Fran Brown is an exciting hire in a lot of ways. He has regional connections, relationships to talented coaches, and a strong recruiting resume. However, there are some notable challenges he’ll face at Syracuse, due to both his experience and the situation he’s coming into.
In-Game Coaching Decisions
Playcalling. Substitutions. Clock management. These are all responsibilities that Brown likely hasn’t had much personal experience with. He’s never been a head coach. Aside from that, he spent three years as an assistant head coach at Temple and Baylor, as well as one season as a co-defensive coordinator. While we don’t know what Brown’s exact duties in each of those roles were, his experience with any in-game management is capped at a few years at most.
There are several ways Brown will have to overcome this. For one, it’ll likely be a rough start. It won’t be too surprising if he makes a mistake, like burning timeouts too early in a half. The important part is that he learns from these mistakes. If persistent in-game management issues continue past year one, then concerns will begin to grow.
Another factor in overcoming Brown’s lack of head coaching experience is hiring good coordinators. That’s much easier said than done, and he likely has his own styles of OCs and DCs that he’s looking for. However, something Brown should consider is hiring former head coaches in those positions. Having people around him are experienced in handling in-game management will be helpful, especially in his first season.
Handling the Transfer Portal
Fran Brown is a great recruiter. There’s no denying that. 247Sports even tabbed him as the best recruiter in the nation for the 2024 class. However, Brown doesn’t have too much experience with the transfer portal.
Georgia, where Brown has spent the last two seasons, hasn’t used the portal too much. In all fairness, the Bulldogs haven’t needed to, but it’s a lack of experience nonetheless. This past offseason, UGA lost 16 transfers, but brought in just four. Just one of those players was a defensive back, the position group Brown was in charge of.
Controlling the transfer portal will be vital to the start of Brown’s career at Syracuse. A coaching change can often cause players to move on to a new school. SU linebacker Leon Lowery, among others, already entered the portal. That means Brown needs to put an emphasis on holding onto the talent the Orange already have. After that, he also needs to pursue players from other programs. Maybe he can even entice some current Bulldogs to come with him.