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Gary Brown, Wisconsin’s Running Back Coach in 2021 Season, Dies at 52

Gary Brown, Wisconsin’s running backs coach during the 2021 season, died Sunday night, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jeff Potrykus. The news was confirmed by The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill Jr. He was 52 years old.

Brown died in his hometown of Williamsport, Pa. and was in hospice for the last several weeks, according to Hill. His cause of death is unknown.

He dealt with several health issues throughout his life, including being diagnosed with cancer twice. In his early 40s, cancer was discovered in his colon and liver, but he was given “a clean bill of health” after chemotherapy treatments, per Potrykus. His second bout with cancer came after the 2019 season when doctors found a malignant tumor near Brown’s pancreas.

He opted for immunotherapy and didn’t coach in 2020 before joining the Badgers in ‘21. Brown was also the Cowboys’ running backs coach from ‘13 to ‘19, but was not retained by Mike McCarthy when the former Packers head coach was hired in ‘20. Before he coached in Dallas, he had coaching stints with the Browns and several college programs. 

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He was going through treatment during the season when Wisconsin traveled to Las Vegas and defeated Arizona State on Dec. 30. His condition worsened and it was decided he wouldn’t coach for the rest of the season, but the school was prepared to assist him financially, per Potrykus. 

Brown was a star tailback for Penn State and was drafted by the Oilers in 1991, going on to play for both the Chargers and Giants. He last played professionally in 1999.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Badgers running back Braelon Allen both tweeted Sunday night to memorialize the coach.

Brown is survived by his wife, Kim, daughters Malena and Dorianna and son Tre.