Gary Brown, Wisconsin’s running backs coach for the 2021 season, died Sunday night let’s see what happened to Gary Brown. Clarence Hill Jr. of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram confirmed the news. He was 52 years old at the time.
Who was Gary Brown?
Brown joined the Badgers after most recently serving as the Dallas Cowboys running backs coach during their highly successful run from 2013 to 2019.
During his time in Dallas, Brown coached some of the game’s best running backs, including DeMarco Murray (2014) and Ezekiel Elliott (as a rookie in 2016 and again in 2018), as well as Darren McFadden, who had a 1,000-yard season in 2015. In each of Brown’s seven seasons in Dallas, the Cowboys averaged at least 4.5 yards per carrying.
He had two more 1,000-yard rushers in his previous coaching stint, a four-year stint with the Cleveland Browns that saw Peyton Hillis rush for 1,177 yards in 2010 and rookie Trent Richardson rush for 1,317 yards as a rookie in 2012.
What happened to Gary Brown?
Brown died in his hometown of Williamsport, Pa., where he had been in hospice for several weeks, according to Hill. It is unknown what caused his death.
Throughout his life, he struggled with a variety of health issues, including being diagnosed with cancer twice. Cancer was found in his colon and liver when he was in his early 40s, but he was given a “clean bill of health” after chemotherapy treatments, according to Potrykus. Brown’s second bout with cancer occurred after the 2019 season when doctors discovered a malignant tumor near his pancreas.
He chose immunotherapy and did not coach in 2020 before returning to the Badgers in ’21. Brown also served as the Cowboys’ running backs coach from 2013 to 2019 but was not hired by Mike McCarthy when the former Packers head coach was hired in 2020. He previously coached for the Browns and several college programs before joining the Dallas coaching staff.
During the season, he was undergoing treatment when Wisconsin traveled to Las Vegas and defeated Arizona State on Dec. 30. His condition worsened, and it was decided that he would not coach the rest of the season, but the school was willing to help him financially, according to Potrykus.
Brown was a Penn State tailback who was drafted by the Oilers in 1991 and went on to play for the Chargers and Giants. He played professionally for the last time in 1999.
Brown’s ascension to the NFL bench was preceded by his rise through the college ranks. He spent the 2008 season as Rutgers’ running backs coach, following a two-year stint as Susquehanna University’s offensive coordinator (2006-07) and his first college job as Lycoming College’s running backs coach (2003-05). Brown also assisted in the coaching of running backs at the New York Giants training camp in 2005, before moving on to work with the Green Bay Packers (2006) and Carolina Panthers (2007) as part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship program.
Brown’s first coaching experience was as the offensive coordinator for his former high school program in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, from 2000 to 2002.
Brown went on to play at Penn State after starring at Williamsport and leading the Nittany Lions in rushing as a sophomore in 1988.
Brown was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the 1991 NFL Draft and went on to have an eight-year pro career, including a breakout season in 1993 when he rushed for 1,002 yards and six touchdowns in just eight games. After spending one season with the San Diego Chargers in 1997, he had another 1,000-yard season with the Giants in 1998, gaining 1,063 yards before retiring at the end of the 1999 season.
Cause of death
Gary Brown, the Dallas Cowboys running backs coach for seven seasons, died on Sunday after a battle with cancer. According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he was 52 years old.
Former Dallas Cowboys running back coach Gary Brown, who spent this past year coaching running backs at Wisconsin, passed away tonight. He was in hospice for the last couple of weeks in his hometown in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Brown was a star running back at Penn State. RIP
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) April 11, 2022
He had been in hospice in his hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for the past few weeks.
Gary Brown, a former Houston Oilers running back and Dallas Cowboys assistant coach who had been battling health issues including two bouts with cancer, died on Sunday.
Brown leaves behind his wife, Kim, son Tre, and daughters Malena and Dorianna.
What happened to Gary Brown: He was diagnosed with cancer twice after moving into coaching, the first time when he was in his early 40s and coaching running backs for the Cleveland Browns.
Cancer was discovered in his colon and liver by doctors. The second incident occurred shortly after the 2019 season when doctors discovered a malignant tumor near his pancreas.
Brown explained his decision to live despite being diagnosed with cancer twice shortly after joining the UW staff.
“When you’re sitting by yourself, alone, and thinking about what’s next,” he explained, “you really think about the things that could be taken away.” Not only football but also your family and friends.
“It’ll do one of two things to you. It will eat you up, and you will either fold up and die in a corner, or you will fight.
“I was raised to fight by my parents.”
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