By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
The rise of Jake Brown from state champion quarterback with the Ennis Lions to Division I offensive coordinator has happened — quickly.
Newly hired Lousiana Tech head coach Sonny Cumbie has selected Brown as the program’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach. The official announcement was made by the football program on Dec. 7.
“Jake is an energetic coach that I have worked with many years that brings knowledge of offense and also knowledge of building relationships with his players,” Cumbie told La Tech Athletics.
Cumbie brings Brown with him from Texas Tech, where the now-La Tech head coach was promoted to interim head coach during the 2021 season. That promotion led to Brown moving from an offensive quality control coach to a full-time assistant on Cumbie’s staff.
“He’s a smart ball coach that will be a relentless recruiter,” Cumbie added. “He and his family will be wonderful ambassadors of Louisiana Tech University.”
Brown told La Tech Athletics that he is “excited for the opportunity” to continue under Cumbie’s leadership and join the program. He noted an astute admiration for Cumbie, “both as a coach and a man.”
“Coach Cumbie is going to do amazing things at Louisiana Tech, and we are honored to join him on this journey,” Brown added. “My family and I cannot wait to get to the great state of Louisiana and to begin building relationships with the student-athletes, coaches, and administration in the Louisiana Tech athletics program. Go Dogs.”
Before diving into Brown’s astronomical rise through the coaching ranks, it’s important to note where he came from — a Sam Harrell-led Ennis football program.
Brown was the starting quarterback of the 2004 state champion Ennis Lions football team. He took over the reins of the high-powered offense after watching Graham Harrel spin the pigskin for three years.
Oddly enough, Graham (USC) and Brown are both currently Division-I offensive coordinators. There certainly aren’t many other high school quarterback rooms that can or could boast that fact.
As a senior, Brown threw for over 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns during the regular season, primarily to the receiving duo of Scotty Thornton and Andrew Novak. He then promptly marched the Lions to the 4A Division I state title game with playoff wins against Dallas Kimball (24-20), Waxahachie (23-6), Texarkana Texas High (34-10) and Sherman.
Brown had his best game of the postseason in the 42-7 semifinal victory against Sherman. He completed 21-of-his-23 passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns in that victory at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium on Dec. 4, 2004.
Brown continued his hot hand with a pair of first-half touchdown passes in the 4A Division I state championship game against Marshall. He opened the scoring for the Lions by completing a 25-yard pass to Scotty Thornton to knot the game at 7 with 4:52 to play in the first quarter.
Those 14 points were all the Lion offense would muster in the ballgame, as the game headed to halftime tied at 14-all.
The Lions then recorded a safety and returned the ensuing kick-off 79 yards to build a 23-14 lead with 3:31 to play in the third quarter. Ennis eventually held on for the 23-21 victory. Brown finished the game 13-of-25 for 94 yards and two touchdowns to one interception.
The state title was the Lions’ third in five years, as they won back-to-back 4A Division II trophies in 2000 and 2001.
Brown graduated with his bachelor’s degree from North Texas in 2009 and immediately entered the coaching world at the high school ranks. He spent time at Arlington Martin, Lake Travis and Midlothian, where he helped several student-athletes reach the Division-I level.
Two of those programs also produced No. 1 overall NFL draft picks in Myles Garrett (Martin) and Baker Mayfield (Lake Travis). Both now play for the Cleveland Browns.
Brown then moved to the collegiate ranks in 2014 for three seasons with the TCU football program. He served as the Horned Frog’s director of high school relations in 2016 after working as a graduate assistant for the 2014 and 2015 campaigns. Brown primarily served as an inside wide receivers coach as a graduate assistant where the Horned Frogs’ posted a 23-3 record, capturing the 2014 Big 12 Championship and earning victories in both the 2014 Peach Bowl and the 2016 Alamo Bowl.
Brown then spent two seasons at Stephen F. Austin as the running backs coach before returning to TCU as an analyst in 2018.
The following season saw Brown serve as the offensive coordinator at West Texas A&M, where he guided the offense to an increase of almost 10 points per game and over 100 yards per game.
Brown then spent the 2020 season as the offensive quality control coach for Dave Aranda and the Baylor Bears and moved to Lubbock for the same role ahead of the 2021 season.
Brown is married to the former Brittany Bunnell. The couple has a daughter, Harper.
Portions of this report are courtesy La Tech Athletics.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith