Pirates hire Lynch to coach secondary

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Brandon Lynch has been named defensive backs coach at East Carolina according to an announcement from second-year head football coach Scottie Montgomery on Sunday.

His acceptance of the position on the Pirates’ staff concludes four years of service at Northern Iowa where he directed the secondary since 2013 and was the program’s associate head coach for defense during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Lynch replaces Rick Smith, who announced his retirement from ECU on Dec. 22.

“Brandon’s credentials are distinctly synonymous with development and success,” Montgomery said. “He’s been molded and motivated by some of the finest minds in football and has clearly demonstrated the ability to impart that knowledge and impact young men. We talk about being a champion every day and Brandon not only embraces that quality, he lives it.”

While coaching the Panthers’ defensive backs, Lynch played a key role for a 2016 unit that statistically ranked among the NCAA FCS level’s Top 25 in defensive touchdowns (5th), total defense (9th), passes intercepted (12th), first down defense (13th), rushing defense (16th), team sacks (18), turnovers gained (21st) and scoring defense (23rd) by allowing only 22.0 points per game.

A year earlier, Lynch developed three of his secondary members into All-America performers, including consensus selection and Chicago Bears fourth-round draft choice Deiondre’ Hall. Bolstered by Hall’s school record for pick-sixes, UNI stood third nationally in turnovers forced and 13th in passes intercepted, while rating 16th in scoring defense.

Lynch mentored three All-Missouri Valley Football Conference picks in 2014 and helped the Panthers rank among the FCS’s Top 15 in eight different statistical categories, including a No. 9 rating in total defense. Two of his players, Tim Kilfoy and Ray Mitchell, led the MVFC in interceptions and established a program career standard in interception return yards, respectively.

During his first year at Northern Iowa, Lynch tutored another trio of all-conference selections and assisted in a final No. 8 rank in scoring defense.

After earning an invitation to travel to Dallas and participate in the NCAA and NFL Coaching Academy in 2012, Lynch was selected for inclusion in the prestigious NFL Bill Walsh Minority Internship where he worked with defensive backs under the direction of former Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier. He began his full-time coaching career as Lenoir-Rhyne’s (N.C.) defensive backs coach and pass game coordinator in 2011 before making the move to UNI.

As a collegiate and professional player, Lynch was part of three championship squads. The two-year team captain helped Middle Tennessee to its first Sun Belt Conference title in 2001 before going on to play in the National Football League with the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts. After being a member of the 2007 Super Bowl champion Colts under coach Tony Dungy, Lynch signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and contributed in their successful quest for the Grey Cup.

Lynch, 34, earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from MTSU in 2006.

He and his wife Francesca are the parents of three children – daughters Jordan and Peyton, along with son Brandon II.


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