New Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown has not yet signed a completed employment agreement, but he will be paid $2.7 million over three years.
Brown’s term sheet, obtained Wednesday by The Detroit News through a Freedom of Information Act request, indicates he will be paid $850,000 this season. That will increase to $900,000 in 2017 and $950,000 in 2018.
The term sheet was signed by Brown and coach Jim Harbaugh, but the cover letter from the U-M FOIA office indicated the employment agreement is not yet complete.
Brown was hired last month from Boston College, where he was defensive coordinator of the nation’s top-ranked defense, to replace D.J. Durkin. Durkin left Michigan after one season to become Maryland’s head coach.
There is a $250,000 buyout if Brown terminates the contract early, and also included in the term sheet is $30,000 to pay relocation costs.
According to the term sheet, Brown was hired Dec. 18 and began as an analyst and “no later than” Feb. 4 will officially be defensive coordinator.
Brown, 60, comes to Michigan from Boston College where he was defensive coordinator the last three seasons. In 2015 under Brown, the Eagles, who were 3-9 this and winless in the ACC, had the nation’s top-rated defense. They ranked first in eight statistical categories during the regular season: total defense, rushing, scoring, red zone, first down, third down, fourth down and tackles for loss. Boston College was second nationally in pass defense and pass efficiency defense.
These numbers caught Harbaugh’s eye. Harbaugh and Brown did not know each other before he was hired, but last month Harbaugh said Brown was his top target for the job.
“Looking up good defenses, it’s an easy one to spot — it was No. 1 in the country,” Harbaugh said in late December. “Right there at the very top of the list in several categories. I’m looking at a lot (of things). Let’s find out about this, look at this, research. That’s what you do in a thorough search. He’s got a proven track record.”
Detroit Lions defensive back James Ihedigbo, who played for Brown when he was head coach at UMass, told The News last month that with the addition of Brown, he believes Michigan will quickly move into the national championship discussion.
“I think he’s that good of a coach,” Ihedigbo said.
Ihedigbo discussed the kind of coach Brown was when he played for him.
“A simpler way to describe him, he wants you to play like your hair’s on fire every single play,” Ihedigbo said. “Guys who do that like myself are guys in the league and you’ll play a long time. He doesn’t want guys who aren’t going to do that every play.”