The University of Kentucky football team fell to Florida 24-7 at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, September 28, 2013.
New Kentucky head football coach Mark Stoops is known for his background on defense, so a natural question at his introductory news conference was his thoughts on offensive philosophy.
"We're going to have an offense that you are going to enjoy, I promise you that," Stoops said. "Where is (former Kentucky All-America quarterback) Tim Couch? We're going to have an offense you're going to be proud of. We'll get out there and rip it around a little bit, we are going to throw it."
A few days later, Stoops made a commitment to fulfill that promise with the appointment of Neal Brown, a former teammate of Couch who guided one of the nation's most productive offenses at Texas Tech, as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at UK.
Brown's immediate challenge at UK is to turn the fortunes of a Kentucky offense that ranked 113th in the nation last season in total offense and 116th in scoring offense.
"Neal is a young, hungry, dynamic coach who has had a lot of success in the Big 12," Stoops said. "I want a style of offense that puts defenses in difficult situations. Also important to me was Neal's familiarity with the people of Kentucky and the University. When you put together the football and the relationships, it was a no-brainer."
In each of Brown's three seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Texas Tech ranked in the nation's top-seven teams in passing offense, top-15 in total offense and top-25 in scoring offense, having increased production in all three categories each year since 2010. TTU finished the 2012 season second nationally in passing with 355.9 yards per game, 13th in total offense at 495.4 yards per game and 20th in scoring with 37.5 points per game.
The `12 campaign was an expansion of the success from 2011, when Texas Tech ranked 13th nationally in total offense at 470.6 yards per game. The Red Raiders lit the scoreboard at a tune of 33.8 points per contest.
Individually, quarterback Seth Doege put up eye-popping numbers over the last two seasons. In 2011, Doege threw for 4,004 yards and 28 touchdowns. He improved to 4,205 yards and 39 TDs as a senior.
In his first season in Lubbock, Brown's offense notched 460.2 yards of total offense per game, 318.9 passing, and scored at a 33.1-point clip as Tech went 8-5 and won the TicketCity Bowl.
Brown's running game has made significant contributions to the attack as well. The Red Raiders rushed for 135.7 yards per game and scored 52 rushing touchdowns during his three seasons. TTU's primary running backs averaged 5.0 yards per rushing attempt, including a 5.8 average by Kenny Williams, the leading rusher in 2012.
Prior to Texas Tech, Brown spent four seasons at Troy University, including the last two as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. During his term at Troy, the Trojans won or shared four consecutive Sun Belt Conference championships and earned three bowl invitations.
At the time the youngest offensive coordinator in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Brown's 2009 offense finished third in the nation in total offense at 485.7 yards per game, fourth in passing at 336.5 yards and 16th in scoring with 33.7 points per contest. In 2008, his first as coordinator, Brown's fast-paced offense set 10 school records.
In addition to the team accomplishments, Brown guided quarterback Levi Brown to the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year award in 2009 and SBC Newcomer of the Year in 2008.
Brown went to Troy after serving one season as wide receivers coach at the University of Delaware, starting three freshman wideouts as the Blue Hens posted a 6-5 record. In 2004, Brown coached the quarterbacks and wide receivers at Sacred Heart, helping guide the school to a 6-4 record and the top-ranked scoring offense in the conference. In 2003, he was the tight ends coach and offensive line assistant at Massachusetts, helping the Minutemen win a share of the Atlantic-10 championship and a berth in the Division I-AA playoffs.
Brown earned his bachelor's degree in business management and his master's in business administration from Massachusetts, where he played the 2001-02 seasons. He totaled 58 receptions for 721 yards and four touchdowns while being named to the Atlantic-10 All-Academic Team and the NCAA Division I-AA Athletic Directors' Academic All-Star Team.
Born in Louisville, Brown grew up in Bardstown before moving to Danville, where he was an all-state wide receiver at Boyle County High School, finishing his career as the No. 2 pass catcher in state history. He played at UK from 1998-2000 and was a two-year letterman, catching 10 passes, including one touchdown. He was a member of the Outback Bowl and Music City Bowl teams and earned a place on the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll before transferring to Massachusetts.
Brown is a member of the Boyle County Baseball and Football Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Brooke, have daughters Adalyn and Anslee.