Top Candidate Fran Brown Emerges as Potential Syracuse Head Coach: Sources

Georgia defensive backs coach Fran Brown has emerged as a top target for Syracuse’s head-coaching vacancy, program sources confirmed Monday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The New Jersey native has spent the past two seasons on the Bulldogs’ staff.
  • Brown was Rutgers’ secondary coach from 2020 to 2021. The Western Carolina grad also previously coached at Temple and Baylor.
  • Holy Cross head coach Bob Chesney and Toledo’s Jason Candle have also gotten strong consideration for the job, according to sources.
  • Syracuse fired coach Dino Babers with one game remaining this season after spent eight seasons with the Orange and amassed a 41-55 record.

How Brown could impact Syracuse

Brown was an out-of-nowhere hire for Georgia two years ago but has shown why Kirby Smart wanted him: Recruiting, both in the secondary and in the Northeast. Brown was a key recruiter for five-star athlete Ellis Robinson, the third overall prospect in the 2024 cycle, who is now at IMG Academy in Florida, as well as five-star linebacker Justin Williams from Texas and four-star offensive lineman Jordan Thomas out of Calhoun, N.J.

On the field, Georgia’s secondary is the strength of its defense, which isn’t just due to Brown, as Will Muschamp and Smart both help coach there, but Brown is a big part of that. Brown has also been one of the voices in the defensive coaching room as far as strategy, with Smart saying last year, “Everybody chips in a little bit because we think that multiple voices develop coaches and multiple voices are heard better by the audience.”

Still, is this a bit of a reach for Syracuse? Probably. But Brown isn’t even the first Georgia position coach to get a power conference job: Sam Pittman went from offensive line coach to Arkansas head coach despite no head-coaching experience, and like Brown that was a case of a good fit.

While Arkansas struggled this year, Pittman’s first three years there were an improvement, and it’s not unreasonable to think Brown can take what he’s seen work at Georgia the past two years and use it in the ACC. — Seth Emerson, Georgia football writer


Brown is currently ranked as the nation’s No. 1 recruiter for the 2024 signing class, according to 247Sports. The 40-year-old has six players committed for the upcoming class, including two five-star prospects.

Required reading

(Photo: Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today)


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