. The Galaxy went to the World Bowl in both of his seasons with the club, winning a championship in 2006. During that time, Brown was also a graduate assistant for two seasons at his alma mater.

Brown returned to Virginia Tech in 2011 and served as their outside linebackers coach for five seasons, helping the Hokies reach a bowl game in each of his five seasons on staff. He then served as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Norfolk State in 2016 before becoming the defensive end coach at Marshall from 2017 to 2020. In 2021, he was the defensive line coach at Tarleton State, while he coached in the USFL in 2023.