June 19, 2009

DU's Brown: 'I Can't Wait Until September'

Coverage: Bill Tierney to Denver

* Bill Tierney Leaves Princeton for Denver
* Tanton: Tierney Changes Stripes, the Game
* Wiedmaier Wants Metzbower
* Metzbower Turns Down Princeton Job
* Man of the Hour: In Depth with Bill Tierney
* Trevor Tierney Confident in Dad, Denver
* DU's Brown: 'I Can't Wait Until September'

by Theresa Smith | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Matt Brown will suit up for the Denver Outlaws  against Toronto before his first recruiting trip as new University of Denver coach Bill Tierney's assistant.

© Trevor Brown

DENVER -- Matt Brown has grown accustomed to uncertainty.

His Arizona Sting team folded a few years ago and his Portland LumberJax team folded in April. While awaiting another National Lacrosse League dispersal draft, his boss, University of Denver head coach Jamie Munro, was forced to step down.

Despite the uncertainty of his future at his alma mater, Brown poured himself into the task of working with players on offseason conditioning and maintaining recruiting efforts with interim coach Jon Torpey.

His patience paid off when new head coach Bill Tierney decided to keep him on staff. He'll work with the offense, recruit (particularly in his home country of Canada) and serve as the bridge between the players and Tierney.

Brown said he had no problem working on faith.

"My passion is toward this place," he said. "I tell people this is my home. I live a mile away. I went to school here. I met my wife through this university.''

Among those who recommended Brown was his fellow assistant, Trevor Tierney, who briefly coached Brown when he was a sophomore at DU. The pair have worked together the past two years for Major League Lacrosses Denver Outlaws, where Brown is a high-scoring attackman and Tierney is the team's defensive coordinator.

"I'm ecstatic, not only to stay, but stay and have the opportunity to coach with one of the greatest coaches of all time," Brown said. "Being here coaching the last few years, knowing what this place is all about, this is what we need. Coach Tierney is going to get the respect of all the players immediately.

"I'm thrilled and excited to get to learn how to build a dynasty. Because, ultimately as coaches, we all want to get to that level, we all want to be head coaches one day and have our own program."

After several talks with Tierney and a breakfast meeting with Bill and Trevor, Brown was counting his blessings.

"I am very, very lucky," he said. "If you told me when I was recruited here that I would have the opportunity to graduate from here, play pro lacrosse, coach here, and eventually coach with Coach Tierney I would say, ‘You're kidding.' I wouldn't believe it."

Since the June 15 announcement of Tierney's hire, Brown's cell phone has been ringing constantly.

"I know all of our alumni are very excited," he said. "I'm constantly getting phone calls from them and all our current players. It is just a huge excitement around our program. I can't wait until September when we get the boys back on campus. We've got a long way to go -- we've got a lot to do and we've got to recruit -- but when we get the boys back on campus that will be a special day."

Brown suits up Saturday for the Outlaws against the Toronto Nationals in an MLL battle of first-place teams, then boards a plane Sunday morning for the East Coast. It's his first recruiting trip in the Bill Tierney era, and a trip in which more doors are likely to be open, with more recruits and their parents likely to hear about a DU program run by lacrosse Hall of Famer Bill Tierney and his young, high-energy assistants Trevor Tierney and Matt Brown.

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