UMass is looking for a second win at the end of the season in New Mexico State.
Interim UMass football coach Alex Miller played for the new coach when he was the old manager.
UMass announced Monday that Arizona offensive coordinator Don Brown will be the new Minuteman head coach in 2022.
Brown, 66, will make his second stop in Amherst. An NCAA Division 1AA program, a precursor to today’s FCS, UMass was when Brown led the team from 2004 to 2008, the most successful stretch (41-19) in the school’s history.
Miller started 50 center games from 2003 to 2006 and was his first All-Atlantic 10 two-time All-Star, AFCA and TSN All-American in his graduation season on the Browns watch.
“I obviously played with him and he was an important part of me growing and developing as a player, coach and person,” Miller said. “I couldn’t be more excited about his return.
“He was a huge part of this family and I think we did a great job. I just want to get that out there.”
Miller has one last business to clear before UMass unveils a disappointing season that cost former coach Walt Bell his job.
The Minutemen (1-10) will conclude the campaign when they travel to Las Cruces, NM, to face the Aggies of New Mexico State (1-10) at 3 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
Agee has ties to Massachusetts at the top of the coaching pyramid. Frank Spaziani, the former head coach of Boston College, is the defensive coordinator for the Aggies. NMS Head Coach Doug Martin, who undoubtedly concluded his ninth and final season, was BC Spaziani’s offensive coordinator.
“They tore the ball up on attack and threw it a decent amount,” Miller said. “They distribute the ball in the passing game and mix in a little round and in defense they play multiple fronts and hit a little bit.”
UMass and NMS are two of the seven independent FBS shows and both have had hard times. UMass has played three other freelancers this season. Minutemen defeated Yukon 27-13 on October 9 and defeated 62-17 at Liberty on October 30. Minutemine put in a good showing for three quarters before falling 33-17 to Army last Saturday.
“I told them before the game and in the first half and after the game that when you play hard and put in that kind of effort good things can happen,” Miller said. “It was 19-17 at the start of the fourth quarter and it was exciting for the players and coaches to be in the game and have a good feeling about football.”