Husky History: Donald Brown  

Donald Eugene Brown II was a former UConn athlete. Photo from Wikimedia.

Hello readers, and welcome back to another edition of Husky History, a column that highlights a former UConn athlete and their accomplishments at the professional level and beyond. 

In the spirit of the new football season right around the corner, this week focuses on former UConn football star Donald Brown, a 2006 All-Big East pick who was vital to the Huskies’ success in the running game. 

Born Donald Eugene Brown II on April 11, 1987 in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, Brown was a star from the beginning. He attended school at Red Bank Catholic High School, in Red Bank, New Jersey. Captaining the football team, Brown rushed for 2032 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior earning first team All-Division, All-Monmouth County and All-Jersey Shore honors. 

A multi-sport athlete, Brown earned All-Shore in the long jump and 400 meter run as a member of the track and field team. Equally impressive was his performance at the NJSIAA Group Championships as a senior where he clocked 11.32 for the 100 meter dash and 23.21 for the 200 meter dash, earning sixth and third, respectively. 

Arriving in Storrs in 2005, Brown redshirted his freshman season. The season from the sidelines proved to be a valuable learning experience as the running back broke out in 2006 amassing 896 rushing yards on 161 carries in 12 games. He was the only freshman to be named to the All-Big East team that season. 

Brown kept things rolling in 2007, leading the team with eight touchdowns. To cap the regular season against West Virginia, Brown put on a show, running for 153 all-purpose yards. He shared the team’s offensive MVP award with teammate Andre Dixon that season. 

Two productive seasons did not slow down the Husky. In 2008 Brown was named to the All-American team and was the Big East Offensive Player of the Year. As a junior, he led the nation in rushing yards with 2083, collecting 18 touchdowns. 

Deciding to forgo his final year of eligibility, Brown capitalized on his high level of play and entered the 2009 NFL Draft where he was selected with the 27th overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts. 

In the NFL Brown had a lengthy seven year career with the Colts and San Diego Chargers, totaling 2829 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns.  

Once his professional career came to a close, Brown stayed active in the athletic community. After taking the position as Student-Athlete Academic Coordinator at San Diego State University, Brown transitioned to the International Justice Mission working as Director of Team Freedom Partnerships. IJM is an organization that protects people in poverty from violence all around the globe. 

“Getting to work with NFL, NHL, Olympic and other North American athletes and families to determine how they can amplify and accelerate IJM’s work is gratifying,”  Brown told  

His playing days may be over, but Brown continues to make an impact on the community. He represents UConn Nation proudly. 

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