CHARLOTTE – The Panthers added a key piece to their coaching staff Friday, agreeing to terms with Thomas Brown to work as offensive coordinator alongside head coach Frank Reich.
Brown, 36, has 12 years of coaching experience and three years of experience coaching in the NFL. The former running back had a brief NFL career before transitioning to coaching, spending nine years at the college level before most recently serving on Sean McVay's staff with the Rams.
Here are five fast facts to know about Brown:
1. Super Bowl win as assistant head coach under McVay: Brown first joined McVay's staff in Los Angeles in 2020 as running backs coach, earning an additional assistant head coach title ahead of the 2021 season. The Rams won the Super Bowl that season with running backs Darrell Henderson, Sony Michel, and Cam Akers. In 2022, Brown transitioned to overseeing tight ends in Los Angeles, coaching Tyler Higbee to a career-high season in receptions (72).
2. College coordinator experience: Brown's first stint as an offensive coordinator was with the Miami Hurricanes from 2016-18, working under Mark Richt, his former college coach at Georgia. He also oversaw running backs in Miami, helping the Hurricanes rush for over 2,400 yards, averaging over 5.2 yards per carry in 2018. Following his time in Miami, Brown spent one year on Will Muschamp's staff at South Carolina, coaching running backs.
3. Coaching future NFL stars in college: Brown coached multiple future NFL running backs during his nine years as a college coach, including Melvin Gordon, Nick Chubb, and Michel. Brown was Gordon's position coach at Wisconsin in 2014, as he went on to finish in second place for the Heisman Trophy and post the second-best season for a running back, rushing for 2,587 yards and 32 touchdowns. Gordon was selected 15th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft after his year with Brown.
Brown then returned to his alma mater, Georgia, to work with Richt in 2015. He coached Chubb and Michel as sophomores, helping guide the Bulldogs' rushing unit to 2,513 total yards on the year, averaging 194.3 yards per game. Both Michel and Chubb went on to be early NFL draft picks in 2018, as Michel was taken with the 31st overall selection, and Chubb went 35th overall.
4. Early coaching opportunities: After a brief stint in the NFL as a running back for the Falcons in 2008 and the Browns in 2009, Brown retired from playing and became a coach. His first opportunity came at Georgia in 2011, when he worked as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.
He moved on to coaching running backs for Chattanooga in 2012 and Marshall in 2013 before his first Power Five conference coaching opportunity came at Wisconsin in 2014.
5. Standout college career: Brown was a four-year contributor as a running back at Georgia from 2004-07, helping the Bulldogs reach the SEC championship in 2005. He was a freshman All-SEC selection and led the Bulldogs in rushing for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Brown finished his career as the fifth-leading rusher in Georgia history, with 2,646 career yards and 25 touchdowns in Athens.
Thomas Brown spent three seasons with the Rams from 2020-22 after a number years in the college ranks at South Carolina (2019), Miami (2016-18), Georgia (2015) and Wisconsin (2014). He played college football at Georgia and was in the NFL with the Falcons.