Brian Young | Stetson University

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Team: Stetson University
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Head Coach
Hometown: Savannah, Georgia


After less than one full year away from Stetson University and the Hatters' football program, Brian Young made his return as the 10th head coach in Hatters' football history in June of 2021.

Young's defensive units were known for their attacking style of play, especially in pass defense where the Hatters ranked first or second in the PFL six times during his seven seasons as defensive coordinator from 2013-19. Stetson was also regularly among the top teams in the PFL in sacks and turnovers forced.
Also during his previous time at Stetson, Young had a direct hand in the development of the Hatters' four-time All-American Donald Payne, who has gone on to a successful career in the NFL. Payne, who was a three-time Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Year, said it was his relationship with Young that helped him become the man he is today.
"When I first came on my visit to Stetson, Coach Young was the one who made a connection with me and with my mom," Payne said. "I lost my father when I was just 13, and he became a father figure for me in addition to being my coach. He was tough on me, but he was always fair. I know from experience that parents can feel good about leaving their sons with him because he is going to take care of them, both on and off the field.
"I am so proud of him because I know all of the work and time he has put in during his career to get to this point. Without him, I don't know that I would have had the kind of career that I had during my time at Stetson, or even if I would have stayed at Stetson. When I made it to the NFL, he made it with me and I am just so happy for him."
In addition to his defensive responsibilities at Stetson as coordinator and defensive backs coach, Young also worked with the Hatters' special teams and served as the staff liaison to pro scouts and to post-season all-star games.
During the 2020 season at Georgia Southern, he helped the Eagles to an 8-5 record that included victories over South Alabama, Troy, Florida Atlantic and, in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, a 38-3 rout of Louisiana Tech. The Eagles had a player, Derrick Canteen, who led the nation in interceptions.

Young came to Stetson from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where he served as defensive backs coach for two seasons. 

A native of Savannah, Ga., Young is a product of Georgia Southern where he played defensive back and earned a B.S. in Parks and Recreation Administration in 1997. 

At Stetson, Young mentored the Hatters’s defense, focusing on the secondary. His prized pupil, Payne, was named the PFL Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2013 and followed up in 2014, 2015 and 2016 by earning consecutive PFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. Payne was a four-time first-team All-Conference selection and was selected as an All-American all four years at Stetson.

Payne followed a 113 tackle season as a freshman with a national best 185 tackles during the 2014 campaign. In addition to leading the NCAA, all divisions, in total tackles, he tied an NCAA All-Division record with 30 tackles in a single game at Campbell.

In 2015, Payne again captured an NCAA statistical national championship, leading all of FCS with 8.7 solo tackles per game. He completed his career as the No. 3 ranked tackler all-time in NCAA history.

Young has a long and distinguished career as a football coach at multiple levels. He has coached professional players for several arena teams and also worked with the Buffalo Bills as a training camp assistant. He also had a successful tenure as a high school football and basketball coach.

He spent five seasons on the coaching staff at Mississippi College, starting as secondary coach and special teams coordinator before adding the titles of recruiting coordinator and, finally, defensive coordinator. During his tenure at Mississippi College, which plays in NCAA Division III, he helped develop a pair of All-Conference defensive backs and also helped guide the team to a conference title.

He moved on to Cornell in 2010, helping the Big Red rank second in the Ivy League in pass defense that year and developing a pair of second team All-Conference performers over two seasons.

Prior to his coaching career, Young spent the 2000 and 2001 seasons playing in arena football, first for the Bismarck (N.D.) Blaze and then for the Duluth (Minn.) Lumberjacks.

His coaching career started with the Georgia Force of the Arena Football League.

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