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BOULDER — University of Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins announced Saturday that defensive passing game coordinator and secondary coach Greg Brown is leaving the Buffs to join the University of Arizona staff.


Brown, 52, has had preliminary interviews and is expected to be named co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for Mike Stoops’ Wildcats after final interviews are completed next week.  He coached the secondary for the Buffaloes from 1991-93, and then returned for a second stint in the position when Hawkins was named head coach in 2006, also assuming the defensive passing coordinator role.


“We’ve been very fortunate to have Brownie on our staff, and we wish him and his family the best,” Hawkins said.


Four of CU’s five starters in the secondary this year received some kind of All-Big 12 Conference team mention, with corners Cha’pelle Brown (playing mostly nickel) and Jimmy Smith garnering second-team honors, and corner Jalil Brown and safety Benjamin Burney earning honorable mention status.  In his first years at CU, he coached two Jim Thorpe Award winners, Deon Figures (won in 1992) and Chris Hudson (who won a year after Brown left for the NFL, in 1994).


“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity that Hawk gave me, especially coming out of New Orleans and post-Hurricane Katrina,” Brown said.  His family lost all their belongings on the first floor of their rented home and insurance companies weren’t exactly stepping up to the plate quickly, “and that was a very frustrating time in our lives.  It brought my family back home to Colorado, and let my parents watch their grandkids grow up for four years.


“I know in my heart CU is on the right track with Dan Hawkins, and I learned a lot as a member of his staff,” Brown added.  “That made this a very tough decision for me, but this should be increased responsibility as a co-coordinator and to chance to call some defenses.”


Hawkins said a search for a replacement on his staff will begin immediately, and indicated shuffling assignments among his current staff was also a possibility.