He was just 52 years old.
Brown played collegiately at Penn State from 1987-1990 and rushed for totals of 1,321 yards and 11 touchdowns and added 24 receptions for 264 yards and another score.
We are saddened to learn of the passing of former NFL running back & coach Gary Brown, a great friend of the Cutters. A positive influence everywhere he played & coached including his hometown of Williamsport. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. Rest in Peace GB. pic.twitter.com/QcTFe59XJK
— Williamsport Crosscutters (@crosscutters) April 11, 2022
Brown was then selected with the 214th overall pick in the eighth round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers.
In eight years as an NFL player, Brown played for the Oilers, San Diego Chargers, and New York Giants.
His best rushing seasons were 1,002 yards and six touchdowns with the Oilers in 1993, 945 rushing yards and four touchdowns in his lone season with San Diego in 1997, and a career-best 1,063 yards and five scores with New York in 1998.
Brown then spent six seasons as a running backs coach at the college level with Lycoming College, Susquehanna University, and Rutgers.
In 2009, Cleveland coach Eric Mangini hired Brown to be his running backs coach.
He held the position through the 2012 season when he worked for Pat Shurmur.
It was during Brown’s time in Cleveland that he was first diagnosed with colon cancer.
He received treatment including chemotherapy and surgery and eventually returned to work.
During his time in Cleveland, Brown coached the likes of Jerome Harrison, Peyton Hillis, and Trent Richardson.
Before the 2013 season, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett hired Brown to be Dallas’ running backs coach.
In seven seasons, Brown and the Cowboys appeared in the playoffs three times, making it as far as the Divisional round.
Brown was the position coach for such Cowboys players as DeMarco Murray, Darren McFadden, and Ezekiel Elliott.
RIP to former NFL running back and former Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown who died at the age of 52 today. Very sad! pic.twitter.com/dG1l3YB2tY
— Matthew J. Lenix (@StarConscience) April 11, 2022
Both Murray and Elliott won rushing titles during their time working with Brown.
After new Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy took over in 2020, he did not retain Brown.
Not long after, doctors found a malignant tumor near Brown’s pancreas.
Fight with Cancer
Upon learning of the tumor, Brown took a year off from football in 2020 to fight the disease.
He returned in 2021 as the running backs coach at the University of Wisconsin.
Gary Brown, Former Cowboys Assistant and #NFL RB, Dies at Age 52: Gary Brown, who was an #NFL running back and assistant coach, died Sunday at the age of 52. His most recent stint in the NFL was as the running backs coach of… https://t.co/o1tUzuEAIl https://t.co/BlWPPyXa6e pic.twitter.com/gGwgLEGY3N
— StubOrder.com 🎟💺 (@StubOrder) April 11, 2022
Brown coached the position through the regular season but was unable to join the team for their Las Vegas Bowl game in December due to his cancer treatment.
After learning of Brown’s passing, numerous former players and coaches remembered him fondly.
“Great Father, Husband, Coach, and Mentor. Appreciate you and your family more than anything GB,” DeMarco Murray tweeted. “Thank you for teaching me the way on the field and in life. Appreciate you Gary Brown.”
“I am deeply saddened by Gary’s passing,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said in a statement. “Though he was only on our staff for a year he had a profound impact on our players and our program. We are all better people for having known Gary.”
“Gary Brown had a big heart partnered with a big smile and a big personality. His energy and spirit were infectious,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement.”
Brown is survived by his wife, Kim, daughters Malena and Dorianna, and son Tre.