When Vanderbilt and A l a b a m a – B i r m i n g h a m meet at Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday, the person who should be most interested in the outcome won’t be watching.
In fact, Tennessee Tech coach Watson Brown is so focused on his team’s matchup with Indiana State that he didn’t even know the game was scheduled.
But that doesn’t take away from the time, sweat and effort the 63 -year-old coach poured into both programs.
Brown spent 12 years at both Vanderbilt and UAB, and while the circumstances were unique to each place, the memories from his former players at each stop have a similar theme – the man knows how to coach an offense.
As a quarterback (196972), graduate assistant, offensive coordinator (1981-82) and head coach (1986-90) at Vanderbilt, Brow n’s offensive contributions to the program span portions of four decades.
“He was a godsend for me,” former Vanderbilt quarterback Whit Taylor said. “I was a guy that had been there for three yearsand gone through the splitback veer and we had just done some things that weren’t very successful offensively, but Coach Brown came in (as offensive coordinator) and was very confident, eager and a little bit outside of the circle from what was going on in the conference at that time.” In a time when teams were running first and passing out of necessity, Brown was pushing the envelope with innovative formations and a pass-first mentality.
Under Brown’s direction, Taylor led the Commodores to an eight-win season in 1982 that earneda trip to the Hall of Fame Bowl and put Taylor in the Vanderbilt record book for most touchdown passes in a season (22).